There’s much more than meets the eye in Floyd Newsum’s “Planter and Stems,” which is permanently installed at Main Street Square in Downtown Houston. The sculpture — which forms an abstract environment with a center vertical plant-like construction and surrounding smaller “stems” — is filled with symbolism that tells the story of Houston. Newsum includes geographical and architectural landmarks. He also honors entrepreneurs who had a hand in developing what’s today the fourth largest city in the United States.
“The stems make it feel like it’s a forest in the middle of Downtown Houston,” Newsum says.
The Houston artist demystifies his joyful, whimsical and colorful work in this video interview. Newsum points out the many representations and abstractions — including Buffalo Bayou Park and iconic Houston structures such as the Astrodome and Pennzoil Place— as well as delving into his hopes for the work.
If people engage with and meander about the public sculpture, Newsum is surely satisfied that “Planter and Stems” has served its purpose.