Best Of Tucson®

Best Public Art

Broadway Underpass

READERS' PICK: Amid the construction of Simon Donovan's in-your-face Diamondback Bridge you'll find Tucsonans' present favorite "gateway feature," the Broadway underpass tile projects. Artist Stephen Farley and tile masters Tom Galloway and Rick Young of Tile Canvases have managed to capture the hearts of the city with these four installations. The photographs themselves were collected from the community by teen volunteers and, with the exception of a young Lalo Guerrero, the individuals depicted are ordinary Tucsonans going about their business. One depicts a Sun Tran vehicle turning a corner, giving you the illusion that our transit system is actually running on time. You probably know someone who knows someone who is related to someone who is in one of the photos. It's art with a real sense of place, and money well spent. Hell, if we had an extra 170 grand lying around, we'd have Farley redo our shower stall.

OF MYTHIC PROPORTIONS: Main Library Plaza viewers. A new treasure has appeared just west of the Main Library: three pieces of art by David Elliott. Encircled by a dozen cement balls, these apparatuses are designed to gently tweak your perspective of our downtown urbanscape. A megaphone-shaped piece tilts and turns containing a simple prism, creating a kaleidoscopic Tucson. Gaze through one of several lenses embedded in a metal star to see buildings bulge, shrink or flip upside-down. What a great way to see your local politicos and policy makers! A charming, harlequinesque tiled frame topped with a silhouette of the old courthouse turns so you can view the actual courthouse, the library or just the bustling city streets. So take a hike downtown. Buy a paleta from the weathered street vendor pushing the cart with the sweetly jingling bell. Sit in the shade of one of the lonely trees in Main Library Plaza, and enjoy the view.

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