Best Of Tucson®

Best Sculpture

Father Eusebio Francisco Kino

15th Street/Kino Avenue

READERS' PICK: If memory serves, it was departed City Manager Manoj Vilas who claimed to speak for us all when he declared art synonymous with a statue of a man on a horse. An odd sort of purism to be sure, but he's not alone in the idolatry of hombre and steed. Some years ago, local lore has it, writer Charles Bowden was one night admiring with a couple of Mexican compadres the not-too-distant statue of Pancho Villa (possibly the object of the aforementioned faux pas). While drinking in his presence, if not exactly his honor, the two compadres finally let the American in on what they thought a hilariously subtle joke--the revolutionary's mighty stallion was at best a gelding. Certainly Padre Kino's towering presence on southbound Campbell/Kino carries a paternalistic dignity, not to mention craftsmanship that captures every ripple of muscle and wrinkle of robe as this caballo of Christendom steadfastly walks on, head low and mouth agape. Another one-percent-for-art project, the 25-foot cast concrete-and-bronze statue was created by Mexican sculptor Julian Martinez in 1988. Tucked back on the xeriscaped knoll of this drab corner of speeding traffic, it stands also as the fulfillment of ADOT's promise to bring public art into the neighborhood along with the roadway expansion.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Sonora, Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. We may not know art, but we know what we like. That's not to say that we like this giant red thing a whole lot, but the readers do and that's all that matters. Plus, it gives drunk people something to climb on after Downtown Saturday Nights.

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