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Bright, Comfy-Looking Art Headed for Waller Creek

Orly Genger's undulating installations

If it weren't for the Waller Creek Conservancy, we might have given up on the Waller Creek restoration project by now.

The city's ambitious plan to build a mile-long bypass tunnel along the creek, thus reducing flooding and bringing 28 acres of downtown land out of the flood plain is moving along, but at a snail's pace, as these civic projects often do.

Austin should be eternally elated that the city has put the Waller Creek Conservancy in charge of the fun stuff: reviving the creek's ecosystem and reimagining the creekside, which it envisions becoming a string of green spaces, trails, and "interactive playspaces" that stretches from Waterloo Park at 15th Street to Lady Bird Lake.

If what the conservancy has shown us so far is any indication, big, fun, public art installations will also be part of that formulation. In partnership with the city, the private organization organizes volunteers for cleanup and other great stuff.

An equally important job of the conservancy, and one it performs spectacularly, is to keep up public interest and enthusiasm up by creating family-friendly but adult-impressing art installations on the creek on a regular basis. The group is responsible for those Creekshows we all go crazy for—the ones that feature light installations on, in, and around the creek every winter.

Now, it's bringing in something different: a large, interactive piece by by Orly Genger, set to be installed March 5. Genger's site-specific works are a good match for the location: they're mostly big, fun, undulating statements in the spirit of the conservancy's previous shows.