Public art nerds, take note. Local performing arts mavens Tania Katan and Katie McFadzen are boarding buses on the morning of Sunday, May 3, joined by fellow fans of public art, for a one-day, seven-city tour of public art works.
Participants will get to see more than a dozen works created for IN FLUX Cycle 5, the latest iteration of a public art program started by Scottsdale Public Art in 2010. Most works are on view through October, but this is your only chance to experience them with a bus full of fellow art lovers and shenanigan-prone chaperones McFadzen and Katan. All but two IN FLUX 5 artists are participating, too -- by either riding the bus or being on-site when the bus makes its way to their installation.
The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., beginning and ending at Phoenix Center for the Arts.
The morning line-up includes stops in Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale -- beginning with Peter Boos' The Re-birth of Venus, featuring brightly-colored plywood figures inspired by Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, located inside the entry corridor for the Phoenix Convention Center.
Next up is Mary Neubauer's The Weather Room, comprising translucent raindrops suspended from the ceiling inside Gallery Glendale at Westgate. It might make for a cool experience to lie down underneath the installation, as if lying on the grass while watching rain fall from the sky.
The morning wraps up in Scottsdale, which has four IN FLUX 5 installations -- including two located in empty storefronts at The Pavilions at Talking Stick. John Tuomisto-Bell's A Little Slice of Heaven features 40 heads plopped on green turf and surrounded by short white picket fences. Chelsea Bighorn's Feathered 11 incorporates patterns from family quilts into a warrior motif conveying strength.
Other Scottsdale stops include Market Street at DC Ranch, the site for Kaori Takamura's Forest of Talking Patterns created with colorful, patterned tubes in different heights meant to replicate the feel of towering bamboo shoots -- plus downtown Scottsdale, where folks can see Sheetal Shaw's Roots of Boteh inspired by the plant prevalent in India that gave rise to the paisley pattern.
The tour lands at Scottsdale Civic Center around lunchtime, where attendees will have a catered picnic and see a live performance by the Phoenix band Pageant. Somewhere in the mix, there'll be games, prizes, and other frivolities fueled by McFadzen and Katan. After lunch, it's back on the bus for the final leg of the tour. Sometimes the bus stops for close-up viewing of individual works; other times works get some serious drive-by action.
Tempe installations include Kristin Bauer's SEEN, which marries her characteristic use of text with the image of an early 20th century film star to create a piece with an art deco feel that wraps one corner of a building along Mill Avenue. It's just a few blocks from Abraxa by Rachel Bowditch, a multi-media installation that conjures reflection on the concept of utopia.
Along Rural Road, tour-goers will see Bringing the Outdoors In created for a storefront window space by Tempe artist Nancy McIntosh. At Tempe Marketplace, they'll see windows painted with a colorful array of flowers by Hugo Medina and Kira Olsen -- some of which have dark backgrounds dotted with stars that glow in the dark after nightfall. Their work is called Baseline Gardens.
There's just a single In Flux 5 installation in Chandler, which is located at Vision Gallery. It's Pete Goldlust's Chandlerplants comprising murals with whimsical images of buildings, animals, and plants. Gilbert's sole installation is Ann Morton's Picture Yourself, created with banners covered in imagery created earlier this year by patrons at Postino. The afternoon jaunt also includes three Mesa installations.
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Papered Walls by Jake Early includes more than 1,000 screenprinted posters that paper nearly 3,000 square feet of outdoor space surrounding local businesses. Animal Land by Lauren Strohacker and Kendra Sollers features projections of wildlife images onto a glass exterior wall at Mesa Arts Center. There's also a work by Roy Wasson Valle, whose latest twist on a fictional world he calls Crystal Burn includes three tiers of flowers with eyes surrounding a giant decorative fountain. It's called Rain Cloud Flower Bed. The exact order of stops varies from our sneak peek, so there's still some mystery for folks who favor just going with the flow
Tickets for the IN FLUX Cycle 5 Tour are $18, which includes morning nosh and lunch. Ticket sales end online and via the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts box office at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 30. Last year's tour sold out, so make haste. Find more information on the Scottsdale Public Art website.