Texas usually conjures images of oil pumps nodding up and down day in and day out, exhausting water supplies in some parts of the state, but public art designers Joe O' Connell and Blessing Hancock want students at Texas State University to see a different side of their local town. Located near the San Marcos River in the town of the same name, the university now has an installation of giant sized biomorphic "fish bellies" illuminated with energy efficient LED lights.
The fish bellies installed on campus are made with layers of frosted acrylic. During the day they are translucent but at night they are illuminated with a rich palette of colored LED lights. The installation was designed to encourage both quiet time and socialization; therefore, students are permitted to either climb on the fish or simply rest inside, and a touch sensitive control mechanism allows them to adjust the intensity and saturation of the lights.
In addition to being a really neat addition to the campus, this striking public art installation is supposed to get students thinking about the San Marcos River’s remarkable biodiversity and to draw parallels between that and the diverse student body. This hopefully promotes greater tolerance of people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. But here’s the bottom line: true to their own ethos, JB Public Art basically want students to embrace their playful side since all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.