Photo by: gustavo.tejal via Flickr
An unofficial Houston landmark, there’s an EaDo piece of art that perfectly captures what most Houstonians feel: We Love Houston. Anyone who’s visited 8th Wonder Brewery’s backyard recently knows the Instagram-worthy power of the 28-foot tall We Love Houston sign. How it came to be there, however, is a lesser known story worth sharing.
Let’s start with the man who made it all happen, artist David Adickes. Born in Huntsville, Texas, Adickes is responsible for several public sculptures displayed all around Houston. Some of his artwork includes the 36-foot cellist Virtuoso, the 36-foot tall Beatles statue, and his famous 67-foot Sam Houston statue in Huntsville.
After decades of gracing the city with iconic pieces, the We Love Houston sign felt personal; not least because Adickes funded the project himself.
The development for the piece can be attributed to Adickes’ love for the Houston people and the desire to see a Houston-specific iconographic image. Adickes drew some inspiration from the Hollywood sign and the popular “I Love New York” slogan. As to why he stuck with “We Love Houston” instead of “I Love Houston,” Addicks explained that the love for Houston is a shared one, not just focusing on one person.
The We Love Houston Sign originally debuted in 2011 at Adickes’ former art studio SculpturWorx off Summer Street, then moved to I-10 near Yale in 2013. Eventually, new housing developments and the safety of folks taking photos meant it was time to look for a new home for the piece.
Cue the EaDo International Promenade relocation to 8th Wonder Brewery’s backyard in March 2018, where the sign found a safe, accessible home that also provides a great view of the city.
With each letter standing at eight feet tall and five feet wide, weighing in at 600 to 800 pounds each, moving the art was not easy. It took an entire morning to move to its new home—but it was definitely worth it.
Watch the video below to see construction of the sign at 8th Wonder Brewery: