Our view: Local Public Art to be Added to Thompson Park Aquatic Facility, Other Parks

Category: Landscape Architecture

Written By: Amarillo Globe-News

Date: March 23, 2021

The new Thompson Park Aquatic Facility, located near Wonderland Amusement Park, will bring various attractions to the north part of the city, including a lazy river, water slides and open areas for various outdoor activities. 

But Michael Kashuba, director of parks and recreation for the city, wanted to add one more thing that would “add a really unique splash” to the facility: a selection of public art. 

Kashuba recently made a presentation to the city’s Beautification and Public Arts Advisory Board about the potential of a rotating gallery of public art to be added to two places within the facility — one outside the main entrance and the other one at the lazy river. 

Currently, Kashuba said the department is looking to add foundations to both of those locations at the facility to host public art. According to previous Globe-News reports, the facility’s site is six acres, planned by Parkhill and constructed by Wiley Hicks with an $8 million overall budget.  

The parks and recreation department is in the process of developing long-term policy regarding public art at its facilities, including how artists and works would be chosen as well as how long they would be on exhibit. 

But since those conversations are continuing, the department has already chosen the artist to head up the inaugural works for the aquatic facility, Kashuba said. 

“Because we weren’t going to have it ready for the construction of this project, we’ve talked with a local artist, Jacob Breeden, and he has agreed to create two pieces of art for our inaugural year,” he said. “He is currently working on a couple of pieces, one obviously for the front gate and one for the lazy river area. 

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