Meeting at Patterson Park. Photo by Jennifer Potter-Miller.

Dance of the Cosmos Sculpture Moving to Patterson Park in 2017

Over the past several months, Friends of Patterson Park has been working with East Austin artist Jennifer Chenoweth on the proposal to donate her sculpture Dance of the Cosmos to our park. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department recently approved a final location, and Chenoweth has received a grant from the Austin Parks Foundation to fund the refurbishment and relocation of the sculpture. FoPP and four of the adjacent neighborhood associations voted to support the move (Cherrywood, Delwood 2, Mueller and Schieffer-Willowbrook). Wilshire Wood abstained.

To maintain the kinetic sculpture in perpetuity, PARD requires a donation of $5,000, which APF does not fund. The artist will be seeking community support for that amount.

APF will host a check presentation ceremony and discussion of next steps at 11a.m. on Monday, December 5th, and FoPP members are invited to attend. Work is expected to begin in January 2017, to be completed in Spring 2017.

About the sculpture

Dance of the Cosmos was inspired by Robert Putchik’s Theory of Emotions and a Tibetan lotus mandala. XYZ Atlas, a Hedonic Map of Austin, an interactive public art about our collective experiences. The sculpture has a footprint of 20 feet and is 8 feet tall when the flower is closed. The piece is currently on loan to the Elizabeth Ney Museum in Hyde Park. Dance of the Cosmos was created in 2015 in part with a grant from the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division.

About the artist

Jennifer Chenoweth is a visual artist and entrepreneur.  She is the principal of Fisterra Studio, creating contemporary abstract painting and sculpture. Chenoweth studied Painting and Sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute, has a master’s degree from the “Great Books” program at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, and holds an M.F.A. in Painting from The University of Texas at Austin. She has curated a group show at her studio and home for the East Austin Studio Tour since its inception in 2003. Her art is in the Public Collection at the Houston Hobby Airport and she has shown extensively in Austin, San Antonio, Kansas City, and at art fairs in London, Miami, New York, and Santa Fe.

Chenoweth served as a panelist for the City of Austin’s Art in Public Places and served as Design Team Artist for the East 7th Street Corridor Project, advising for the African-American Cultural Center and the new Central Library. She has received honors for her work from the City of Austin and Giving City. She recently served as the Vice Chair of the Arts Commission, appointed from District 3 to help advocate for creatives in Austin. (Source: by Michelle

Photo credit: Michelle Atkinson



Charles Heppner and Efficiency. By Jennifer Potter-Miller.

Artist Charles Heppner on the Patterson Burr Oaks

Charles Heppner lives two blocks from Patterson Park, and created “Efficiency” using photographs of the burr oaks at the park. He is participating in the East Austin Studio Tour, which is happening this weekend, Nov. 19-20. Visit him at studio #82 at 3903 Cherrywood Rd. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. By Jennifer Potter-Miller.

What was your interest in working with the trees at Patterson Park?

Trees in general are a thing of beauty that need to be revered, so I work with trees that are in my everyday life. I am at Patterson Park all the time with my kids, and got to know the trees, and recognize aspects of their beauty that I wanted to highlight.

The Prayer Rugs body of work are composite photographs using trees as the basis. Each work is a tessellation of a photographic tile created from photographing trees. In this case, the Burr Oak’s living in Patterson Park. These trees have an extraordinary movement in their limbs that is reminiscent of something called a Peano Space Filling Curve.

It’s not the same by any means, but I like how the burr oak spiral into the sky and this triggered that connection for me. As the tree limbs grow, they make almost right angles as they split off and fill in the sky.

The title of this work is Efficiency. You know, every tree has its own way of maximizing its ability to gain sunlight given its environment, depending on its leaves, where it is in the canopy of trees, etc. This one has a great overt way of showing how effectively it’s doing it because it’s breaking out into the sky.

If you look at the piece, you can see how there are dominant lines that break it off into little sections. And if you look at the individual sections, you’ll see how they begin to be filled up. That’s because of the movement of the tree going upward and inward, as I said before. That was the effect I wanted to highlight.

In this particular case, I exaggerated the effect by layering more than one image of the burr oak. That was an effect I wanted to be really seen, and it’s seen with impunity in this piece.

Could you tell me how the “Prayer Rug” pieces are created?

They are actually photographic prints. I use a printing company in New York to print them. I send them a digital file and they use a machine that exposes color photographic paper by employing a laser. Then they are mounted sandwiched between Plexiglass and plastic substrate called Sintra to create a really clean floating look off the wall. I think it highlights to beauty of the piece onto itself. There’s no frame to mess with what’s going on. I love how it’s a photograph that’s on the wall that becomes part of and is separated from the wall at the same time.


Charles Heppner is a multidisciplinary artist living in Austin.  He was born in Chicago into a large Catholic family where individualism was allowed unfettered.  He has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.  He has worked in finance and is a devoted parent of three children.  His current body of work concerns spirituality and the human relationship to nature.  Charles has shown his work in numerous galleries both in Chicago and New York.  His work is in many private and corporate collections throughout the United States.

“Efficiency,” by Charles Heppner

First Fall It’s My Park Day at Patterson a Smashing Success

By Jennifer Potter-Miller

While the first Fall It’s My Park Day at Patterson Park started out in a light rain, it ended with a bang. We had 30 volunteers from all the neighborhood surrounding the park and from The University of Texas tackle 15 yards of mulch donated by the Austin Parks Foundation. They focused their energy on mulching 36 trees  at the eastern end of the park, including many of the older oaks between the community garden and Schieffer Ave.

We are so grateful to everyone who came out to work hard at the park (including several as young as four!), to the weather for cooperating, to the Cherrywood Neighborhood Association for providing coffee and breakfast tacos, and to neighbor Robin Graham-Moore for additional refreshments to keep us all fueled. We are especially thankful for our partnership with the Austin Parks Foundation, and all their support for this event and so many others during the year.

If you want to join the Friends of Patterson Park mailing list to learn about upcoming events, including work days and celebrations, email or follow us on Facebook.

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Photos by Jennifer Potter-Miller.