Local artist Bill FitzGibbons gave word to an electrician standing by in Bank of America Plaza to flip the switch on his newest light sculpture, Kinetic Skyline, at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.
And just like that, San Antonio’s skyline got a little bit more colorful.
But really, it was two years in the making, said Larry Mendez, executive managing director of Transwestern, which leases the building. Mendez is an art collector himself and wasn’t sure at first if the building’s new owners, Clarion Partners and Griffin Partners, would indulge his proposal to let FitzGibbons loose on their new piece of prime downtown real estate purchased in 2014.
Luckily for Mendez and FitzGibbons, they were on board, but Mendez credits his daughters, Irie and Miranda, for inspiring him to push for the largest light sculpture in Texas.
“I wanted to do something that has a very positive impact on the downtown skyline and brings joy to life,” FitzGibbons said during a viewing reception in the Plaza Club atop Frost Bank Tower. “To have Kinetic Skyline operate on a nightly basis, it’s my hope that it brings smiles to the people that are watching it. … the average citizen is the beneficiary from public art.”
The owners commissioned FitzGibbons to install thousands of dollars of lights on the north and south faces of the 28-story office tower.
He thanked the building owners and Mendez, adding that “they understand the transformative power of public art.”
Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) also attended the reception and complimented the work’s simplicity and economic and cultural addition to downtown.
“Private sector investment in public art is key,” Treviño said. “We need to ensure people become ambassadors of public art.”
The sculpture will glow blues and greens to represent the San Antonio River most nights, but has various settings for Fiesta, winter holidays, Independence Day, and more.
“It really adds to our skyline and makes San Antonio more like Austin or Dallas,” said Justin Roberts, who rode his bike to the River Walk just to see the unveiling. “Hopefully this is just the start. Downtown San Antonio is becoming the place to be.”
Top image: Kinetic Skyline lights up San Antonio’s Skyline. Photo by Iris Dimmick