10 New Public Art Works You Should See in Metro Phoenix Now

Twilight Garden installation by Joe O'Connell, which is located in a pocket park in Mesa.EXPAND
Twilight Garden installation by Joe O'Connell, which is located in a pocket park in Mesa.
Lynn Trimble

In an urban landscape dominated by billboards, fast food signs, and other uninspiring fare, it’s nice to stumble on a nice work of public art now and then. Public art reminds us that there’s more to life than logos and taglines.

And the Valley just happens to be one of the best places in the country to explore public art, given the prevalence of works by renowned artists. There's Janet Echelman's Her Secret is Patience suspended over Civic Space Park in Phoenix, Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture at the Civic Center Mall in Scottsdale, and James Turrell's Air Apparent Skyspace on ASU's Tempe campus, to name just a few.

Here are 10 new works you can enjoy right now in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe.

Detail of Jeffrey DaCosta's Decoys installation at The Pavilions at Talking Stick.EXPAND
Detail of Jeffrey DaCosta's Decoys installation at The Pavilions at Talking Stick.
Jeffrey DaCosta

Decoys
Jeffrey DaCosta created this installation for the IN FLUX Cycle 6 program, which places temporary art installations in participating cities, including Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Located at The Pavilions at Talking Stick, it's part of his larger body of work, which explores cultural relationships within the American West. This installation comprises wooden deer painted with UV-reactive paint, which are set inside a bare retail space where they're separated from viewers by large panes of glass. The deer reference the natural world and "the netherworld of new information," prompting viewer reflection on both what they see in the world and the way they see it.

Detail of Aritz Ona at the Glendale and 19th Avenue Valley Metro Light Rail station.EXPAND
Detail of Aritz Ona at the Glendale and 19th Avenue Valley Metro Light Rail station.
Valley Metro Light Rail

Aritz Ona
Franka Diehnelt and Claudia Reisenberger of Merge Conceptual Design created one of several new public art works located on a new northwest extension of the Valley Metro line. It’s inspired by the origins of the state’s name in a Basque settlers’ term “aritz ona,” which translates to “the good oak tree.” The installation features organically shaped canopies placed to conjure images of nature walks, and five trees bearing metal sequin leaves that catch the light. It’s located at the Glendale and 19th Avenue Valley Metro Light Rail station.

Mary Shindell's Digital Desert, Agave Unfurling on view at TechShop Chandler.EXPAND
Mary Shindell's Digital Desert, Agave Unfurling on view at TechShop Chandler.
Dan Delaney

Digital Desert, Agave Unfurling
Mary Shindell has been especially busy in the realm of public art, creating several new works that include this piece that hangs inside TechShop Chandler. The piece blends industrial materials with the softness of images of desert plant life. Shindell used plexiglass disks and steel to depict the rapidly growing agave tree, adding hummingbirds because they're a constant presence as these plants spiral and grow. It’s also part of IN FLUX Cycle 6.

Detail of Edina Tokodi's Billboard Mindscape for Scottsdale Public Art.EXPAND
Detail of Edina Tokodi's Billboard Mindscape for Scottsdale Public Art.
Lynn Trimble

Billboard Mindscape
First on view at Canal Convergence 2016, this mixed-media installation commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art has been moved to a public art space called the Bell Tower, which is located at the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall – home of Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Created by Edina Tokodi, the installation is an urban collage created with organic and inorganic elements meant to signal the dualistic nature of the Arizona landscape.

Tempe mural by Oliverio Balcells called Color Gives Life.EXPAND
Tempe mural by Oliverio Balcells called Color Gives Life.
Oliverio Balcells

Color Gives Life
Tempe artist Oliverio Balcells painted a mural on a building that once housed a business called Baker’s Painting and Decorating Supplies, which is located at 1930 East Apache Boulevard in Tempe. The work references the building’s history and its relationship to farming in the region. Featured elements include date palms, cotton plants, and imagery that harkens back to the Baker’s paint can logo. (And let’s face it, vintage logos are easier on the eye than some of today’s garish options.) The mural, created through a City of Tempe and NEDCO partnership, is also part of the IN FLUX Cycle 6 lineup. Other public art pieces coming to Tempe include a mural by Jake Early (expected next spring) and a Broadway Road streetscape by Laurie Lundquist and Rebecca Ross.

