Plum Creek, a master-planned neighborhood of Kyle, has launched an initiative aimed at bringing communities together through art and creativity. The public art initiative, named Rock the Porch, focuses on placing 20 rocking chairs, uniquely designed, at places like Lake Kyle, City Hall and other public areas. The University Star spoke with Kelsey Kemper, lookthinkmake publicist, about art, music and the future of this event.
EM: What’s the story behind RTP?
KK: Rock the Porch started last year as a way to engage Plum Creek with Kyle and its surrounding areas. Rock the Porch gets people involved under one initiative. This event shows how a master-planned community that includes homes, parks and natural trails is connected. It’s connecting and engaging through art, location and other people. It is a way of sparking a conversation through art pieces among residents.
EM: Who is encouraged to participate in RTP?
KK: We are looking for many different perspectives and ideas. Anyone who is interested can apply to participate. We’re looking for creative minds. Last year we had an art class submit a chair. We had a summer camp participate and a non-profit organization. We even had a Texas State alum participate. The call is open to any individual, group or business that is interested in creating a piece that shows their point of view. This year we are reaching out to the Fine Arts Department at Texas State hoping to get some student participation.
EM: What is the theme of Rock the Porch?
KK: Last year we did not have a theme. We decided to have a theme this year, and we chose music. It came from Texas summers and what you hear when you’re outside. It’s open to interpretation, (and) we’re hoping that people create chairs that represent genres of music, artists, songs, nature or whatever makes them rock out during the summertime in Texas.
EM: What is the message RTP is trying to spread/deliver to the community?
KK: Rock the Porch is trying to spread a sense of place and community engagement. It tends to spark conversations and art through individuals and as a whole community. It’s about getting people together, fostering a sense of engagement through the kind, warm friendliness that is common in Texas and Plum Creek.
EM: Which communities are RTP inviting to participate?
KK: We’ve started distributing posters, post cards and applications throughout Kyle and some surrounding areas. We’ve reached out to San Marcos, Wimberley and South Austin. Mainly we have targeted local businesses, coffee shops and artists’ groups throughout central Texas.
EM: How is the winner of RTP selected?
KK: The culmination of the event takes place in October at Plum Creek’s fall festival, Hootenanny on the Hill. In order to stay in line with the music theme, the Hootenanny will feature a live music event. The 20 selected artists will reveal their chairs at the event, and the crowd will vote for their favorite. The event is not about competing or choosing favorites. It’s more about community and art. The crowd favorite chair creator or artist will choose a charity, and Plum Creek will donate $500.
EM: What is the future of RTP?
KK: We’re excited about expanding the event. We’re growing, and maybe in the future, the chairs will be displayed in locations outside of Kyle. We’re looking to find even more creative minds and angles expressed through art and community engagement.