Exploring Portal Potty and more at Creek Show 2022

2 weeks ago 46
November 20, 2022

A chilly drizzle connected Friday couldn’t support maine from seeing Waterloo Greenway’s Creek Show, an “annual show of illuminated art” on the banks of downtown Austin’s Waller Creek.

I spell each twelvemonth with household oregon friends to research the originative airy sculptures. Last year’s Creek Show abandoned the creek successful favour of the conveniences of Waterloo Park. But this twelvemonth it was backmost on the low-lying creek (where monsters prevarication successful wait?), with vendors and unrecorded euphony acceptable up successful the parkland for pre- oregon post-show fun.

Portal Potty

A preview of the portal arsenic you approach

Portal Potty by Salmo Gunn is the installation I astir wanted to see. A enactment of porta-potties that whisks you disconnected to different dimension? As agelong arsenic determination are nary leaks, I’ll go. Here’s the authoritative description:

“Like an municipality wardrobe to Narnia, wrong this magical corridor of porta potties is simply a seamless passageway of disco lights and whimsy. Interior walls and each fixtures of the Portal Potties person been removed, creating a hallway illuminated by twinkling LED strips and panels, with an exit successful the backmost that is not disposable to extracurricular viewers. Silhouettes of those who participate look to vanish astatine the extremity of the tunnel, creating the illusion that entrants person been magically transported into Creek Show 2022. This installation is simply a grin and a wink to look past the aboveground of things and to find quality successful unexpected places.”

Entering astatine the “hidden” entranceway successful back.

Slip connected a brace of 3-D glasses, and the magical portal is revealed. Away we go, into Creek Show!

Dream Pants

Next up is Dream Pants by Bade-Schaffer:

“In that twilight clip betwixt awake and asleep, I became alert of a flickering dream. Down on the banks of a forgotten creek, unusual apparitions were calling to me. Pants, conscionable pants, frolicked about. They laughed and whispered, ‘Hey, cheque it out!’ They glowed with the airy of a committedness to tell, that soon this spot volition beryllium blessed and well. Thanks imagination pants for sharing your secret! I’m truthful delighted! (I don’t deliberation I tin support it.)”

Black light-illuminated pants beryllium connected benches, playing guitar and listening. Note the pants successful the inheritance with existent radical successful them. Were they portion of the installation? We weren’t sure.

Other pants are climbing down to the creek and wading oregon sitting connected the bank.

A household of pants lounges connected a broad with plates of nutrient (HoHos?) dispersed retired earlier them.

And a pinkish brace of ma jeans pushes a babe stroller with a tiny brace of pants lying inside. Dream Pants was zany capable to go a astonishment deed with our group.


Under a span we recovered NeonCity by AIA Austin, a pleasing, neon-colored practice of Austin’s skyline:

“NeonCity is an abstract practice of Austin’s downtown skyline connected Waller Creek. The accumulation portrays the city’s colorful and vibrant vigor that tin beryllium appreciated crossed Lady Bird Lake, watching the lights of downtown and its reflection successful the water. As the metropolis expands, these gathering blocks correspond the maturation and imaginable opportunities arsenic Austin becomes an ever-evolving metropolis that creates opportunities for much radical to travel unneurotic arsenic a community.”

Enter the Dragonfly

Enter the Dragonfly by Odonata wowed maine with giant, colorful dragonflies that look to swoop and dive supra the creek.

Here’s the authoritative description:

“Enter the Dragonfly envisions the ecological restoration and translation of Waller Creek arsenic a steadfast situation for a diverseness of autochthonal life. Dragonflies are 1 of the oldest and astir reliable indicator taxon of a thriving and unchangeable aquatic ecosystem.

Enter the Dragonfly consists of larger-than-life metallic dragonflies hovering supra the creek waters, their reflections glowing beneath them. Using standard and light, the sculptures visually bring attraction to the captious narration betwixt municipality and earthy environments portion inspiring curiosity, excitement, and thoughtful engagement from the spectator with Waterloo Greenway’s mission.”

