Great public art is one reason the City of Scottsdale is so special. This article identifies and describes 5 recognizable pieces from Scottsdale’s Permanent Public Art Collection, and where in town you can find them.
The Doors and Sound Passage
Scottsdale Fashion Square
7014 E. Camelback Rd.
Philadelphia artist Donald Lipski created this piece using Brazilian hardwood, mirror polished stainless steel, L.E.D. lights and thousands of hand forged stainless steel rivets and strapping. When you walk inside the three propped up doors, you find yourself in an oculus (a round eye-like opening or design) which gives off the illusion of an overhead floating dome.
People who have stood inside the piece liken it to standing in a kaleidoscope, which is exactly what the artist tried to portray when he was commissioned to do the piece by Starwood Capital Group, LLD, Golub & Company and IDM Properties.
7600 E. Indian Bend Rd.
This series of five, 14-foot high aluminum horses is encompassed by the flood basin on both sides of Indian Bend. The “equine gargoyle” sculptures were built by the Charles Wiemeyer Design Company based in Western Massachusetts.
When Scottsdale experiences flash floods during monsoon season, water from the basin streams out of the horses’ mouths, turning the sculptures into a series of giant fountains.
The horses are difficult to miss when you drive down Indian Bend road, especially at night when the sculptures are lit up with blue and yellow light (blue on the east side to represent water and yellow on the west side to represent the sun).
Scottsdale Civic Center Mall
7380 E. 2nd Street
Created by famous sculptor, Robert Indiana, Love was meant to be a symbol of Peace during the Vietnam War. The piece was built within the pop art movement from poly-chromed red and blue aluminum.
The sculpture weighs 3,800 pounds and measures 144 inches high, 144 inches wide and 72 inches deep. Indiana’s art was wildly popular in his time, and, according to the Scottsdale public art website, his “realist approach helped define a generation of art and artists”.
The Path Most Traveled
Loop 101 and Via Linda
Have you ever noticed the giant cacti, lizards, rocks, desert flora and fauna and abstracted Native American motifs that decorate the walls of the Loop 101 Freeway in Scottsdale?
Artist, Carolyn Braaksma of Denver, literally made a 6-mile long piece of art along the 50 ft high noise barrier. The walls contain 90 distinct images in total, and of those images, prickly pear cacti generally reach 40 feet high and giant lizards stretch 67 feet long.
Winfield Scott Memorial
7333 E. Scottsdale Mall
The Winfield Scott Memorial can be found near the west entrance of the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall. The two statues commemorate Winfield and Helen Scott, Scottsdale’s founders. The statues were created by artist George Ann Tognoni, who modeled the sculpture after a historic photograph of the two standing alongside the couple’s horse, Old Maud.
If you enjoyed learning about these 5 pieces of permanent public art in Scottsdale, you might enjoy learning about Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen West. Be sure to check back to find more interesting articles about the Scottsdale community.
*The photos of the art pieces were taken from Scottsdale’s Public Art online library
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