Best Public Art Commission (Since 7/97)

Downtown Bus Stops
Five Locations

READERS' PICK: Say you're a derelict and trying to sleep off a hangover. You wake up in the sawed-off back of a '50s roadster to see four winged angels pulling a sheet down over your head. Have you died and gone to heaven? No, you're just at one of SunTran's new ART STOPS. From the subtle, ivy-covered University Main Gate stop to the whimsical, weird chair-stop on Fourth Avenue, these five transit coverts seem designed to do more than keep you out of the weather. The business district's pair on Church and Stone avenues (near the court buildings and City Hall) seem to encourage introspection, while the Greyhound station's "coupe de grace" is much more provocative and challenging.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Aviation Parkway Photography Mural. This project hasn't even started yet, and already people are talking about it. It won our runner-up slot by a narrow margin, edging out the Tucson Arts District-sponsored Phantom Gallery and Phantom Sculpture exhibits occupying empty downtown window displays and public spaces; and the still-under-constuction federal courthouse mural by local painter Jim Waid. You'll just have to wait till next year to see these winning endeavors.

CLUE IN: Under the auspices of the UA Museum of Art, a wonderful addition to the public art spectrum cropped up this year on the UA mall in the guise of the Campus Outdoor Sculpture exhibit by Sierra Vista artist Robert Wick. The collection of 12 bronze installations peppered the UA's main pedestrian thoroughfare between University Boulevard and Campbell Avenue, pairing arresting abstract metal work with remnants of the natural world and other elements to create a unique homage to the desert. Titles like "Classic," "Appleseed," "Shift," "Many Arms," "Land Bridge One" and "Chiracahua" hint at the diversity of Wick's subject matter. Though some of the sculptures have already been carted back to their creator, six will remain on campus until December. And rumor has it the UAMA is looking at purchasing at least a few of these pieces for permanent display. Though the outdoor exhibit was conceived for functional reasons (given the size and scope, that was the only place to do it), we love the idea of bringing the museum outdoors and into the realm of public art.

Case History

1996 Winner: Main Library Sculpture

Page Back

Copyright © 1995-98 Tucson Weekly
Page Forward