True North 2020: Annual Heights Boulevard Sculpture Exhibit

Updated on June 25, 2020
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

'El Gallo Monument' by the late Bob "Daddy-O" Wade
'El Gallo Monument' by the late Bob "Daddy-O" Wade | Source

True North 2020

Living in Houston is so much fun for many reasons. A highlight for art lovers is the annual sculpture exhibit on Heights Boulevard. The dates of getting to see this year's sculptures runs from March 15th to December 15th. So there is still plenty of time to drive by this sixty-foot wide esplanade in the Houston Heights neighborhood to see these magnificent creations.

To enjoy them even more, park your vehicle and take the walking/jogging trail that runs the entire length of Heights Boulevard, where the installation of these sculptures is on view at different intervals. You will get your exercise while viewing these pieces of art up close.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
'Loculus' (Wind Vane + Weather Station) by Jack Massing'Loculus' Sculpture by Jack Massing'Loculus' Sculpture by Jack MassingDetail of 'Loculus' SculptureDetail of 'Loculus' Sculpture
'Loculus' (Wind Vane + Weather Station) by Jack Massing
'Loculus' (Wind Vane + Weather Station) by Jack Massing | Source
'Loculus' Sculpture by Jack Massing
'Loculus' Sculpture by Jack Massing | Source
'Loculus' Sculpture by Jack Massing
'Loculus' Sculpture by Jack Massing | Source
Detail of 'Loculus' Sculpture
Detail of 'Loculus' Sculpture | Source
Detail of 'Loculus' Sculpture
Detail of 'Loculus' Sculpture | Source

1. 'Loculus' Sculpture by Jack Massing

Starting at the 400 blocks of Heights Boulevard, one comes across this eye-catching design of a wrench serving as a wind vane at the top of this four-sided towering sculpture. At the bottom of the cross-hatching design are geographic coordinates letting viewers know exactly where they are standing upon the earth.

The artist Jack Massing is a Houston Heights resident. He was born in New York but has lived in Houston for many decades. He was once a part of a collaboration with another artist by the name of Michael Galbreth. They were known as "The Art Guys" until the death of Michael Galbreth. From what I read, they exhibited in numerous places throughout the United States, China, and Europe. Their focus was to demystify art and intermix humor at the same time.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
'Dodecahedron' by Vincent Fink'Dodecahedron' by Vincent Fink'Dodecahedron' by Vincent Fink
'Dodecahedron' by Vincent Fink
'Dodecahedron' by Vincent Fink | Source
'Dodecahedron' by Vincent Fink
'Dodecahedron' by Vincent Fink | Source
'Dodecahedron' by Vincent Fink
'Dodecahedron' by Vincent Fink | Source

2. 'Dodecahedron' by Vincent Fink

The 600 block is where this twelve-sided polyhedron sculpture is on view. If I had learned that term in geometry, I had forgotten the meaning. This is what Wikipedia relates: " In geometry, a polyhedron (plural polyhedra or polyhedrons) is a three-dimensional shape with flat polygonal faces, straight edges, and sharp corners or vertices." The great pyramids are one example of polyhedrons.

In this case, Houston artist Vincent Fink, who enjoys the study of science and philosophy, painted imagery of things from outer space upon the five-sided pieces of acrylic glass.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
'Hard Rain' by Jack Gron'Hard Rain' by Jack Gron'Hard Rain' by Jack Gron
'Hard Rain' by Jack Gron
'Hard Rain' by Jack Gron | Source
'Hard Rain' by Jack Gron
'Hard Rain' by Jack Gron | Source
'Hard Rain' by Jack Gron
'Hard Rain' by Jack Gron | Source

3. 'Hard Rain' by Jack Gron

In the 800 blocks is the 'Hard Rain' sculpture by Jack Gron. Viewing this sculpture from different angles, with the cloud-like imagery at the top of this tall metal art installation, the naming of this piece is easy to understand. Most of us can relate to experiencing a driving rain that pelts the earth from a sideways angle.

