Now Ready To Be Looked At: Montrose “Funnel Tunnel”

On Friday the volunteer-painted strips of donated scrap wood were weaved through the previously installed steel frame, completing Patrick Renner’s “Funnel Tunnel.” Funded in part by $10,000 from the Houston Arts Alliance, the 6,700-pound, 180-ft. long — umm, thing, wriggles through the live oaks on the Montrose Blvd. median between Bomar and Willard, right in front of Inversion and Art League Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s Molly Glentzer reports: “The wood came from a turn-of-the-century cotton gin that was being dismantled near Interstate 10 East just inside the 610 Loop.”

A few more pics of the thing:


A plaque in front of Inversion says that the sculpture is dedicated to the late Lee Littlefield.

Photos: Allyn West

27 Comment

  • Hope vandals will leave it alone for at least a little while.

  • I adore it. Super fun.

  • Looks even worse now that it’s finished, should be ticketed for littering the median.

  • I kinda like it, but it seems like it needs to be in a bigger space.

  • I love this town.

  • That’s really beautiful. I see they kept the opening high enough so that homeless don’t enter. Squirrels, however..

  • While a good effort, it’s just not nearly as interesting as the Inversion House was when it first appeared

  • That’s pretty nifty.

  • Trollers gotta troll…

  • Hmmmmm….
    Engage the ground, engage the trees.
    Make the installation about the place.
    There’s no grace, there’s no elegance.

    It’s so, so close. It’s a great ‘almost’, just needed another iteration on the drawing board.

  • This makes me smile — especially the way it sinuously weaves through the trees. If you have to sit in traffic on Montrose, this is the place you want to do it. I’m hoping it stays up long enough so that we can see how it looks in different seasons.

  • Wonderful. What makes Houston’s public art works great is that most of them do not take themselves too seriously. Joan Miró’s Personage and Birds and Dubuffet’s Monument of the Phantom are both bright, colorful and whimsical. The “funnel tunnel” is another great example of how public art can be both interesting and entertaining.

  • We need more crazy art like this in Houston!

  • You have to see it person. It’s cool!

  • This looks like the tornadic vortex that tunneled through and created the Inversion House and could do the same to any bungalow left in Montrose. I’ve seen some of Renner’s gigantic spheres of the same colorful slats and this seems like the humongous fallopian tube that spit them out. It appears to move faster than the traffic that sits alongside it. I love that the colors reflect the rainbow flags along Westheimer left from the parade. Best of all is that HAA money went to a Houston artist! If I put my ear up to the big end, do I hear the live oaks singing? It appeals to all my senses.

  • Looks cool, but I bet the guys who mow the esplanade hate this thing.

  • Art League Houston is responsible for all care of the esplanade while Funnel Tunnel is up.

  • Old School, exactly. Addickes’ latest should also make that list. I find myself agreeing with you more and more lately.

  • I wish it would be more accessible to pedestrians. Now, to inspect it closer, you have to cross Montrose, which is risky to your life.

  • It would be nice if some trolls, er, commenters would acknowledge that others may have different tastes and quit trying to drag us into their nasty little dystopia, ignoring that some might find it not one jot, tittle, or iota better just because it’s freshly built.

    Personally I’m not much of a David Addickes fan, but I find it easy enough to just not pay much attention to his stuff along the freeways and concentrate instead on enjoying the Lee Littlefield works, undiminished by the possibility that they may not suit someone else’s pleasure.

    For the record, I like the funnel tunnel. Dana X’s comment has given me motivation to find some way to plot against squirrels, however.

  • What a fantastic & fun installation! Kudos to Renner & HAA…

  • I love it… as my middle name in Montrose…

  • Finally had the chance to drive by this last night and it actually looks really great. Very unique!

  • A few lights at night, strategically placed could really make this a special piece of art. Ummm?