Wings Over Water

Wings Over Water is a monumental kinetic sculpture that is integrated into a fountain outside of the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. The sculpture was inspired by the theme of migration which is one of the governing metaphors behind the architectural re-design of the convention center. The massive scale and dynamic movement have turned the sculpture and fountain into an iconic destination of Downtown Houston.

The sculpture is composed of two massive wings that beat continuously creating a sense of progress and movement. Around the world, the symbol of birds flying into the air has cultural and spiritual associations representing hope. The sculpture makes the connection between human and avian migration thereby reflecting Houston’s diverse population and the idea that people come to Houston to have a better future.

The perpetual motion of the wings creates an energetic focal point that invites viewers to watch the mesmerizing movement of the undulating surfaces. The piece also represents the connection between the environment and the urban landscape. The giant kinetic wings reflect the movement of birds but achieve this effect through mechanical parts. The merging of the migration metaphor with a mechanical system embodies Houston’s unique integration of the natural world with the man-made. In addition, the intricate structure of the wings references Houston’s aerospace heritage.

Wings Over Water is a part of the City of Houston Art Collection.


2016, completed


George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX


70' x 25' x 30'


aluminum, stainless steel, electronics, stamisol fabric

Commissioning Agency: 

Houston First Corporation, Houston Arts Alliance


Joe O'Connell