Houston artist, Jack Gron, has experience working in blast furnaces when he was a young man growing up in Steubenville, Ohio. Many in his family worked in that steel-producing town. His art career is combined with working as a sculptor and teaching art in various institutions. He is known nationally and internationally for his work.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
'Big Cabbage' by Bill Davenport'Big Cabbage' by Bill Davenport'Big Cabbage' by Bill DavenportBill Davenport's Junk Shop in the Houston Heights
'Big Cabbage' by Bill Davenport
'Big Cabbage' by Bill Davenport | Source
'Big Cabbage' by Bill Davenport
'Big Cabbage' by Bill Davenport | Source
'Big Cabbage' by Bill Davenport
'Big Cabbage' by Bill Davenport | Source
Bill Davenport's Junk Shop in the Houston Heights
Bill Davenport's Junk Shop in the Houston Heights | Source

4. 'Big Cabbage' by Bill Davenport

You will find this round seven-foot diameter obvious-looking cabbage sculpture in the 900 blocks of Heights Boulevard. Artist Bill Davenport, who lives in Houston, likes to create giant-sized concrete vegetable sculptures. Some of them are permanent art installations at some of the farmer's markets around Houston.

Since childhood, he has converted trashed objects into art. He owns his own business, Bill's Junk Art Space, at 1125 East 11th Street in the Houston Heights, where he continues to fashion art from salvaged items. I have included an exterior photo of his store above for your interest. The outside of his place of business draws attention, and I am sure you would agree.

Bill Davenport has shown his art in exhibitions all across the United States. He has also curated shows and has been an editor, writer, and publisher for several art entities.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
'Forces of Nature: Blue Skies, Slinkys, and Hurricanes' by Leticia Bajuyo'Forces of Nature: Blue Skies, Slinkys, and Hurricanes' by Leticia Bajuyo'Forces of Nature: Blue Skies, Slinkys, and Hurricanes' by Leticia BajuyoCloseup of the Leticia Bajuyo sculpture
'Forces of Nature: Blue Skies, Slinkys, and Hurricanes' by Leticia Bajuyo
'Forces of Nature: Blue Skies, Slinkys, and Hurricanes' by Leticia Bajuyo | Source
'Forces of Nature: Blue Skies, Slinkys, and Hurricanes' by Leticia Bajuyo
'Forces of Nature: Blue Skies, Slinkys, and Hurricanes' by Leticia Bajuyo | Source
'Forces of Nature: Blue Skies, Slinkys, and Hurricanes' by Leticia Bajuyo
'Forces of Nature: Blue Skies, Slinkys, and Hurricanes' by Leticia Bajuyo | Source
Closeup of the Leticia Bajuyo sculpture
Closeup of the Leticia Bajuyo sculpture | Source

5. 'Forces of Nature: Blue Skies, Slinkys, and Hurricanes' by Leticia Bajuyo

Anyone who has ever played with a slinky toy should appreciate this trio of blue-colored sculptures in the 1200 block of Heights Boulevard. Inside of each circular piece is some artificial grass. People are invited to sit upon these pieces.

Supposedly, the artist Leticia R. Bajuyo who lives in Corpus Christi also thought of hurricane storms swirling around the center of an eye when she made these sculptures. The color blue signifies the other part mentioned in the title. You can read more about her credentials in the source reference below.

In case you never owned a slinky, you can see this classic toy in the video below.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
'On History' by Joseph HavelDetails of sculpture by Joseph HavelDetails of sculpture by Joseph HavelDetails of sculpture by Joseph HavelDetails of sculpture by Joseph HavelDetails of sculpture by Joseph Havel'On History' by Joseph Havel
'On History' by Joseph Havel
'On History' by Joseph Havel | Source
Details of sculpture by Joseph Havel
Details of sculpture by Joseph Havel | Source
Details of sculpture by Joseph Havel
Details of sculpture by Joseph Havel | Source
Details of sculpture by Joseph Havel
Details of sculpture by Joseph Havel | Source
Details of sculpture by Joseph Havel
Details of sculpture by Joseph Havel | Source
Details of sculpture by Joseph Havel
Details of sculpture by Joseph Havel | Source
'On History' by Joseph Havel
'On History' by Joseph Havel | Source

6. 'On History' by Joseph Havel

Joseph Havel is a well-credentialed artist known nationally and internationally. He resides in Houston and is the Director of not only the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, but the Glassell School of Art, and a post-graduate and residency program known as The Core Program.

