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Southside's Ballroom Luminoso Wins SXSW Eco Award For Public Space

It’s pretty much just an overgrown and forbidding area on the Southside -- the space beneath the I-35 overpass between Theo and Malone -- but here your tax dollars have created something special in Ballroom Luminoso, a public art project that has won the SXSW Eco Award for Transformative Design in the Public Space Design Competition.

The transformative design award recognizes excellence in how a design shapes or reinterprets the physical environment.

“The six sculptures are in the shape of spheres that are installed like chandeliers, and the sphere’s themselves are made of recycled bicycle parts,” said Jimmy LeFlore with Public Art San Antonio.

Though the idea may sound a bit odd, there is another element that gives it an extra dimension: Light.

“Those spheres have an LED fixture at the center that casts light in all directions," LeFlore said. "That light and the shapes of the bicycle gears are casting shadows that are very beautiful.”

Ballroom Luminoso is part of the bond issue voters approved in 2012 and is the first public art installation completed.

Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock, the Tucson, Arizona-based artists who created the piece, will be at UTSA next month to speak about the project. The event is called Public Art and Placemaking and will be on Nov. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the UTSA Downtown Campus.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii