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Art & Culture, Did You Know?, Sculptures

Dean Ruck creates “Ourglass” ~ Houston Sculpture Exhibit

"Ourglass" sculpture by Dean Ruck
Posted: October 14, 2016 at 5:19 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

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“Ourglass” Sculpture by Dean Ruck

"Ourglass" sculpture by Dean Ruck. I had some fun photo editing this!

“Ourglass” sculpture by Dean Ruck. I had some fun photo editing this!

Do you see an artistic version of an hourglass in this mirrored sculpture created by Dean Ruck, an exclamation point or something else? Dean Ruck’s name for the sculptural piece was “Ourglass,” and that title could have several meanings.

This fifteen-foot high sculpture reflected fractured images of our city on the esplanade of Heights Boulevard in Houston.  Angled mirrors depicted the sky, shafts of sunlight, nearby trees, passing vehicles and passersby who got close enough to have their figure appear in the numerous small mirrors making up this dramatic, eye-catching piece of art.

The dazzling sculpture along with the seven others in this temporary “True North” exhibit was in place for nine months until November 4, 2014, when the display ended. “Ourglass” was for sale for $20,000.

I can well imagine this pretty reflective piece of sculptural art residing nicely in someone’s yard if it is large enough or in another public space.

Dean Ruck

The artist Dean Ruck was born in 1962 in Hamden, Connecticut. He received his BFA in 1984 at the University of Colorado in Boulder. His MFA was acquired at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1987 in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

After receiving his Masters of Fine Arts degree, he came to Houston to become an artist-in-residence at the Glassell School of Art located near the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and Contemporary Arts Museums.

The phenomenal Cullen Art Sculpture Garden is located between the Glassell School of Art and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and across the street from the Contemporary Arts Museum.

Famous artists like Matisse; Rodin and Miro, to name a few have produced eye-catching sculptures which are in this outdoor and public space. There is no admission charge to wander through the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden.  Everyone can enjoy the unique ambiance.

So while Dean Ruck was spending time at the Glassell School of Art as an artist in residence, he was virtually surrounded by other famous artist’s works a few steps away from the school.

Dean Ruck currently works at the University of Houston as a senior project manager with Facilities Planning and Construction.  He also maintains his successful artistic career.


Dean Ruck has been in group shows in these Texas cities: Houston, Galveston, Albany, Austin, Plano, and San Antonio.

His one-person shows have been in Houston, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Atlanta, Georgia. He has also shown his work in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Havel Ruck Projects

Numerous articles have been written about Dean Ruck as well as his collaboration with another local artist by the name of Dan Havel. Together under the name of Havel Ruck Projects, LLP they have created numerous public art projects in which they repurpose architectural structures and often make them into temporary works of art. One of their collaborative efforts was in the Fifth Ward community of Houston.

Their creations stand for a time drawing crowds of people who may never have visited the inside of an art museum before being demolished only to remain in people’s memories, photos, or some YouTube videos.

Both artists relish that aspect of bringing art to people in public settings.  Below is an even closer look at that Fifth Ward Jam house both inside and out.

Transforming a wide variety of reclaimed materials into original forms is of great interest to artist Dean Ruck.  Many of his works are impermanent and short-lived while others are permanent in museum settings.

Inversion is another Havel Ruck Project:

The “True North” Sculpture Exhibit

By The Community - Pop Culture Geek from Los Angeles, CA, USA (D23 Expo 2011 - mirror, mirror on the wall...) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By The Community – Pop Culture Geek from Los Angeles, CA, USA (D23 Expo 2011 – mirror, mirror on the wall…) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

See the sculptural work of the other artists here:

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

The pieces of mirrors making up this Dean Ruck sculpture are not on a wall as in the fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

This artful sculpture does reflect beauty from all angles.  That is what the vain and evil queen wished to see when gazing into her mirror as portrayed in the Grimm’s fairy tale.  She wanted to hear that she was “the fairest one of all.”

Hopefully, wherever it now resides, it is being appreciated as it was for nine months on Heights Boulevard in Houston.

I want to think that fair maidens similar to Snow White are now gazing upon this beauty of a sculpture.







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