His nine-foot bronze sculpture appears to be made of torn bluejeans and shirts. The striking angular piece pointed skyward has a stack of books at its base. The 1300 blocks is where this unique sculpture is on view.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
'Carbon Sink' by Sherry Owens / Art Shirer'Carbon Sink' by Sherry Owens / Art ShirerLots of twigs went into this sculpture construction.
'Carbon Sink' by Sherry Owens / Art Shirer
'Carbon Sink' by Sherry Owens / Art Shirer | Source
'Carbon Sink' by Sherry Owens / Art Shirer
'Carbon Sink' by Sherry Owens / Art Shirer | Source
Lots of twigs went into this sculpture construction.
Lots of twigs went into this sculpture construction. | Source

7. 'Carbon Sink' by Sherry Owens / Art Shirer

Both of these artists, Sherry Owens, and Art Shirer, have studios where they create art in Dallas, Texas. They have done many art collaborations over several decades, and this one in the Houston Heights is seen in the 1600 blocks area of Heights Boulevard.

No crape myrtle trees have been harmed in the making of this distinctive sculptural project. (Smile) Personally, I like it when crape myrtle trees are allowed to grow and attain their full height like other trees. However, many of them are trimmed when the trees are dormant. Supposedly, it encourages more blossoms on the new growth. Those discarded cuttings from crape myrtle trees were fashioned into this immense sculptural piece. The top was flat, but the sides show the sinewy growth patterns of the branches.

Read what the artist's intent was about this sculpture in the source link below.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
'El Gallo Monument' by the late Bob "Daddy-O" Wade'El Gallo Monument' by the late Bob "Daddy-O" WadeCloseup photoCloseup photoAnother view of this sculpturePigs part of the sculpture
'El Gallo Monument' by the late Bob "Daddy-O" Wade
'El Gallo Monument' by the late Bob "Daddy-O" Wade | Source
'El Gallo Monument' by the late Bob "Daddy-O" Wade
'El Gallo Monument' by the late Bob "Daddy-O" Wade | Source
Closeup photo
Closeup photo | Source
Closeup photo
Closeup photo | Source
Another view of this sculpture
Another view of this sculpture | Source
Pigs part of the sculpture
Pigs part of the sculpture | Source

8. 'El Gallo Monument' by Bob "Daddy-O" Wade

Last, but hardly least, is the whimsical sculptural assembly by the late Bob Wade. It is the last sculpture exhibit of his, but he died before the installation took place. Thanks to his wife, daughter, and an artist friend by the name of Will Larson, it now sits at Heights Boulevard and 18th Street in the Houston Heights.

Seeing this assembly of colorful pigs, piglets, and a giant rooster brings a smile to my face. If you have never seen a blue, red, yellow, or green pig—this is the place to view them!

For many years, I have admired the giant-sized cowboy boots that front Northstar Mall at the 410 freeway in San Antonio. You can see some of his creations in the video and read about more of the giant-sized folk art made by Bob Wade in the source link below.

Which of these sculptures is your favorite?

See results

© 2020 Peggy Woods

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      8 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Eldon,

      The one you mentioned is one of my favorite sculptures out of this group also. Glad you liked viewing all of them in this annual event.

