^
Keep New Times Free
4

Scottsdale Public Art Reveals Cost for Giant White Rabbit Sculpture

Here's a rendering showing two views of Tempe artist John Randall Nelson's giant rabbit design.EXPAND
Here's a rendering showing two views of Tempe artist John Randall Nelson's giant rabbit design.
Scottsdale Public Art

It’s been nearly two years since Scottsdale residents got a sneak peek at Tempe artist John Randall Nelson’s giant rabbit sculpture. Now, they’re watching it come together on the northwest corner of Indian School Road and Marshall Way.

There’s been controversy surrounding the piece, in terms of both aesthetics and cost. Turns out, the project cost more than expected, in part because it replaced an earlier artwork planned for the space that wouldn’t work in that particular location.

“The total cost of the sculpture is a bit different than the total cost of the project,” Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker wrote in an August 2 email to Phoenix New Times. He’s the public art manager for Scottsdale Public Art.

“City Council originally funded the project at $150,000,” he wrote. “We’ve had to add funds from the Downtown Cultural Trust to the project to cover some costs.”

The project originated several years ago, in response to Old Town merchant requests that the City Council find additional ways to draw people to the area, including a sizable public art work.

The artist selection process, centered around a public call for art, cost $6,670. Miami-based R & R Studios was paid $17,000 to design the original project, which has since been scrapped and replaced with Nelson’s piece. Another $10,000 went toward other costs, including city staff time.

Getting a closer look at John Randall Nelson's design.EXPAND
Getting a closer look at John Randall Nelson's design.
John Randall Nelson

Nelson was paid $10,000 for his design, which comprises a white, 26-foot-tall jackrabbit set atop a forward-sloping base.

Scottsdale Public Art broke ground on the sculpture in late July, starting with the concrete base that will take about a month to cure before the rabbit gets placed on top.

Ironically, it's being installed amid Marshall Way's ongoing transformation from arts district to retail hub.

The target date for completion is Friday, August 31.

Of course, creating the sculpture, comprising flat, interlocking pieces of cut steel, cost far more than $10,000.

Nelson’s fabrication and installation contract was for $114,583. Most of that has gone to R. J Ruff and Progressive Hardscapes, the companies fabricating Nelson’s design, Vaughan-Brubaker says.

Additional costs for realizing One-Eyed Jack include engineering ($3,300), special inspections ($1,000), traffic barricades ($1,300), and landscaping ($1,500).

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

The sculpture will be illuminated at night, so electricity costs totaling $8,000 are also part of the mix.

Other costs include permits ($500), printing ($500), and creating a plaque ($600) that will be installed with the piece.

Of course, there are project management costs as well, although Vaughan-Brubaker hasn’t put a figure on the cost of his own time for this public art project.

Although the project is slated for completion at the end of August, Scottsdale Public Art is targeting Thursday, October 25, for the formal opening celebration, to coincide for the opening of another Scottsdale Public Art project called "Local Light."

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.