on April 5, 2016 / by Downtown Dallas Inc. / in Arts and Culture, Blog Posts, Parks and Public Space

Community Reception, Saturday, April 9, 2:00 – 5:00 PM,

Ferris Plaza, South Record Street, Dallas 75202


DallasISD students from the Skyline Architecture and Building Trades Clusters have created custom designed furniture, inspired by the Trinity River, for Ferris Plaza in downtown Dallas in a project created by Dallas art organization, Make Art with Purpose (MAP). This MAP project was produced in collaboration with Downtown Dallas Inc., and funded with generous support from Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, ART CON, Downtown Dallas Inc., the Beck Group, and Osborn Contractors Inc.

Over the past year the 57 students researched the history of the site, studied the surrounding context, and then produced a series of design proposals that were evaluated by the entire team of students and design professionals from the partner organizations, including Dustin Bullard, Vice President of Cityscape and Urban Design.

The scheme that was selected consists of thirteen concrete furniture pieces that will weave through the park beneath the Live Oak trees along Young Street. Based on the meandering contours of the nearby Trinity River, the furniture includes tile mosaics based on the seasons, which are inlaid into the concrete benches. The students worked with tile artist Cassandra Emswiler Burd on the mosaic designs. The focal point of the installation is a two tier, 6 foot diameter circle with a mosaic map of downtown Dallas highlighting the historical significance of Ferris Plaza and the park’s relationship to the Trinity River.

Founded and led by artist Janeil Engelstad, Make Art with Purpose collaborates with artists, designers and architects to produce projects that address social and environmental concerns. Working across disciplines, MAP projects include communities as partners in the production of the work, directly engage the audience to participate beyond the role of passive observer and involves creative collaboration from museums, schools, government, business, NGOs and other partners.

The Skyline Architecture and Building Trades Clusters are a part of the Skyline Career Development Center at Skyline High School, the nation’s first magnet high school.

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