White Rock Lake Wildlife Water Theater, Dallas, TX
White Rock Lake Wildlife Water Theater, Dallas, TX



United States

White Rock Lake Wildlife Water Theater

Funded by the City of Dallas Public Art Program, this aquatic installation was completed in 2001 by artists Frances Bagley and Tom Orr to serve as a theater for observing wildlife. The artists consulted with community groups and ecologists on the development of the project, situated in a defunct swimming area in the 1254-acre White Rock Lake reservoir. Located along 350 feet of shoreline, the installation utilizes ecology, education, and art to emphasize the lake’s importance as wildlife habitat.

Inspired by the natural shapes of cattails and lily pads, the installation is comprised of randomly-ordered poles and floating discs. Organized in an arc extending 175 feet into the lake, 43 steel poles at varying heights act as bird perches; fifteen fiberglass discs serve as flotation pads for turtles; and twenty polycarbonate rods powered by solar energy emit a soft light. The arc connects to the shoreline at two points equidistant from either side of White Rock Lake Park’s Art Deco Bath House Cultural Center. At both of these points, the theater is extended to dry land at observation areas with stone poles and interpretive signage. Binocular scopes at the Bath House provide for closer viewing of the aquatic poles.

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