Visual Arts

Arty Girl: Paolo Soleri's 90th Birthday

I get the feeling I've been pushing some early morning events on you lately and I apologize for that, I really do. But it's summer and unless you want to go outside in devil weather, you have the choice of late evenings or early mornings for your outings (although this week was a welcomed exception and we all thank the Gods or Jesus or Oprah or whoever is responsible for that).

Make sure you get plenty of sleep this week because this Sunday, June 21st, you're invited to a birthday party for our old (90 years old, to be exact) Italian friend, Paolo Soleri...

at 7 a.m.


In case you're not familiar with his work, Soleri is a visionary architect who has been designing plans for self-sustaining, utopian community structures way before anyone was thinking green. You've probably seen his baby, Arcosanti, on your way to Flagstaff. It's just over 50 miles North of Phoenix and has been under construction since 1970.

Through a non-profit program created by Soleri, the Arcosanti project has found volunteers and funding to build the structure and provide education about what Soleri calls "arcology" - the combo of architecture and ecology. When Arcosanti is complete, it will host 5000 people and prove that an urban community can exist without totally raping the landscape.

So the man responsible for it all is turning 90 and there are a few celebrations. There are a handful of parties up at Arcosanti, but, for us city dwellers, there's a little shindig in Scottsdale this Sunday...

at 7 a.m.

Ouch (again).

Anyway, Scottsdale Public Art is hosting this celebration on the Marshall Way Bridge. There's a continental breakfast, remarks by Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, photo opportunities with Soleri and the chance to see renderings of the future Soleri Bridge and Plaza to be completed this fall. The whole thing is over by 8 a.m.

Then you can go back to bed.

Celebration of Paolo Soleri's 90th Birthday and the Future Site of the soleri Bridge and Plaza
-Sunday, June 21st at 7 a.m.
-At Marshall Way Bridge which crosses the Arizona Canal in downtown Scottsdale, just west of the intersection of Scottsdale and Camelback Roads
-Parking available south of Camelback in the Fashion Square Mall's Nordstrom parking garage.