Katy Trail Art Archives


The Katy Trail, Four Various Sights Along the Trail
November 2022 – March 2023
Artists Jeff Gibbons and Gregory Ruppe have created an installation that runs the length of the Katy Trail, from just north of its South Trailhead on N. Houston Street to just south of where the trail intersects Harvard Avenue. Entitled Borest Forest, Grunting Grasses, the installation comprises a series of vignettes featuring sculptures of squirrels that appear at intervals along the trail. The works may blend naturally into the environment of the trail, distinguished from the real animals only by their fixity, as well as their uncanny human faces, which resemble those of the artists themselves. The various placements of the sculptures along the trail suggest a narrative, a slightly surrealist story, like a fairy tale, that reflects the vaguely otherworldly experience of the trail itself—a thin thread of nature strung along an industrial rail line that runs through the urban environs of Uptown.
The whimsical, surrealist quality of Borest Forest, Grunting Grasses typifies the work of Gibbons and Ruppe, who often experiment with environmental psychology and sound in their installations. The artists have exhibited and performed at the Nasher Sculpture Center on three occasions over the past seven years: in 2015 for the announcement of Nasher Prize, Gibbons, Ruppe, and Danny Skinner performed Dry Again? with their water tank instruments/sculptures; in 2017 for the Nasher Prize gala celebration of Laureate Pierre Huyghe, the trio performed Jane Magnolia Jane, which featured modular synthesis instruments invented by the artists and a Ficus whose biorhythms were translated into musical tones; and in 2018 for the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music and Arts Festival, Gibbons and Ruppe created Grubnik and Suzanne, an immersive installation in the Nasher Garden which featured installation, video, and sound, including a duet with the buried digital head of Liz Tonne and the biofeedback of a live oak tree translated into English phonetics in an attempt to let the tree learn how to speak. Borest Forest, Grunting Grasses, with the artist’s faces transposed on sculptures of squirrels, continues the artists’ deep consideration of our proximity to nature, both beautiful and unsettling.
For the realization of the project, Gibbons and Ruppe worked with Nick Bontrager to digitally render and 3D-print their faces and Geoffrey Broderick at the Abilene Christian University Foundry for the final castings.

About Jeff Gibbons and Gregory Ruppe

Gibbons and Ruppe are independent artists who periodically work together and in collaboration with others, and whose work incorporates sculpture, installation, video, sound, and performance. In addition to the collaborations at the Nasher Sculpture Center noted above, Gibbons and Ruppe have worked together for nearly ten years on a number of projects, at Centraltrak and Beefhaus in Dallas (2014); at Epitome Institute in San Antonio, gallery HOMELAND in Houston, Carillon Gallery, TCC South in Fort Worth, and The MAC in Dallas (2015); on the set for Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet’s performance Masque of Red Death at the Majestic Theater in Dallas (2016); in Le Sud Bébé, Marseille, France (2018); and the ongoing Culture Hole project with Danny Skinner. Gibbons’s independent work and solo exhibitions have been exhibited nationally, as well as in Germany, France, Japan, Mexico, Denmark, and Switzerland. Gibbons is represented by Conduit Gallery in Dallas, Texas. Ruppe has presented solo exhibitions and performances across Texas, as well as in Miami, San Francisco, France, Switzerland, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Ruppe also serves as Director of Exhibitions for The Power Station in Dallas.


The Katy Trail, Four Various Sights Along the Trail
April 2022 – October 2022
For the Katy Trail, Hadi Fallahpisheh presents Guest, a series of four uniquely crafted and boldly painted monumental steel sculptures. These towering shapes of steel will take up residence all along the Katy Trail, marking the distances and animating the changing landscape. Fallahpisheh often grapples with issues of authority and vulnerability in his work as he deconstructs and reassembles human and animal forms. Often, in Fallahpisheh's sculptures, installations, and performances he reinterprets familiar scenes and traditional spaces found in our everyday lives with subtle criticality and subversive wit. Alluding to the dynamic and innovative drawings that are central to Fallahpisheh's practice, each Guest sculpture is a personified form of a Cat, a Mouse, a Dog and a Human, figures often found in Fallahpisheh's work. Fallahpisheh frequently positions these archetypal characters in relation to one another in ways that reconstruct and deconstruct existing hierarchies of power and position. These ever-shifting dichotomies of good vs. bad of antagonism vs friendship, form an underlying theme central to Fallahpisheh's practice.

