Tempe artist Danielle Wood stood near her newest art installation on Sunday morning, April 17, talking about her work with people taking a bicycling tour of public art in Scottsdale. Several of her ceramic works, inspired by cactus and coral forms, comprise an installation called Desert Playa located in Old Town Scottsdale.
Her installation, which is still a work in progress, will include a dozen or so unique columns or vessels, created with clay then embellished by carving, stamping, and glazing. Often her works are done in shades of white with pale hints of soft pink or peach, but she's thinking of adding some bolder colors this time around. Wood plans to keep the pieces under about four feet tall, with the smallest running just under one foot.
Artists Melana Barnhart, Linda Enger, and Xandriss spoke about their newly-installed works, too. They're all part of this year’s crop of public art pieces created through a program called IN FLUX, launched by Scottsdale Public Art in 2010 as a way to activate vacant storefronts with temporary artworks. Today, it’s a multi-city program bringing works of public art to all sorts of spaces.
While chatting with viewers, Wood praised IN FLUX for giving people the opportunity to encounter artworks beyond traditional settings such as galleries and museums. She's one of several artists with IN FLUX Cycle 6 pieces located in Old Town, near myriad art destinations including Tilt Gallery and Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.
Scottsdale has the greatest number of IN FLUX Cycle 6 installations — but works are also located in Phoenix, Glendale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, and Chandler. It's called IN FLUX Cycle 6 because this is the sixth iteration of the program. For each cycle, there's been a new call for art — with a different combination of artists and works selected each time.
Two more works in Scottsdale (Jeffrey DaCosta’s Decoys and Chelsea Rae Bighorn’s Feathered II), are located at the Pavilions at Talking Stick, where last year’s pieces included both Feathered and an installation by John Tuomisto-Bell. Topo by Matthew Briggs, Garrett Johnson, and Luke Kautz, is located at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Each of these works is currently on view.
People who missed the bike tour will have another chance to see Wood’s installation, plus more than ten additional works included in IN FLUX Cycle 6, during a bus tour happening on Saturday, May 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Basically, it’s a full day devoted to viewing public art without having to drive between sites in seven different cities and towns.
Two buses, complete with tour guides well-versed in these works, will leave Miller Plaza, located at 7620 East Indian School Road, that morning at 10 a.m.— after participants get registered, have some coffee and pastries, and get the rundown on IN FLUX Cycle 6 from Donna Isaac, director of Scottsdale Public Art.
Before heading out, they’ll get to see their first IN FLUX Cycle 6 work, a piece by artist Elijah Bourque (currently a work in progress, and not yet on view). At noon they’ll take a lunch break at Gilbert Historical Museum, which is included in the $20 cost for the tour. It’s also the site of Digital Permaculture’s Three-Pee and The Cosmo Arch pieces.
Tour participants will see works by some of metro Phoenix’s best-known artists, including Daniel Funkhouser. Funkhouser’s room filled with mod stripes in bright colors was well-received during last year’s ArtelPhx festival at the Clarendon Hotel. But now he’s taking his bold geometrics a step further – with an installation titled Hey, I Made This For You, which will fill an entire room at Practical Art in Phoenix. Funkhouser expects to finish his piece, which includes some complicated lighting, this weekend.
The Phoenix leg of the tour also includes a stop in Roosevelt Row to see Kayla Newnam’s Sunny-Side Eyed mural at the Central and Roosevelt Valley Metro Light Rail station. It’s one of many works of public art located along light rail routes spanning Glendale to Mesa.
When the tour bus gets to Glendale, participants will get to explore Troy Moody’s A Veiled Aesthetic, a 28-foot architectural curtain made with kiln-formed art glass, dichroic glass, and mixed media that is installed at Gallery Glendale at Westgate.
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In Mesa, they’ll see Amanda Clayton’s CAM at Mesa Arts Center. In Tempe, they’ll see two IN FLUX Cycle 6 works – Oliverio Balcells’ Color Gives Life mural on Apache Boulevard and Casey Farina’s cascade.erode.construct located at the Tempe Hayden Flour Mill. In Chandler, they’ll see Mary Shindell’s Digital Desert, Agave Unfurling suspended from high ceilings inside the Chandler TechShop.
There’s also plenty to see while the bus makes its way between various stops, given the prevalence of public art works here in metro Phoenix. If you’re doing the tour, keep an eye out along the way for additional works of public art dotting city streets.
Tickets for the IN FLUX Cycle 6 Tour are $20 and include lunch. They go on sale online and via the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts box office on Friday, April 22. Find more information on the IN FLUX Cycle 6 website.
Correction: This piece originally misidentified the artist who created Decoys as Troy Moody. The piece was created by Jeffrey DaCosta. Amanda Clayton's piece was misidentified as Life After Death, but it's titled CAM.