The ATX Sign at the Whole Foods Lamar

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

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.

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Be Ready for the Ride | Austin, Texas

 

I have been here in South Austin for a year or so.  I hadn’t noticed these until two weeks ago when I passed by on 71.  I spotted a cowgirl and a cowboy at the entrance.  I had to stop by and take a close up.  These sculptures are awesome.   They were shaped with wood only, painted over and put with a potato bag skirt on a cowgirl and the belt on the cowboy.  He’s lassoing the cowgirl, I guess.

Check them out at Patsy’s Cafe that is a colorful South Austin honky-tonk that features home-style cooking.  It’s at 5001 E. Ben White Blvd.

 

It’s also having the wooden blacksmith in the front of the restaurant as well.  Just let ya know!

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The “Crossroads” Gazebo | San Marcos, Texas

Crossroads Memorial Sculpture (Really a Gazebo!)

San Marcos, Texas has a special relationship with LBJ. Lyndon Baines Johnson moved here to begin his studies in San Marcos in 1927 and received a bachelor of science in history and a permanent high school teaching certificate in 1930. He became the 36th President of the United States in 1963 making Texas State University the only college in Texas to have graduated a U.S. President.

I went looking for the sculpture.  I drove around, not realizing that it was a gazebo in the corner of two streets that I kept missing until I finally parked on the corner on the  South Lyndon Baines Johnson Drive/Hwy 82 and East Martin Luther King Jr Drive .  I got out of my car and looked right at the gazebo.  Ah, it was there all the way right under my nose!  I have to admit that it’s different, creative and beautiful than I saw on the roadside attractions webpage.

After taking office, LBJ pledged support for President Kennedy’s civil rights agenda. Fifty years ago on January 18, 1964, he met with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Oval Office to discuss civil rights strategy.

And on July 2, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, just 8 months after taking office. The far-reaching law included provisions to protect the right to vote, guarantee access to public accommodations, and withhold federal funds from programs administered in a discriminatory fashion.

And in August 1965 the continued collaboration between Dr. King and President Johnson resulted in the Voting Rights Act.

The sculpture, by Aaron Hussey, casts a shadow of the two men on the tiny corner plaza as the sun moves across the sky every day. It was unveiled with the title, “Crossroads” on MLK Day 2014.  Hays County donated the land the piece sits on, The Crossroads Committee raised $7,000 for the art and The City of San Marcos $100,000.

 

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Blazer Tag | Austin, Texas

It’s unlike any laser tag. Walking into the face of laser assault to the senses. There are over 60 video games, air hockey tables, skeeball and all you can name. The newest addition to Blazer Tag is having an indoor ropes challenge courses called Austin Sky Trail that looms above while patrons play video games. It was the old theatre which has been converted and transformed into the largest tag arena in the state of Texas.

The Southwood Theatre was built as a single screen seating 868 by Trans-Texas Theatres. It was opened February 17, 1967 with Maurice Chevalier in “Monkey’s, Go Home!”. It had 1,000 seats. It was twinned in 1974 and acquired by AMC. In 1989 it changed ownership again becoming part of the Presidio Theatres. The building is a striking one with the exterior in a light colored limestone brick. A corner entrance to the theatre with an awning running around from the entrance down the side of the building. Since closing in 1996, it has had retail outlets in the gutted theatre one of which was a laser tag operation.

Thomas Maione and his wife, Diana,opened Blazer Tag Adventure Center in February 1999 in the former Southwood Theatre. Since then, Thomas has continued improving the facility with additions like a redemption prize counter, new video games, new bridges in the arena, – all to keep the experience fresh and exciting. He’s also hired and trained an outstanding staff to be knowledgeable and courteous and do whatever it takes to make each visit to Blazer Tag a memorable one! His and the staff’s goal is to continue to improve the facility and the quality of service for our guests!

It’s located at 1701 West Ben White Blvd in the Southwood Center.

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Treaty Oak | Austin, Texas

The Treaty Oak is the last surviving member of the Council Oaks. Since the 1880s, the tree had been privately owned by the Caldwell family. In 1937 the City of Austin purchased the land for $1,000 and installed a plaque honoring the tree’s role in Texas history.

In 1989, in an act of deliberate vandalism, the tree was poisoned with the powerful hardwood herbicide. DuPont, the herbicide manufacturer, established a $10,000 reward to capture the poisoner. The vandal, Paul Cullen, was apprehended after reportedly bragging about poisoning the tree as a means of casting a spell. Cullen was convicted of felony criminal mischief and sentenced to serve nine years in prison.

Although arborists expected the tree to die, the Treaty Oak survived. However, almost two-thirds of the tree died and more than half of its crown had to be pruned.

Today the tree is a thriving, but as a lopsided reminder of its once-grand form. Many Texans see the Treaty Oak today as a symbol of strength and endurance.

You can park on the street, sometimes, you will need to pay a meter.  It’s at 507 Baylor Street.  Austin, Texas.

By the way, I went through the garage parking area outside and I didn’t realize that the bar that hung up the entrance, above my truck camper was a little shorter and it smashed my roof vent.  Sheesh.  I had to replace it a few days later.  Just beware of the “lower than I expected” bars.  It was at 6″9′ and that was not enough.  Now I know I will go through, with flying colors,  more than 7″4′ or above from now on.  🙂

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Row. Row. Row.

The 50-foot-tall structure  is composed of roughly 75 boats, suspended from a steel framework by a mass of cables. The sculpture, outside the Hackerman Building, looms over the corner of Speedway and 24th Street and features canoes jutting out at all angles.

The piece, called “Monochrome for Austin,” was designed as part of a larger collection by a female artist, Nancy Rubins.  “We are definitely very proud that this is our first commissioned art by a female artist, and, in a lot of ways, she is a powerhouse of the public art world,” Nobel said. “She’s done a lot of amazing art around the world.”

A portion of the boats used in “Monochrome” were damaged boats donated by boating rental companies, according to Nick Nobel, external affairs coordinator for Landmarks. The rest of the boats were bought specifically for the project.

Norman Hackerman Building, University of Austin campus
100 East 24th Street

 

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The Deer Sculpture…NOT!

When I was “strolling” through the roads in Salado, I saw the deer on the edge. I thought it was the sculpture until he moved, I jumped off my seat a little bit!  He spooked me so good!

Damn him.

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