Apollo 11

Houston's space-age mylar Apollo 11 art installation

Brekke Fletcher, CNNPublished 26th July 2019
(CNN) — The fanfare surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing may be waning, but in Houston, home to Apollo's Mission Control, the celebration continues with a spacey art installation.
Located in River Oaks District, a high-end, open-aired shopping and dining complex in the heart of Houston, the immersive SkyWaves art project is comprised of 4,000 hand-cut mylar flags (the same shiny, durable material that was used to create space blankets in the 1960s). In concert with the Contemporary Art Museum Houston, the project was designed and produced by Matter creative lead and Houstonian Matt Johns and his team of 15.
Houston's space-age mylar Apollo 11 art installation is comprised of 4,000 hand-cut mylar flags (the same shiny, durable material that was used to create space blankets in the 1960s).
Houston's space-age mylar Apollo 11 art installation is comprised of 4,000 hand-cut mylar flags (the same shiny, durable material that was used to create space blankets in the 1960s).
Courtesy Alejandro Montoya
Upon entering the District, visitors encounter four draped flags, hanging and shimmering along the tree-lined street. The flags, as well as the indoor columns inside a former art gallery, were cut and shaped to reflect the American flag planted on the moon by astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. The kinetic nature of the outdoor portion of the installation is intentional -- viewers get an ever-changing perspective, depending on the time of day and the weather.
SkyWaves is both transporting and grounding, captivating and no doubt created in harmony with the age of Instagram. It's a mesmerizing spectacle. That said, in a city known for its miles of intersecting concrete freeways, big box stores and strip malls, SkyWaves demands attention beyond a selfie and a hashtag.
SkyWaves is both transporting and grounding, captivating and no doubt created in harmony with the age of Instagram.
SkyWaves is both transporting and grounding, captivating and no doubt created in harmony with the age of Instagram.
Courtesy Alejandro Montoya
Houston has embraced its NASA #SpaceCity identity this summer, maxing out on special events, menus, cocktails and parties. Yet SkyWaves gives visitors and locals alike an opportunity to reflect on the impact of space exploration, our brave Americans astronauts and their sacrifice.
This time of remembrance, like Armstrong and Aldrin's 21 hours and 31 minutes on the moon, may be fleeting. But the that momentous achievement, its power and significance, will never cease to be a source of inspiration for our collective, though earthbound, imagination.
SkyWaves if free to the public and on display through October.