 

Detail of Nectar Corridor by Deborah Mersky, located at the Northern and 19th Avenue Valley Metro Light Rail station.EXPAND
Detail of Nectar Corridor by Deborah Mersky, located at the Northern and 19th Avenue Valley Metro Light Rail station.
Valley Metro Light Rail

Nectar Corridor
Created by Texas artist Deborah Mersky, this public art work comprises cut metal screens with images of bats, birds, bees, and moths. It’s designed to highlight Phoenix’s role as a pathway for pollination and migratory birds, and to remind viewers that traveling is essential for humans as well as other species. Using colorful metal screens and terrazzo carpets, which are arranged around concrete imprinted with wood grain, the artist worked to create an intimate room-like space.

Detail of Troy Moody's A Veiled Aesthetic installed at Gallery Glendale at Westgate.EXPAND
Detail of Troy Moody's A Veiled Aesthetic installed at Gallery Glendale at Westgate.
Troy Moody

A Veiled Aesthetic
Troy Moody created this installation comprising a 28-foot architectural curtain, which is on view at Gallery Glendale at Westgate. The curtain was made with kiln-formed art glass, large-format dichroic glass, and mixed media — and includes large ribbons of dichroic glass with salvaged wood. It’s another piece in the IN FLUX Cycle 6 program.

New El Mac mural, so far untitled, at Mesa Arts Center.EXPAND
New El Mac mural, so far untitled, at Mesa Arts Center.
Lynn Trimble

El Mac Mural
Internationally renowned muralist El Mac (Miles “Mac” MacGregor), who was raised in metro Phoenix and has several murals around the city, recently painted a mural commissioned by Mesa Arts Center to commemorate its 10th anniversary. It’s located on the north-facing exterior of Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, where an exhibition of the artist’s work opens in mid-May. Untitled at this point, the two-story mural bears the image of a pregnant woman holding a red long-stem rose. Also, Mesa Arts Center just revealed another new work of public art called Mesa Musical Shadows, comprising a permanent tile installation with interactive properties by Montreal artists Daily tous les jours. 

Detail of Sunny-Side Eyed by Kayla Newnam, located at the Central and Roosevelt Valley Metro Light Rail Station.EXPAND
Detail of Sunny-Side Eyed by Kayla Newnam, located at the Central and Roosevelt Valley Metro Light Rail Station.
Lynn Trimble

Sunny-Side Eyed
Kayla Newnam painted a mural with a surrealistic circus vibe for the Valley Metro Light Rail stop at Central and Roosevelt. In addition to the mural, which bears images of eggs cooked sunny-side up and several whimsical characters, Newnam designed a graphic decal titled Eggy Visions that’s been applied to one bus and train in circulation. Also an INFLUX Cycle 6 piece, it will be up for just six months. After that, Such Styles (Noe’ Baez) will create a mural in the same spot – as well as a graphic decal to grace one bus and train.

Sculptures by Joe O'Connell for his Twilight Garden installation in Mesa.EXPAND
Sculptures by Joe O'Connell for his Twilight Garden installation in Mesa.
Lynn Trimble

Twilight Garden
Joe O'Connell of Tucson-based Creative Machines created four acrylic sculptures with playful curved shapes that dot the plaza of a pocket park along the Central Mesa Light Rail line. By day, they're simple white structures, but during the night they turn bright colors and glow in the dark. The park, which also features a new public art piece by Mary Shindell, is located on Main Street just east of Country Club. 

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Scottsdale Pavilions

9175 E. Indian Bend
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

480-362-5190

www.thepavilionsattalkingstick.com

miles
TechShop Chandler

249 E. Chicago St.
Chandler, AZ 85225

480-327-0820

techshop.ws/ts_chandler.html

miles
Roosevelt Row

Roosevelt St. from 7th St. to 7th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

www.rooseveltrow.org

miles
Scottsdale Civic Center Mall

3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

480-874-4607

www.scottsdaleaz.gov/parks/ScottsdaleMall


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