City unveils art for new recreation center

Early conceptual art for the new recreation center depicts a design centered around birds and nature that flows from outside the building to in and back out again. (Photo credit Andy Dufford)

The City of Lewisville held two public meetings Thursday to introduce the new art that will be on display at the new Multi-Generational Recreation Center, as well as answer questions residents had about the project.

Artist Andy Dufford led both meetings with a presentation, which showed conceptual drawings and renderings of what the new recreation center will look like with the planned art.

Dufford said after researching the city and talking to residents, one thing that kept coming up was Lewisville Lake. After digging, he found out the lake was directly on one of the paths birds take when migrating north and south.

“That’s not something that happens everywhere else,” Dufford said. “It’s a defining characteristic of this region.”

He said he used that as a jumping off point for his designs. The drawings, which show a carved path with birds that will lead the visitor into the building and through it, was created with a tie-in to nature in mind. The design will travel from outside the building to in and back out again. Dufford did caution though, saying these are early designs and they are subject to be adjusted as the project is built.

“I want the work here at your facility to be part of the life of this community,” Dufford said in the first meeting. “I want it to reflect something special about the community and I want it to engage folks.”

He added the path birds take while migrating can be likened to life.

“Each of us are on a lifelong journey,” Dufford said. “I think there’s poetry in that.”

The drawings shown at the presentation are early conceptual drawings and will be more fleshed out as the process begins. (Photo credit Andy Dufford).

Prior to introducing the art, Dufford went through some of his previous work, which includes an amphitheater at the Grand Canyon and work titled, “Agave,” which is a stone made to look like an agave cactus that you can sit in. Dufford is a Denver-based artist who works with stone and other materials to make sculptures and designs in public spaces.

After the presentation he took questions. While he could not give any update on the budget, he said the process for the center is starting and the art would finish on time and on budget. He also guaranteed the quality of the work, regarding durability.

Dufford was chosen unanimously in June 2017 to be the artist on this project. The construction for the recreation center is set to begin in the summer and the center will open in 2020. Some amenities will include an indoor aquatic facility, gyms, workout areas, indoor walking track, hiking trails and classrooms. The Senior Activity Center and Memorial Park Recreation Center will be torn down because the new center is being built on the same property.

The facility was originally projected to be $38.1 million, but after city council proposed new building options in January 2017, the cost was pushed up to around $46 million. In November 2015, city residents voted for a $135 million bond package that included $243,000 for permanent public art installment.

To find out more about the new recreation center, visit the city’s website.