Public Art - Stuart Allen - Page 2
Stuart Allen is an artist whose work deals with fundamental elements of perception such as light, time, gravity and space. He has shown photographs, kites and sculpture in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and abroad. His work is found in many private and public collections including the Tokyo Kite Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, the DiRosa Art Preserve, UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, and U.S. Embassy collections in Canada, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, and the Republic of Georgia. Allen has completed permanent public art commissions for the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada and the Police Headquarters building in Davis, CA. His work has been published in a variety of books and journals including: Picturing California’s Other Landscape: the Great Central Valley, Terra Nova: Nature and Culture, You Are Here: the Journal of Creative Geography, Zyzzyva and Artweek. Allen has lectured or served as a visiting artist at many fine institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Weisman Art Museum, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and a number of university art departments nationwide. Allen studied architecture at Kansas University and graduated from the photography and video department of the Kansas City Art Institute in 1994. He lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife Kelly Lyons, their daughter Aidan and son Vincent. Allen is represented by the following galleries: PDNB, Dallas, TX; JayJay, Sacramento, CA; Jan Manton Art, Brisbane, Australia; Haw Contemporary, Kansas City, MO.
Stuart Allen, artist, photographer, sculptor, public art, kite, kite maker, art consultant, Jayjay, haw contemporary, pdnb gallery, science and art
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Aloft, 2010
U.V. ink on aluminum, string
5 pieces: each 9′ x 2′ x 80′

temporary installation: San Antonio International Airport
permanent installation: Rackspace, San Antonio, TX

Panel text courtesy of Rackspace:

Allen has been working with kites since the early 1990’s. He has constructed hundreds of them, from tiny objects flown on a thread, to aluminum sails designed to fly underwater, to huge paper and bamboo kites that require several adults to manage. The installation at Rackspace, entitled ALOFT, incorporates five kite forms that are based on traditional Japanese kite designs. Extremely low-resolution images of the sky are printed on the aluminum surface of the kites. Allen explains the connection between the imagery and kites as follows:

Regardless of its size in the studio or on the ground, any kite will be eaten up by the enormity of the sky. It’s humbling to spend days or months working on a large piece and then send it aloft to watch it sink into the vastness of the sky. Kites are designed to recede in space – to travel away from the viewer. I am interested in playing with that change in viewing distance. Up close, the heavily pixilated imagery is an abstraction. Viewed from a distance the pixels resolve into a recognizable image.

37° 48′ 29″ N ~ 96° 52′ 52″ W

37° 48′ 29″ N ~ 96° 52′ 52″ W, 2010
pvc coated polyester, stainless steel, laminated ash and cherry
each piece: 14′ 3″ x 6′ 1″ x 5′ 4″
overall: approx. 24′ x 24′ x 10′

permanent installation: Butler Community College, El Dorado, Kansas

Three individual forms are suspended from the ceiling and move with the lobby’s interior air currents.

San Antonio Riverwalk Installations

29° 25′ 57″ N / 98° 29′ 13″ W, 2009
stainless steel tubing, stainless steel mesh, powder-coating
40′ x 45′ x 10′

29° 26′ 00″ N / 98° 29′ 07″ W, 2009
stainless steel tubing, stainless steel mesh, powder-coating
40′ x 45′ x 10′

permanent installations: San Antonio Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX

29° 25′ 57″ N / 98° 29′ 13″ W and 29° 26′ 00″ N / 98° 29′ 07″ W are permanent installations along the famed Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas. The work consists of suspended, stainless steel panels – each enclosing five layers of woven, architectural mesh. The three inner layers of mesh are treated with a powder-coated color. As visitors move by the installations on foot, bicycle or riverboat, the panels change color due to the viewer’s shifting perspective. The project’s 24-color palette was selected from photographs taken along the San Antonio River by the artist’s children Aidan and Vincent (4 1/2 and 1 1/2 when the snapshots were made).

Installed at the McCullough and Brooklyn Avenue underpasses, the project is part of a significant public initiative to expand the San Antonio Riverwalk. Funding for multiple public art commissions along the 1.5 mile development was provided by the San Antonio River Foundation.


