The sun was about to go down and the colors looked soooo warm! The ATX sign is standing behind the Whole Foods Lamar.
THE STORY BEHIND THE NEW “ATX” SIGN ON FIFTH AND LAMAR
SIGNAGE COMPANY ION ART CRAFTED THE PIECE FOR WHOLE FOODS
BY KIMYA KAVEHKAR | PHOTOS COURTESY ION ART
Published: February 16, 2017
You might notice something different at the northeast corner of Fifth Street and North Lamar Boulevard. Seemingly overnight a new public art piece has popped up, proudly declaring some hometown pride.
Perched outside of the Whole Foods flagship store is a rainbow-striped sculpture that says “atx” that has replaced the old sign that spelled out “Whole Foods Market” in concrete letters. The piece has already created a stir, appearing in the background of numerous selfies since it went up last Friday night.
The mysterious work was created by a company that has already created so many iconic signs in Austin: Ion Art. You may already be familiar with the 30-year-old company’s work, including the State Theatre blade and the guitar that welcomes festivalgoers at the gates of the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Whole Foods reached out to the group, owned by husband-and-wife duo Greg and Sharon Keshishian, to update its sign as Ion had created the original one.
Settling on a design for this new work of art took upwards of six months, and once the international grocery chain gave its stamp of approval, lead designer Chase Meyers and his staff only had two weeks to put it together.
“We had a lot of late nights working until midnight and working all weekend,” Meyers says. “When you have a project like this that everyone is very excited about, especially with a client like Whole Foods, everyone was committed to seeing it through.”
The steel-and-aluminum structure is made for all types of weather and human interactions, so people are encouraged to sit, climb, and stand on the piece to get the perfect shot. And soon Whole Foods plans on dedicating “atx” to the city of Austin and its residents.
“We were ready to replace our signage (sometimes also accompanied by a classic green Whole Foods Market pickup truck) on the corner of Fifth and Lamar and thought, This is such a visible spot for the city of Austin, we should do something that the community can enjoy,” a Whole Foods spokesperson says. “This art piece is dedicated to our hometown. We’re really proud of our Austin roots and we hope people will enjoy the art installation as they pass by the store.”
It seems like this piece of public art is already working its way into the same league as the “I love you so much” graffiti and “You’re my butter half.”
“It’s exceeding our expectations,” Greg Keshishian says. “We saw it pop up on Yelp recommendations for things to do in Austin, and it hasn’t even been up for a week. We are seeing it everywhere, we’re really proud of it.”
It’s located at 525 North Lamar Blvd behind Whole Foods Market.