    • profile image

      Eldon 

      8 days ago

      Enjoyed seeing all of the sculptures, especially the humor of El Gallo Monument.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Christy,

      I just checked the poll, and the 'Big Cabbage' appears to be winning at this time as to being the favorite. So right now, you are voting with the majority.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The Big Cabbage is everything :D

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Denise,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on which of these sculptures are your favorites.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      3 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      It's hard to say what my favorite would be but the dodecahedron is pretty cool and so is the El Gallo Monument but I appreciate the big cabbage best.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Nell,

      What is considered to be good art versus bad is truly in the eye of the beholder. With public art, everybody gets to make up their own mind.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      4 weeks ago from England

      I love the pigs and chicken. Hate the spanner, lol! the rest are a mix of nice and horrible. But fascinating to see, and how to be able to walk around them and stop to take a look.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Umesh,

      I am pleased that you liked seeing this and learning a bit about the artists.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      4 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Very well presented, detailed and interesting.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi CMHypno,

      I am pleased that you liked viewing the sculptures. My husband and I look forward to what has now become an annual event in Houston.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 

      6 weeks ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Wonderful sculptures Peggy. Thank you for sharing them.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      6 weeks ago

      You're welcome. Stay safe.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Nithya,

      Thanks for letting me know your favorite sculptures from this exhibit. I enjoy learning things about your part of the world, as well.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      We in Houston surely do love the arts! Thanks for your visit.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Doris,

      Perhaps the hogs in Little Rock were a fundraiser like the cows placed all around Houston years ago. It was so much fun to see and raised many dollars for the Texas Children's Hospital.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 weeks ago from Dubai

      The 'Dodecahedron' by Vincent Fink and 'On History' by Joseph Havel are my favorites. All the art pieces are unique and interesting. Houston is a great place, so many things to do. I enjoyed reading about the annual sculpture exhibit on Heights Boulevard; thank you for sharing.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      6 weeks ago

      Another article about an artistry in Houston. Is Houston the art capital of Texas?

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      6 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      Peggy, I've never been to Houston, although I've lived in a couple of areas in Texas. A lot of the art in this article reminds me of the art that graces the streets of the twin cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock. Thank goodness, the days of piles of rusted junk that passed for art are over. My favorite was the dodecahedron, but I loved the little pigs, too. Several years ago, an artist had a number of large life-sized hogs all over Little Rock in parks and malls, but I don't know if they are still there.

      I'm surprised that statue "On History" has been allowed to stand. Surely it offends somebody. LOL

      Thanks for the tour.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Adrienne,

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know which of these sculptures is your favorite. Yes, Houston has much to offer its citizens and visitors to our city.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      7 weeks ago

      Peggy,

      These are some quite unique pieces of art you have displayed here! My favorite is the cabbage. I like that this artist turns junk into little treasures. Houston is surely a city that has so much to offer.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Christy,

      So glad you enjoyed this virtual sculpture exhibit, particularly that 'Big Cabbage.' Even if the center is hollow, it must weigh a lot since concrete is an ingredient.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Liz,

      You are correct. When I photographed these sculptures, I was nowhere near anyone else. At times it might have been busier with people walking their dogs, or jogging along the trails, but when we were there, we just about had the place to ourselves.

    • profile image

      Christy Birmingham-Reyes 

      7 weeks ago

      I was particularly taken by the idea of gigantic vegetable scultures made of concrete! Art has many forms, indeed. Great assortment you feature here, Peggy.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      7 weeks ago from UK

      The great things about this sculpture display are that it is outside and it is available for viewing over a long time period. This makes it easier to social distance and safer to visit.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      7 weeks ago from london

      Bob Daddy O'Wade, but yes, you're right.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Chitrangada,

      I know what you mean by it being a hard choice to choose just one of the sculptures as a favorite. The whimsy of the 'El Gallo Monument' by Bob "Daddy-O" Wade makes me smile. I guess, for that reason, I would pick it.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      7 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      What a wonderful collection of sculptures! Well, it’s so difficult to pick up one of them as a favourite. The Dodecahedron, the big Cabbage, the Carbon sink, the Forces of Nature, I think all of them are amazing. And, I enjoyed reading the details about them.

      Thank you for sharing this excellent information.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Lorna,

      Thanks for chiming in as to the one that most drew your attention. Like you, I enjoy learning about the artists as well as enjoying what they create.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Dora,

      Houston has endless fun places to visit. So glad you liked learning about the current sculpture exhibit on Heights Boulevard. Hopefully, after a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed and distributed, we will be able to go out more and keep exploring the various sites around our metro area.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Heidi,

      That is a fun way to look at the 'Big Cabbage' sculpture from a rabbit's perspective. It is making me smile.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      7 weeks ago

      So much talent showcased in this amazing space Peggy. I thought they were all incredible and was interested to learn of the artist's background. The one I was drawn to is ' Dodecahedron', and I'm not surprised Vincent Fink studied science and philosophy. Another interesting article about a place I will have to visit - hopefully sooner than later.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rosina,

      Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed the Dodecahedron' by Vincent Fink as your favorite of the sculptures. It will be interesting to see how the votes stack up over time.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Manatita,

      I am not sure which artist you meant about having fun. Several videos showed that aspect of their personalities. They include Bill Davenport and Bob 'Daddy-O' Wade. Making art can be fun as well as creative. These and other artists prove it. (Smile)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Peggy, you're the ultimate Houstonian Ambassador. I thought I had seen enough of Houston but you make me want to come back and see Houston through your eyes. Davenport's cabbage seems simple but I find it appealing. Thanks for the views.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      7 weeks ago from Chicago Area

      These are so fun! It was hard to pick one for the poll. But I think I like the big cabbage. It would give me a rabbit's eye perspective of being in a garden. :-D

      Thanks for sharing these art treasures from where you are!

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      7 weeks ago

      I loved all these sculptures in the article, Peggy. But my favorite is 'Dodecahedron' by Vincent Fink. It is fascinating to know that the great pyramids are an example of polyhedrons. Thank you for sharing such an impressive article full of vivid photos and videos.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      7 weeks ago from london

      The El Gallo Monument is quite a fascinating piece of art, as well as so many of the others in this special article! The Dodocahedron and 'on history', reminds me of mystic Spirituality. I like the video of the artist who just believed in having fun. Cool, eh?

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Linda,

      You are not the first person to comment on liking that 'Big Cabbage.' At least it is an easy interpretation of what the artist meant which is not always the case when it comes to art. Haha!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      It is such a treat to be able to see these sculptures each year while they are on display, and it is fun memorializing them in photos each time as well. Glad to know that you and others appreciate getting to see them in this manner.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      7 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      All of the sculptures that you've shown and described are interesting. I couldn't help smiling when I saw the giant cabbage! I always enjoy learning about art in Houston by reading your articles. The city and its surroundings sound very interesting.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Liza,

      Enjoy those walks in the park with your husband. I enjoyed learning about the artist who created the 'Big Cabbage' sculpture. It looks like he has a lot of fun making his unique types of art.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      These are so wonderful, Peggy. Oh, to be surrounded by all these artwork is like a dream. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    • lizmalay profile image

      Liza 

      7 weeks ago from USA

      It's nice to see a rare and unique exhibit while walking or running in the park. I enjoy walking in the park with my husband. However, we haven't seen anything like this in our area. My favorite one is Big Cabbage. Thanks for sharing interesting sights in your city, Peggy.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ruby,

      Your favorite is also mine. The cuteness and surprise of seeing pigs and piglets in those vibrant colors, along with the rooster, make me smile.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      Houston truly is an art-loving city! I am happy to be able to share parts of this aspect of living here with you.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      This was a fun read. My favorite is the rooster and cute pigs. I still say that you are a lucky woman to live in Houston where so many sites are open for visitors to enjoy. Thanks Peggy.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Another fabulous event in an art-loving city. Thank you for sharing with us. I am envious of this part of Houston culture. We don't see this type of dedication to the Arts in this area.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pamela,

      We do have an abundance of public art in Houston, and for those who like art, it is a definite perk of living here.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      I am amsazed at the amount of art in Houston. I like this article that shows so much unique at just as I like several of your other articles. I think this ma make Houston very unique as there is an amazining amount of art and unique buildings. I particularly lked the "'Dodecahedron" in this article.

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