Changing colors…


Next up is Sirius by National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) of Central Texas:

To beryllium marginalized successful America
is to beryllium a prima connected the look of midnight.
We perpetually person to emergence supra everything
and radiance our brightest
When it’s acheronian outside. – Rudy Francisco

“Sirius is simply a ocular translation of the poem Margin by African-American spoken connection writer Rudy Francisco. Francisco’s oeuvre confronts issues of contention and politics, and successful Margin, helium expresses the diminishing feelings of marginalization done the quality of celestial imagery. While emphasizing a star’s solidarity and comparing it to societal exclusion, helium challenges america to ‘shine our brightest’ arsenic an exemplar for societal change.

Through a earthy meander drawn from Waller Creek, NOMA’s Sirius breaks down the rigidity of the bridge’s infrastructure and guides users done a postulation of star-laden vessels – a ocular practice of the quality and spot of marginalized communities. When we travel unneurotic we radiance brighter done the darkness.”


Luna by Austin Foundation for Architecture seems designed to look similar drainage pipes successful a chromatic partition nether a bridge. A reflector and lights hanging connected the partition make the illusion.

“The creation betwixt the satellite and Earth’s bodies of h2o is 1 arsenic aged arsenic clip itself. From influencing tides on our seacoasts, to regulating precipitation feeding our inland rivers, invisible forces are astatine enactment close earlier our eyes. LUNA seeks to illuminate the invisible bonds betwixt our situation and each other. With its mirrored materiality, the installation serves arsenic a awesome for diverseness and equity, portion encouraging reflection connected the thought that we each lend to the aboriginal of our municipality fabric. The infinity effect of the lights and the reflector creates a spot for everyone and alludes to the endless possibilities we each correspond to our metropolis of Austin.”


Environmental commentary is simply a fashionable taxable astatine Creek Show each year, and Inventories by Lawrence Group fills that abstraction this year:

“Joseph Jones, precocious UT Professor and champion of Waller Creek, would walk his luncheon hr walking the creek wherever it passed done campus, keeping an ‘inventory’ of things seen and recovered – flora and fauna, on with brew cups and integrative bags – acknowledging the signs of quality beingness amidst the abundant earthy beauty. For our installation, we are channeling our interior Joseph Jones and collecting hundreds of utilized integrative bottles straight from the creek and from different section sources, coating the wrong with luminescent paint, and arranging them geometrically conscionable supra the aboveground of the water. We volition past radiance UV airy crossed the tops to alteration them into a field of glowing objects – a agleam ‘inventory’ of trash – highlighting the quality publication to the communicative of this fantastic ‘cretaceous limestone gutter.'”


Good-Vibrations by Studio 5-1-2 ended up being my favourite installation, for sheer disco shot and stalactite sparkle alone.

“GOOD-VIBRATIONS is simply a solemnisation of the hidden landscapes that tally beneath our feet and proceed to signifier our municipality situation by bringing them to the surface. Inspired by stalagmite and stalactite formations wrong caves, this installation drips and oozes implicit Waller Creek to recreate a cavernous experience. Forms are covered with reflector pieces and spotlighted to scatter airy successful the tone of a disco, acceptable to the echoing sounds of dripping h2o and chirping bats (with immoderate remixes in-between). We promote attendees to observe subterranean landscapes with GOOD-VIBRATIONS by immersing themselves successful an acquisition that employs lighting and dependable to item affluent interactions and the creation of life’s organisms.”

Illuminated bats swoop nether the bridge, arsenic their chirps echo done the mirror-ball cave.

Waterloo Park

If you privation to be Creek Show, there’s 1 nighttime remaining successful the 10-day run. Free beforehand reservations are recommended to beryllium definite of getting in, truthful spell motion up now, arsenic spots are limited. The organizers person had to cancel a fewer evenings due to the fact that of rain, truthful that could happen. But if the Creek Monster allows, it’s a amusive amusement to experience.

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All worldly © 2022 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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