Co.Design

Exposing Texas's Ungodly Heat, With Giant Melting Crayon Sculptures

Herb Williams builds 3-D flames out of 60,000 to 70,000 Crayola crayons that melt and warp under the raging Texas sun, exposing the conditions that stoke real wildfires.

Blazes have been ripping across Texas this year, as the state endures its worst drought in history. To educate the public about wildfires, the National Ranching Heritage Center (NRHC) in Lubbock commissioned Tennessee artist Herb Williams to construct a smattering of giant, flame-shaped sculptures, some 8 feet tall, using 60,000 to 70,000 Crayola crayons.

As time passes, the crayons melt and warp on the landscape, their slumped forms exposing the parched, blowy conditions that feed real flames. Unwanted Visitor: Portrait of Wildfire opened October 7 and already, as you can see in the photo above, the sculptures have liquefied significantly.

Williams built Unwanted Visitor with a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts. "We were very excited about this because their budget has been cut so drastically this year," NRHC’s Emily Arellano tells Co.Design. Guess Williams’s installation highlights another destructive force in Texas: That of its budget-slashing politicians.

[Images courtesy of the National Ranching Heritage Center]

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14 Comments

  • MeggyLin

    This is awesome...  My home county was one of the ones hit by massive wildfires but we received none of the federal aid provided in June.  I only wish they had hired a Texas artist, since we're the ones "in the fire," so to say.

  • Normanbeasleyii

    I love how inventive the sculpture was but of course Gargoyle not as inventive as people in America that buy more then they need.  :)

  • Hellfire7885

    And the governor's solution to the drought was, prayer. Not trucking water in, prayer

  • Thad

     Actually your tax dollars go to:  Social Security, National Defense, Medicare, Income Security, Net Interest, and Health, and then to many other smaller slices of the pie, and then in such a small minute sliver off a miniscule slice is actually going to any kind of art whatsoever. The smallest fraction of a penny per dollar.

    I tell you what, no one's crayon sculpture will ever need you to bail it out, and then walk away with millions in pay-offs scott-free.

  • rx

    Yes, Gargoyle, your taxes are paying for someone's crayons.  Bravo.

    Fucking pessimists, seriously.

  • uncledude

    Gargoyle is right. Our deficit has nothing to do with $3 trillion wars.  Good catch. 

  • Glen Isip

    A bit ironic that the drippings seem to be smothering what grass is still growing...