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Funnel Tunnel Art Sculpture by Patrick Renner

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Funnel Tunnel by Patrick Renner

Funnel Tunnel by Patrick Renner

Amazing Public Art Sculpture!

Thirty-one-year-old native Houston artist and educator Patrick Renner created a fantastic public art sculpture.

It was made primarily from recycled and reclaimed wood plus thousands of pounds of steel. The source of the wood came from a dismantled old cotton gin. The slats of wood were splashed with paint and woven together into this sinuous form. Named the Funnel Tunnel, it was a fun sculpture to see and admire for the time it was on display.

It was commissioned by the Art League Houston with a budget of $25,000.

This twisting and colorful swollen snake-like form meandered through the trees on the Montrose Boulevard esplanade. You can see and hear Patrick Renner talk about his Funnel Tunnel creation in the video below.

Location of the Funnel Tunnel

Located at the 1800 block of Montrose and the 1100 block of Bomar Street, at 1953 Montrose Blvd., Houston, Texas 77006, it was a visual delight to see. It was directly across from the Houston Art League and Texas Art Supply.

One could walk around and touch it. The Funnel Tunnel was 180 feet long and varied in width and height. It was constructed in 24 pieces and assembled on the spot, which must have been quite an undertaking! Many volunteer hours of work went into its creation!

I was not the only person taking photos. Many people were doing the same thing as it was quite the attention grabber on this busy street. Many vehicles pass this spot, so whether the people in the cars stopped to take photos or not, it made for many memories that will not soon be forgotten.

The official opening reception took place on August 10, 2013. This Funnel Tunnel was visually appealing both day and night as it was illuminated at dusk.

Art is not only what the artist thinks of it while creating a piece but can also be interpreted in myriad ways by the viewing public. The pointed end of the sculpture appeared like the hairless tail of an animal to my way of thinking. The wide opening at the other end resembled the aperture of a French horn.

Temporary Public Art Piece

This sculpture was one spectacular rendition of a temporary public art piece in Houston. Many public art pieces on the city-owned property are only allowed up for a limited time, usually no more than nine months.

More about the Funnel Tunnel narrated by Patrick Renner can be learned in the video below.

New Home in New Orleans

Fortunately, it was reassembled and relocated to a street in New Orleans called Poydras Street. Others can now view and enjoy it for a long time to come thanks to the Helis Foundation, which helped fund the move to a permanent location. Its new size is about 30 feet shorter to better fit the site.

Funnel Tunnel by Patrick Renner in Houston

Funnel Tunnel by Patrick Renner in Houston

Artist Patrick Renner

Patrick Renner has his Bachelor of Fine Arts plus his Master of Fine Arts degrees. He teaches art to high school students at the Sharpstown International School.

At that school, teachers focus on preparing students for successful university careers. They also challenge each of them to become educated and wise global citizens.

He is continually utilizing and incorporating found objects. Everything from refuse to architectural pieces become new artistic creations. As young and talented as Patrick Renner is, I am sure his influence will be felt long into the future.

Closeup of the Funnel Tunnel by Patrick Renner

Closeup of the Funnel Tunnel by Patrick Renner

CAMPUS Art Studio

Patrick Renner has a large art studio called CAMPUS. Collaborative work is done there with other artists. Learn more about it in the video below.

Dedicated to Lee Littlefield

The Funnel Tunnel was dedicated to the memory of Lee Littlefield. He is another artist that has left his imprint upon our fair city with his organic, colorful, twisting, and often temporary public art sculptures.

Below you can view the Funnel Tunnel as it now stands in New Orleans.

Additional Reading Sources:

Funnel Tunnel

Patrick Renner


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 26, 2020:

Hi Liz,

Yes, I wish it could have remained in that very spot. It is because of a Houston rule that temporary art exhibits can only be in one place for a period not exceeding nine months. At least the funnel tunnel now has a permanent home.

Liz Westwood from UK on March 26, 2020:

This is, as you rightly say, amazing. It's a shame that it had to be moved and shortened. This is an extremely well-illustrated article.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 25, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

Squirrels seem to be curious creatures. I am certain that this sculpture was examined closely by them as well as avian friends.

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 25, 2020:

All I could think of was what the squirrels in those trees must me thinking about the huge thing meandering through their little patch of trees. Although not a fan of this particular work, I’m glad that you profile various artists and their creations. It looks very different close up.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 24, 2020:

Hi Manatita,

Yes, Patrick Renner did a beautiful job in this creation of his.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 24, 2020:

Hi Ruby,

It was so much fun to see while it was on display in Houston. I am sure that the people in New Orleans are now enjoying it equally well.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 24, 2020:

Hi Bill,

So happy that you are getting a good view of Houston and the surrounding areas, and have a favorable impression.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 24, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

I thought that the video really added perspective. I'm glad you liked it.

manatita44 from london on March 24, 2020:

A very innovate piece and Patrick Renner, is most certainly a visionary of sorts. Very intricate work. Awesome!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 24, 2020:

The funnel tunnel is interesting. I would take a photo because it is so different. The story surrounding it is interesting also. Thanks again for showing the most unusual sculpture.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 24, 2020:

Hi Bill,

I wish that it could have remained in Houston, but it is good to know that the funnel tunnel is now a permanent installation in New Orleans.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 24, 2020:

Hi Raymond,

The funnel tunnel was indeed colorful and fanciful. It was so much fun to see in person.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 24, 2020:

I love it! That is so cool. I just love the art you are sharing with us, and I have a high opinion of that area based on their support of artists.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on March 24, 2020:

Hi Peggy. What an interesting sculpture. I would certainly stop to see it and take some photos. It's nice to know that it found a permanent home in New Orleans. Thanks for sharing with us.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 24, 2020:

Patrick Renner is very creative and I like his work. Watching the video of the funnel tunnel showed me just how long this tunnel it and how pretty the colors are also. I really like this piece of art.

Raymond Philippe from The Netherlands on March 24, 2020:

I think it looks fabulous. Love its colours.