The Petals at the Blanton Museum dapple the hot Texas sun by day. After dark, they shine like freckled, supersized datura flowers. … Read More The post Evening under the Petals at Blanton Museum appeared first on Digging. July 07, 2023 I’ve been wanting to see the Petals at Austin’s Blanton Museum of Art ever since the flower-shaped shade structures were officially unveiled in May. For one thing, I’m a big fan of shade in Texas. For another, I love public art. The Petals are a grove of 12 perforated structures that stand 3 stories high in Moody Plaza, between two wings of the Blanton Museum. During the day they dapple the hot Texas sun. After dark, they shine like freckled, supersized datura flowers. When it rains, they collect rainwater that’s used to water the plaza’s new landscaping, mostly native plants in bermed beds whose edges double as seating. Under two of the Petals, a stage stands ready for performances. My husband I drove downtown to see them last Saturday evening, after catching an Asteroid City showing at the Alamo (fun movie!). It was a beautiful evening just after sunset, with the sky turning cobalt and the capitol building glowing on axis with the Petals. I thought the Petals would be lit from within, but the designer left that task to the sun. Instead, at night they’re illuminated from below, making them stand out against a deep-blue sky. Under the loggia that runs the length of the museum, a new abstract mural adds an energetic slash of Kelly green. Titled Verde que te quiero verde (Green How I Want You Green), it’s the creation of Cuban-American painter Carmen Herrera. We wandered around, just taking it all in. Fermob chairs on a small lawn and along the buildings can be dragged around wherever you want to sit. Two other couples were sitting there when we arrived, including an older couple on the lawn quietly watching the sky go dark beyond the city lights. It’s a romantic spot. At the other end of the plaza, Austin by Ellsworth Kelly completes the axis view to the north. The secular chapel isn’t open after dark, but its Jell-O-shot windows glow softly. We pulled a couple of chairs together and lounged on the lawn for a bit, feeling like Parisians at the Jardin du Luxembourg. Nighttime under the Petals was grand. Now I need to go back during the day to see them atomize the Death Star’s sunbeams. I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox! __________________________ Digging Deeper Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. Season 7 starts in August. Stay tuned for the lineup! All material © 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. The post Evening under the Petals at Blanton Museum appeared first on Digging.

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