A pair of public art projects created in Scottsdale and Mesa are among the country’s best public artwork from 2016. They’re two of 49 projects recently singled out by Americans for the Arts.
The winning projects include Blooms by British artist Bruce Munro and Mesa Musical Shadows by Canadian design studio Daily tous les jours.
Blooms was commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art; Mesa Musical Shadows was commissioned by Mesa Arts Center.
Founded in 1960, Americans for the Arts is a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. The group leads a network of organizations and individuals who support the arts and arts education.
Each year, its Public Art Network Year in Review program recognizes the nation’s most compelling public art for the previous year. It announced recipients of its 2017 awards, honoring the best work of 2016, during its annual convention in San Francisco on Friday, June 16.
Blooms was a temporary light-based installation comprising seven circular platforms featuring multicolor fishing poles arranged to resemble the shape of a blooming flower.
It was installed along an expanse of the Arizona Canal at the Scottsdale Waterfront from November 1, 2015, to April 10, 2016. From February 25 to 28, 2016, it was one of several light-based artworks featured in the Canal Convergence event presented by Scottsdale Public Art.
Blooms also was part of a larger multi-venue collaboration called "Desert Radiance," which included different Munro artworks exhibited at Lisa Sette Gallery and Desert Botanical Garden.
The artwork’s custom pink and blue tiles have sensors that react to shadows by making various sounds. The soundscape shifts as visitors move through the area of the tiles, so people can create sounds through individual or collective movement.
Mesa Musical Shadows was created as part of Mesa’s ongoing drive to revitalize its downtown core by enhancing its arts and cultural offerings.
The installation was funded using a grant from ArtPlace America, a nationwide creative placemaking initiative based in Brooklyn, New York.
Blooms and Mesa Musical Shadows were chosen by a jury that received 325 entries for top 2016 honors.
Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, hailed the innovation evident in all 49 winners.
“These selected works reflect the incredible diversity of public art projects,” Lynch said in a June 16 statement.