Conversation-starters here include
Digital Orca, a sculpture of a whale made
from hundreds of cubes and situated on
the terrace overlooking the ocean. Located
in the concourse connecting the East and
West buildings is Human Spirit, a series of
carved cedar panels that reflects the Salish
tradition of welcoming visitors.
“As our facility rests upon traditional
Coast Salish territory, a selection of the
artwork was created by B.C. Coast Salish
artists and pays tribute to the history of the
site,” Wu said.
One of the most dramatic spaces here is
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention
the foyer outside the signature ballroom,
where the ceiling reaches 55 feet and three
stunning round sculptures called Floats
appear to be suspended in midair.
“They are made from the branches of
pine beetle-infected forests near Merritt, in
B.C.’s interior,” Wu said. “This piece really
enhances what is already a beautiful space
Center, San Antonio
Among the works of the many local artists
who’ve contributed to Henry B. Gonzalez
Convention Center’s art collection, meeting
delegates will find a variety of cultural expressions that reflect the authentic culture
of San Antonio.
“The art collection, which brings the voice
of San Antonio to the world stage, engages
visitors visually and sparks conversations
that bring people together,” said Patricia
Muzquiz Cantor, interim director for City of
San Antonio Convention & Sports Facilities.
Among the pieces that will have attendees talking is a Carlos Merida mural created
for the 1968 World’s Fair that today greets
visitors at the convention center’s new
West Entry. Another is one of the newest
installations, Liquid Crystal, a 30-foot tower
of LCD panels connected to motion sensors
that allows it to reflect the activity in the
new main lobby.
“While not technically a work of art, the
new Stars at Night Ballroom is one-of-a-kind,” Muzquiz Cantor added.
She said at 54,000 square feet it’s the largest ballroom in Texas, and features 1,642
programmable LED lights that twinkle on
the ceiling just like the Texas sky.
Cobo Center, Detroit
The art on-site at the Cobo Center, created
by a diverse group of regional artists, offers
insight into Detroit and Michigan state.
“We believe art makes Cobo Center
special,” said Maureen Devine, the venue’s
art curator. “The informational labels with
many of the artworks will encourage visitors
to go out and explore the city.”
For example, the label with the grouping
of works by Tyree Guyton, including the car
hood painting Detroit Now, may encourage
attendees to visit Guyton’s famous Heidelberg
Project displayed throughout an entire Detroit
neighborhood. Those intrigued by Robert
Sestok’s Rock and Roll wall sculpture may like
to visit a popular sculpture park in Midtown
that features more of Sestok’s work.
“This collection, which is on view for all
to see and is free to the public, will continue
to expand,” Devine said.
For example, work on a large-scale fresco
painting by Detroit-based artist Hubert
Massey, inspired by Diego Rivera’s Detroit
Industry Murals at the Detroit Institute
of Arts, will be located at the riverside
entrance to the grand ballroom when it’s
completed later this spring.
Among the other noteworthy pieces here
are the Spirit of Transportation sculpture,
the first work displayed at Cobo Center,
and nine paintings in the level-two meeting
room hallway by the late beloved Detroit
artist Gilda Snowden.
David L. Lawrence Convention
The $2 million art collection at the LEED
Gold- and Platinum-certified David L.
Lawrence Convention Center, which was
assembled in order to complement the
design of the building, mainly showcases
works of local and regional artists.
Several artworks in various mediums tell
the story of Pittsburgh, including Pittsburgh
Magnolias and Pittsburgh, an Industrial
The public art on display here is meant
to reflect the city’s downtown development
in recent years, and convention-goers are
encouraged to make time to take a closer
look via a self-guided tour.
Planners should consider including the
floor-by-floor art guide, which can be downloaded from the convention center’s website,
with other pertinent convention info distributed to attendees before the event.
Walter E. Washington Convention
Center, Washington, D.C.
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center, with more than 130 works of art worth $4
million, boasts the largest public art collection of any convention center in the country.
According to Jamilia Walker, communi-cations and marketing specialist for Events
DC, the artists exhibited here are from
around the globe, including more than half
from the Washington, D.C., community.
Artworks from sculpture and paintings to graphics and mixed media can be
found throughout the building, including
the grand lobby, the corridors of meeting
rooms and even up and down various escalators and staircases.
Art at the Center, a free curator-led public
art tour, is the best-kept secret in the nation’s capital, according to Walker. Attendees may also enjoy a self-guided tour.
Popular pieces here include Shaw Wall,
which celebrates the historic Shaw community, one of D.C.’s oldest African American
neighborhoods and home to the convention
center, and Capital Stars, which combines
history, geography and politics. m
HENRY B. GONZALEZ CONVENTION CENTER,
OREGON CONVENTION CENTER,
HENRY B. GONZALEZ CONVENTION CENTER,
Check out the “Artistry of Convention
Centers” story on Meetings Today.com
for profiles of other facilities that are
standouts for art.