Arty Girl: Janet Echelman Public Art Sculpture Update

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According to the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture website, crews were set to complete the Janet Echelman public artwork sculpture,  in the Downtown Civic Space by the end of last week.

This monumental sculpture (formerly referred to as, "Sky Bloom" but recently named by Echelman as "Her Secret is Patience") is made of two steel rings (the larger spanning 100 feet) and weather-proof netting. It's suspended in mid-air by cables attached to massive poles (the tallest at 145 feet).

I've been keeping an eye on the progress and even before completion, the size and engineering feat alone is quite impressive. In the end, the netting's shape - inspired by our monsoon clouds, saguaro flowers and saguaro boots (the innards of the cactus where little birdies like to nest) - will billow and move with the wind.

It sounds amazing and I've been pumped for this for a while (so has my beloved arts writing colleague, Kathleen Vanesian).

But when I drove by yesterday to check it out, I was concerned. With just one ring of netting installed, the work was not lookin' so hot.

A quick email to the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture reveals there's been a little snafu with the construction. Ed Lebow, Public Art Program Manager explained it like this:

"As work progressed Monday and Tuesday, the crews realized that the attachment points for the sculptural net did not perfectly match the contour of the steel rings. The fix is relatively simple, but it couldn't be done in the field. To assure it's done right, we had the fabricator air freight the net back to his factory to make the necessary modifications."

It's all supposed to be wrapped up by the end of the month and Lebow assures that the fix won't increase the cost to the city.


Stay tuned for updates and feel free to drive by (north of Van Buren, between Central and First Avenues) to see how things are going.

While I'm certainly eager to see this work completed, I am super relieved that what I saw yesterday isn't the final project.

All good things come to those who wait, right?

"Her Secret is Patience" by Janet Echelman is set to be completed by the end of March, located north of Van Buren Street between Central and First Avenues. All images courtesy of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. For more information, visit their website

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