Dallas is full of public art. Though not since the neon arches stretched over Dallas Alley in the ’80s and ’90s, illuminating the way to the West Side, has a public art installation made such a lasting mark on the city. Now, slightly shifted and updated with LED technology, the new arches are attracting praise and inspiring nostalgia across town. To mark the occasion, AD PRO asked two designers what public art installations inspire their work.
Ruthie Staalsen, Ruthie Staalsen Interiors
I was driving by a statue of kids playing on a playground, all excited and joyful. It made me think about how art inspires us to just be kids again. Being attached to our phones so much, we need [art] now more than ever. We get sucked in, and everything is at our fingertips. Art makes us stop for a minute. The public art that inspires me is anything that brings us back to the original things we used to enjoy—the outdoors and nature, like water art, and anything lit. They make us not want our phones. It’s about simplicity, and getting back to basics.
Meg Lonergan, Meg Lonergan Interiors
In Houston, The Menil Collection is one of the most amazing things we have because it’s free to the public to view. Our museum district is constantly in a state of growth, and public art is all around us. Menil is just a few blocks from my house, so it’s nice to be able to walk by and enjoy it. City living definitely has its pros and cons, but museums and public art outweigh any con. I always come away from The Menil Collection with inspiration. I usually go there just for peace and quiet, or anytime I’m feeling like we haven’t seen anything new. It’s a great place to escape to. We’re so oversaturated with images on social media, but I think people still will always want the real experience of what public art gives them.