About Hadi Fallahpisheh

Hadi Fallahpisheh (b. 1987, Tehran, Iran) is an artist working in photography, sculpture, and performance. His large-scale photographic works play on photography’s traditional role to reflect the society in which they were made, as well as the technical virtuosity that typically accompanies the medium. Rather than using photography as a direct document, he creates unique works that are the product of private in the darkroom in which Fallahpisheh manipulates the surface of chromogenic photo paper with flashlights and direct exposure to light. Cartoonish in appearance, his compositions reflect not a process of deskilling, but are instead the results of the constraints of darkness, and the limitations of his own body.
Fallahpisheh received an MFA in photography at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson in 2016. From 2016 – 2017 Fallahpisheh lived and worked in upstate New York, developing "The Truth Has Four Legs," a series of large format color photographs and a part-diaristic, part-fictional performance that was presented at locations across New York City including Simone Subal Gallery, UnionDocs, and as part of the New American Festival at NeueHouse. A publication documenting and expanding upon this body of work is forthcoming from Zolo Press. He was a recipient of the Artadia New York Award in 2020 and was included in the inaugural open call exhibition at the Shed, New York. His work was also a part of 100 Drawings from Now at The Drawing Center, New York as well as In Practice: Total Disbelief at SculptureCenter, New York in 2020. Recent museum exhibitions also include a solo presentation of work curated by Maika Pollock at the John Young Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii. Fallahpisheh has upcoming solo exhibitions at The Power Station, Dallas as well as The Pejman Foundation, Tehran.
Fallahpisheh’s work has been covered and published in ARTFORUM, Mouse Magazine, Forbes, Cultured Magazine, Flashe Art, Bidoun, The Brooklyn Rail, The New York Times, and Art Review, among others. From 2018-2021 he was a teaching fellow at Harvard University, and was a guest lecturer as part of Barnard University's Fellowship Lecture for Emerging Art. He has been a guest lecturer at Princeton University, Barnard, the New School, Pratt and The Cooper Union.


Katy Trail Art, Inaugural Installation
The Katy Trail, between Cambrick Street and Fitzhugh Avenue
October 2021 – March 2022
For her Nasher Public commission on the Katy Trail, Sara Cardona considered the essence and history of the Trail as a site of transit, transport, and transition. Entitled Seeding the Path, the five sculptures suspended from the trees over the Katy Trail between Cambrick Street and Fitzhugh Avenue feature vibrant colors and dynamic geometric patterns, the latter recalling seed pots from the ancient Mimbres and contemporary Acoma cultures native to the Southwest, ceramic vessels which were used to secure and transport seeds and represent the potential for renewal. The forms also resemble enlarged versions of these indigenous ceramics, as well as Akari lanterns, a traditional Japanese form enlivened in the mid-20th century by modernist sculptor Isamu Noguchi (an American artist of Japanese ancestry who lived 1904-1988). Cardona connected the spirit of the seed pots and Akari lanterns, which means “light” as well as “lightness of being,” with the sense of renewal contemporary users of the Katy Trail seek through exercise or connection with nature.
Sara Cardona on the Katy Trail:“I could not help but think of the long history of transport represented by the Trail, and its many layers. Beginning with what were likely ancient systems of trade by indigenous cultures native to the regions of what is now Missouri, Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and then re-designed for twentieth century trade on the KATY railroad line, to the present Trail paved upon the lines of those tracks. What intrigued me was the variety of speeds and movement implied by those various modes of transport, and the types of goods transported and exchanged: seeds, agriculture, cultural ideas, cattle, thoughts, human energy.”
Sara Cardona on Seed Pots:“Seed pots came about as a means of effectively preserving seeds for planting each season. As vessels, a small hole was created, large enough to pass seeds through but small enough to put a plug in or to be stacked one on the other, effectively sealing them. When planting season arrived, seed-filled pots would be broken, and the seeds released for planting. Because the seed pot contained the hopes and prayers of the people for their prosperity over the next year(s), it was decorated with the symbols and designs of sacred nature. These were often geometric and abstract, and included lines, spirals, and circles.The patterns I selected for Seeding the Path come from the very oldest Southwestern tradition, the Mimbres-Acoma peoples, located in the region of New Mexico close to the Texas border. Hatched lines usually indicate movement or rain. Rain translates to fertile land and represents a necessary vital life source. There are many motifs that imply prayers for rain and water. Other parallel lines may represent crop rows. Horizontal lines can be decorative or might depict the horizon. Spirals represent renewal and continuation. They might also represent a spiritual journey to other worlds or the broadening of one's consciousness. Circles might represent the earth, the sun, or the moon. Concentric circles might represent levels to the Upper World.”
Sara Cardona on Her Cultural Sources:“As an abstract artist informed by Mexican culture, I find my own contemporary sensibility is informed by my relationship to and curiosity about the varied traditions that constitute a Latin American experience. Mexican culture is a confluence of European, Asian, Middle Eastern, African, and Indigenous aesthetics. Much like the ancient trails in which goods and services were exchanged, art is also a continuous layering of traditions and ideas, and for the Katy Trail project I sought to honor both the oldest traders of the Southwest and the lamp traditions of Japan. My ultimate goal was to add beauty and an element of delight to the trees, and to bring uplift in our shared tumultuous times.”

About Sara Cardona

Sara Cardona was born in Mexico City and currently lives and works in Dallas. She uses the analog process of cut-and-paste to create collages in the tradition of early twentieth-century assemblage and in a nod to the editing process of film. These collages then become the foundation for large-scale sculptures in paper and metal, which are inspired by the idea of distributive human networks of capital and consumption. As an artist who grew up in a family involved in the film and theater industry, her work is informed by the intersection of artifice, spectacle, photography, and scenic construction. Her work was recently exhibited at the Erin Cluley Gallery, featured in the Nasher Windows series of installations at the Nasher Sculpture Center and included in Texas Women: A New History of Abstract Art at The San Antonio Museum of Art. She is a recipient of a 2020 Nasher Artist Grant and a past recipient of the Dallas Museum of Art Kimbrough Award, as well as a C3 Visiting Artist at the DMA. Cardona studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, received her BA from UT Austin, her MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, ME.