Parallax, 2009
UV ink on 1/2″ acrylic, fabric screen
each panel: 60″ x 60″, overall dimensions: approx. 20′ x 10′ x 9′

temporary installation: Artpace, San Antonio, TX
permanent installation: University of Texas, San Antonio

For more information please click here for an artist’s statement.

38° 44′ 48″ N ~ 121° 14′ 54″ W

38° 44′ 48″ N ~ 121° 14′ 54″ W, 2009
ash, cherry, pvc coated polyester, string
each piece: 6’7″ x 4’9″ x 2′ 2″
overall: approx. 15′ x 15′ x 14′

permanent installation: Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Women and Children’s Center, Roseville, CA

The three suspended kite forms rotate freely with the air movement in the hospital lobby.

30 Minutes of Air

30 Minutes of Air: each kite 398 cubic inches, the approximate volume of air I breathe in one minute at rest, 2008
sailcloth, fiberglass, string,
each piece: 7 3/8″ x 7 3/8″ x 7 3/8″ overall: approx. 12′ x 9′ x 3′
permanent installation: South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, San Antonio, TX

Commissioned for the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, 30 Minutes of Air is a consideration of respiration, rhythm and the passage of time. As the title suggests, each kite encloses a space equivalent to the artist’s tidal volume over the course of one minute: 30 Kites = 30 Minutes of Air.

– Tidal volume is the volume of air inspired or expired in a single breath during regular breathing.
– 13 breaths per minute at approx. 30.63 cu. inches = 398.19 cu. inches per minute.

29° 26′ 14″ N ~ 98° 28′ 55″ W

29° 26′ 14″ N ~ 98° 28′ 55″ W, 2007
sailcloth, maple, string
59 x 41 x 4 ft.
temporary installation: San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX

29° 26′ 14″ N ~ 98° 28′ 55″ W is a site specific installation for the Great Hall of the San Antonio Museum of Art. The title indicates the latitude and longitude coordinates of the site. Nine twisting bands of heavyweight sailcloth stretch east to west across the width of the Hall. Lit almost exclusively by overhead skylights and windows on the north and south facades, the piece is designed to call attention to the ever-changing color, direction and intensity of daylight.

For more information about this piece, please click here for an essay by SAMA curator David Rubin.


Start, 2002
sailcloth, laminated cherry and ash, string
92″ x 144″ x 32″

permanent installation: Yolo County Health Services Building, Woodland, CA


38° 33′ 05″ N / 121° 43′ 10″ W

38° 33′ 05″ N / 121° 43′ 10″ W , 2001
sailcloth, laminated ash and cherry, stainless steel cable
110″ x 120″ x 95″ (excluding cable)
permanent installation, City of Davis, California Police Headquarters

38° 33′ 05″ N / 121° 43′ 10″ W is a site specific installation in the lobby of the City of Davis Police Headquarters. The title indicates the latitude and longitude coordinates of the site. The piece is fully integrated into the building’s lobby. Braced against a recessed portion of the ceiling and anchored to various points throughout the room, it relies on the surrounding architecture for its structural integrity.

For more information about this piece, please click here for an essay by Celeste Chamberland.

38° 53′ N / 77° 02′ W ~ 45° 24′ N / 75° 43′ W

38° 53′ N / 77° 02′ W ~ 45° 24′ N / 75° 43′ W, 1999
laminated ash and cherry, sailcloth, string, cable
6 individual pieces, average dimensions: 130″ x 60″ x 60″

permanent installation: U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, Canada

38° 53′ N / 77° 02′ W ~ 45° 24′ N / 75° 43′ W is a site specific installation in the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. The title indicates the latitude and longitude coordinates of Washington D.C. and Ottawa.

The Skidmore, Owings and Merril designed Embassy building is organized along two lofty atrium spaces which run the length of the plan. The installation consists of six individual sculptural forms hanging at varying elevations throughout these spaces. Each hangs from a single stainless steel cable, allowing the sculptures to rotate freely with the building’s interior air currents. The sculptures are a hybrid of kite and sailing vessel forms. Playing off one another, they elucidate subtle varaitions of light and air movement within the space.

The photographs included here depict the individual structures. No installation photographs are shown because Embassy policy prohibits the distribution of interior photographs of the building.