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Massive Stone Art Installation Taking Shape On Mission Reach

The Mission Reach continues with its massive, multi-year transformation. I was there Friday morning to get an update after heavy overnight rains had swollen the river. The artist who is creating the artfully imagined portal at Mission Concepción is Stacy Levy.

“This park lies right between the San Antonio River and Mission Concepción," she said. "So my job is to create a place that is talking about both the river and the mission.”

The installation is massive: nearly 200 ft. long and 90 ft. wide.

“As you walk into the park you’re being brought in by these swirling vortices of walls," Levy said. "The walls are all sorts of hydrological patterns that kind of spin off the tower here.”

That tower and walls are stone, no straight lines. Imagine seeing it from above, that elevated tower as an octopus with curved arm walls spinning out in all directions, all set into ochre-colored concrete.

“It’s an architecture that relates more to the way nature moves, with curving lines,” said Levy.

Phase one of this installation was completed nearly three years ago. Now comes phase two. Levy explained the process they'll use.

“We’re going to sand blast away this smooth coat that’s on top will give way to a pebbly coat underneath," she said.

The sandblasting patterns will reveal watery, floral and amoebic shapes, that will seem to flow between those walls.

“It’s going to be fun for kids to run around it and trace around it," Levy said. "That’s what I would’ve done if I was about ten years old and I got to have a floor like this in my park. I’m really interested in art being more like a verb and less like a noun, so instead of making a thing I make an experience whenever I can.”

Mission accomplished. They'll finish the installation by this fall.

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