El Paso, Texas Dedicates an Artful and Iconic Gathering Space

September 29, 2017
Public Art

The City of El Paso, Texas, recently celebrated the dedication of Sun Pavillion, a public art installation that serves as an iconic destination for community gatherings. 

The City of El Paso, Texas, announced the official dedication of a new public art installation, Sun Pavillion. Created by artists David Dahlquist and Matt Niebuhr from the Art Studio at RDG Planning & Design, the installation creates an iconic, destination shade structure for Blackie Chesher Park, a large urban park and sports complex in El Paso.

Inspired by Hueco Tanks, an ancient Desert Archaic and Native American Cultural site, patterns of indigenous plant species are illuminated by the ever-changing and ever-present sunlight during the day, and by interior LED illumination at night. Laser-jet cut panels in polychromed aluminum evoke the craft traditions of papel picado, or cut-paper patterns and pierced-metal lanterns local to the area.

“To experience the sun in Blackie Chesher Park is to provide ‘shade.’ Shade or shadow is critical to creating a gathering place, especially in El Paso. The installation emerges as a sculptural pavilion of the sun and creates a special place for people to gather in light, in shadow and in color, orchestrated by the movement of the sun,” said RDG Artist and Senior Partner, Matt Niebuhr

The very footprint of the pavilion speaks to the sun symbols found in Mesoamerican, Native American, American and Latino cultures. The sculpture features a circular “oculus” that will glow in a dynamic ring and move shapes of light and shadow across the ground plain below.

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director