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Fort Worth New Media Project Gets Lit Up With $225K Grant

by Jerome Weeks 15 Sep 2020 5:17 PM

Two international artists, whose works have been in Aurora in Dallas, will digitally project on all four sides of Pioneer Tower.


This is the multi-media project from the Arts Council of Fort Worth that’s been in the works for a while: It’s designed to light up the million-dollar-refurbished Pioneer Tower at the Will Rogers Coliseum — using “digital mapping.” You can see the process more or less get constructed and deconstructed in Quayola’s “Strata #3” from 2009:

It’s the project that renowned curator Doo Eun Choi was hired to develop. She’d worked previously in North Texas with the Aurora festival, so no surprise, the two artists chosen for this officially designated Iconic Public Artwork are Quayola from Italy and Refik Anadol from LA — both of whom have had works in the Aurora festival in Dallas and both have become renowned for their digital projections and installations.

The Arts  Council just received $225,000 from the Texas Commission on the Arts for the free community event.

“Melting Memories” by Refik Anadol in 2018 Aurora. Photo: Doo Eun Choi


Texas Commission on the Arts Awards $225,000 to the Arts Council of Fort Worth for the Pioneer Tower Iconic Public Art Project

Fort Worth, TX – The Arts Council of Fort Worth is thrilled to announce a Cultural District grant award of $225,000 from the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) for a free community event that premieres art works by internationally recognized new media artists Quayola from Italy and Refik Anadol from Los Angeles, California. These new media works will be projected on all four sides of the historic Pioneer Tower at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, illuminating the 204-foot structure in the night skies of Fort Worth during the last weekend of February 2021. Combined with City of Fort Worth and other grant funds, this $1.2M project supports the creation and presentation of the first of four major Iconic Public Artworks that will be accessioned into the City of Fort Worth Public Art Collection, outlined in the 2017 Fort Worth Public Art Master Plan Update (

Two years ago, the City of Fort Worth engaged local artists and co-founders of Dallas Aurora ( Joshua King (JTK Studios) and Shane Pennington (SP Studio) to assist with planning infrastructure improvements during the Pioneer rehabilitation project and the selection of New York-based new media curator to recommend artists for the premiere project. In May, Quayola and Anadol presented their proposals that involve the use of complex computer algorithms and artificial intelligence to interpret large data sets of images into vibrant composite works, which will be projected onto the Pioneer Tower, evoking Fort Worth’s natural beauty, rich diversity, and storied history.

The recently awarded grant is part of TCA’s Cultural District program, which funds programs and activities that encourage residents and tourists to spend time in State-designated cultural districts, which in Fort Worth now includes two districts: the area south of West 7th Avenue and west of Downtown that features multiple museums and performance venues, and, as of this month, the Near Southside district. These are walkable areas with a high concentration of visual and performing arts organizations, creative industries, restaurants, and other cultural offerings.

In addition to the Texas Commission on the Arts grant, the Arts Council of Fort Worth received a National Endowment for the Arts $10,000 grant for the project. Support from local, state and national organizations is vital to the continued success of bringing great art to our community. The Arts Council of Fort Worth is currently seeking additional sponsorships for this ground-breaking event in February 2021. Those interested in supporting the arts in Fort Worth can contact Director of Advancement Wesley Gentle at [email protected] or 817-298-3029.