The Downtown Plano Portal Project is up!  The project serves as a colorful welcome—a portal—to the Historic Downtown Arts District with the seven art installations lighting up 15th Street from US 75 to G Avenue.

“This project has been in the works for quite awhile and it’s so exciting to see it installed. The sculptures are beautiful and have so much life in them. They’re a great addition to the neighborhood!” Michelle Hawkins, Plano’s Administrator of Arts, Heritage and Culture told Plano Profile.

Read more: The future of downtown Plano as envisioned by Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere

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Downtown Plano Portal Project. Stars represent installation locations, the blue dot represents the median sculpture. Image courtesy of The City of Plano.
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The “median sculpture” serves as a gateway to Plano’s Historic Downtown Arts District. Rendering by artist Joshua Wiener.

Downtown Plano Portal Project

Traveling up 15th Street, visitors will first be greeted by the “median sculpture”: a striking white sculpture with the word, “Plano” reaching up into the air and topped with a female dancer swirling in pink, orange and green ribbons. The scale and location of the sculpture means that it is visible to traffic on US 75 and will serve as a striking gateway to downtown Plano.

The additional six sculptures represent arts in it’s various forms and serve as a celebration of the arts and Plano’s blossoming arts district. At night, the sculptures will be lit up.

Funded by the City of Plano, a call for submissions was put out in May 2016 and the city received bids from more than 200 artists. The final project was created by artist Joshua Wiener of Boulder, Colorado. Another one of Joshua Wiener’s public artworks can be seen in Frisco. Joshua Wiener’s Cloudscape, 21 saucers looming overhead give us a doubletake of a 50’s sci-fi B movie, can be found at the 79-acre Harold Bacchus Community Park, behind ballfield #9.

“The robust performing arts in Plano inspired this artwork,” says artist Joshua Weiner. “These sculptures are a celebration of art. The experience is based on being lost in the charms of a performance. Sounds, light, and movement all blend into a surreal mass. I wanted to blend the figures into the compositions in a way that leaves room for interpretation. Appearing as columns of smoky light, the musicians will evoke the experience that is to come. The musicians are positioned so as you approach, they emerge. Engaging the audience with wild and flowing forms will imbue a sense of excitement for Plano.”

Read more: Plano’s former deputy city manager, Frank Turner, on the future of downtown Plano

With the combined completion of the Downtown Plano Portal Project and the Downtown Plano Mural Project, Plano’s Historic Downtown Arts District is now home to 10 pieces of public artworks.

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Downtown Plano Portal Project by Joshua Weiner. Image courtesy of the City of Plano.

Rebecca Silvestri is the vice president of Sales & Marketing. She is also the wife of Philip Silvestri, publisher of Local Profile. In a previous life, Rebecca was a math teacher in London and the...