Today the Nasher reveals the first of ten pieces of public art being commissioned for Nasher Xchange, the sculpture center's city-wide arts initiative. The announcement celebration at the Trinity River Audubon Center (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) comes with some family-friendly perks like free admission, nature hikes, homing pigeons and face time with an owl. Artist Ruben Ochoa will be there, available to chat about what he's planning for his site-specific installation.
The ten projects won't be unveiled until October, so why not use the summer to learn about Dallas' already existing public art collection? An app by CultureNOW, Museums Without Walls, won the award for Best Culture app in New York in 2011. It's since expanded its mission of turning public art education into a tech-rich scavenger hunt by adding dozens of major cities' collections to its mapping technology, Dallas included.
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While you could use the super clunky, but free, map provided by Business Council for the Art's Public ArtWalk Dallas, it's limited to information on 30 works, all located downtown and is frustrating to access on your phone.
CultureNOW's app costs less than a buck, is made for mobility and is constantly updated -- so Deep Ellum's recently constructed Brad Oldham sculptures and the new Love Field additions are included, along with more established city staples, like Marta Pan's floating red polyester resin spheres.
Give it location access and Museums Without Walls generates a detailed list of public artwork, starting with whatever's closest to you so you can start hunting immediately. Or just plug in an address, then go explore around a specific destination area, like the Audubon. More famous pieces have audio content, giving you podcast history behind the work, its author and how Dallas acquired it. The rest show nice photos, give artists credits, years acquired and ownership information. This cheap investment provides instant joy, setting you on a quest to conquer 150 pieces of explorable art.