Category Archives: Public Art

The Holiness Project comes to the Ice House

The Holiness Project at the Ice House 05-03-14

Multimedia performance event The Holiness arrives at The Ice House on May 3, 2014.

The Holiness Project will be presented at The Icehouse Phoenix located at 429 W Jackson St., Phoenix, AZ, 85003 on Saturday, May 3rd from 7:00 to 9:30pm with reception immediately following. Featuring performances from local artists Taran Emmert, Patrick Michael Finn, Jake Friedman and Four Chambers Press, Heather Lee Harper, Keith Kelly, Jeanette LeBlanc, Akiva Yael, Ashley Oakley, John Elliott Oyzon, Erin Schaad, Chris Danowski, Melissa Tramuta, Jane Ysadora, and Cassandra Wallick; with visual art from Joshua T. Ruth, Jillian Sinclair, Chanelle Sinclair, and Indiana Nelson. Cuisine by 24 Carrots.

The Holiness Project is a multimedia performance event and art show exploring the intersection of the sacred and the mundane. What does holiness mean on the most personal level? What happens when the ordinary objects of our bodies, lives, minds and hearts cross paths with something greater? The Holiness Project explores these questions in an immersive/interactive evening of film, dance, performance art, poetry, music, and kirtan.

Doors at 6:30. Performance promptly at 7:00pm. Admission is $11, no one turned away. For more information, contact Jane Ysadora at

You can follow the Project’s event and even Join on Facebook. And yes, there’s even an informative website!

Artist Janet Echelman named 2012 Architectural Digest Innovator

Janet Echelman in her Brookline, MA studio. (Photo: Bob O’Connor)

[Source: Architectural Digest] – Architectural Digest has announced their 2012 AD Innovators. “Whether experimenting with digital technology, transforming well-worn terrain, or rethinking ancient crafts, these eight cutting-edge talents are challenging received wisdom and conjuring a bold new world.”

Among the eight is Janet Echelman, designer of the public art piece, “Her Secret is Patience,” in downtown Phoenix’s Civic Space Park. “With her billowing public artworks, an ambitious artist is changing the very essence of urban spaces.”

Read the Architectural Digest article here.

Public Art in Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix is often a pretty frustrating place for an urbanist like myself.  One of the things that offsets the negative urban aspects of our downtown core is its great public art.  Apparently, I’m not the only person to think so.

Earlier this summer, two public art pieces in downtown Phoenix topped Americans for the Arts‘ 2010 list of the 40 best public art works in the United States and Canada: the well-known Her Secret is Patience by Janet Echelman at the Civic Space Park and Habitat by Christy Ten Eyck and Judeen Terrey at the Phoenix Convention Center. A third Phoenix piece, Spirit of Inquiry at the University and Rural light rail station ASU  by Bill Will and Norie Sato,  is easily accessible from downtown Phoenix on light rail

"Her Secret Is Patience" (Source:

The pieces were selected for Americans for the Arts’ 2010 Public Art Year in Review which recognizes 40 of the year’s best public art works in the United States and Canada.  This year’s selections consisted of projects from 29 cities in 15 states and provinces. The works were chosen from more than 300 entries from across Canada and the United States.  Phoenix and Houston were the only two cities to have three pieces recognized.  Five cities had two pieces selected.

"Habitat" (Source:

Two independent public art experts—artists Helen Lessick and Fred Wilson—compiled the list, which reflects the most exemplary, innovative permanent or temporary public art works created or debuted in 2009.  This is the 10th year that Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts, has recognized public art works.

"Spirit of Inquiry" (Source: Valley Metro)

To learn more about public art in and around downtown Phoenix, check out this excelent post by Meghanne Bearden for the Phoenix Community Alliance.

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Artists Wanted for Canal Crossings Public Art Project

[Source: Lilia Menconi, in the New Times’ Jackalope Ranch]

Phoenix much potential.

There’s been a bit of talk in the creative community about the Valley’s canal system (read this Arty Girl blog from last year about the Canalscape project) and now the City of Phoenix Office of Cultural Affairs is accepting applications to enhance the design of major street bridges that cross the Salt River Valley canals in Phoenix.

The potential of this project literally stretches for miles — there are 181 miles of waterways in our city. That’s 56 more miles of canal than Venice, Italy. Suck on that!

The selected artist will work with the Street Transportation Department. The selection panel wants the design to “focus on the bridge’s concrete abutments, and metal railings and address the essential role the canals play in the history and life of Phoenix.”

The project is open to artists living in the U.S. and the deadline is at 5 p.m. Friday, September 3.

Get all the nitty-gritty application details after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Anti-SB1070 billboard added near downtown Phoenix

[Source: Michael Ferraresi on Azcentral’s PhxBeat Blog]

The billboard at Camelback Road and Third Street gets right to the point with a racial-profiling message.

Latino-rights leaders at Brave New Foundation paid for the outdoor advertisement through donations to the Facebook page of Cuentame—an online immigration forum organized by Brave New Foundation, which has fostered anti-SB1070 conversation.

The Phoenix billboard cautions, “Have your papers ready — Racial profiling just ahead.”

It should be visible to the public for the next few weeks, according to Brave New Foundation communications director Martha de Hoyos. The organization selected the intersection to target tourists, in addition to locals, she said.

Cuentame members selected the slogan over two other options based on an online vote, De Hoyos said.

Earlier this year, Brave New Foundation—based in Culver City, Calif.—posted a three-minute Facebook video interview with a Phoenix police officer who admitted that SB1070 would make him feel like a Nazi enforcer on the streets.

Officer Paul Dobson was placed under internal investigationafter the video helped draw added attention to the website. He is expected to face some type of minor discipline, such as a verbal reprimand, according to Phoenix police.

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A New Public Art Project is Coming to Downtown Phoenix

A few weeks ago, this site noted that the City of Phoenix had received a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Mayor’s Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative (MICD25). This week, ArtWorks, the NEA blog, posted an interview with Ruth Osuna, the city’s Cultural Affairs Director about the project:

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The Office of Arts and Culture in Phoenix, Arizona, has completed more than 145 major art projects through its Public Art Program. With support from the NEA, Phoenix will realize Gimme Shelter, a new public art project that will increase the city’s livability by making outdoor areas more amenable to pedestrians. Cultural Affairs Director Ruth Osuna spoke with us in greater detail about the project.

Site plan for Gimme Shelter Shade for Pierce Street Public Art Project. Photo courtesy Phoenix Office of Cultural Affairs

NEA: Please tell us about your project and what you hope it will bring to the residents of Phoenix.

RUTH OSUNA: The project will redesign the street in front of the new Downtown Phoenix Public Market, to enhance the area’s pedestrian comforts. In addition to narrowing the street and widening sidewalks, the effort will add trees, artist-designed shade structures and other essential amenities. We expect the improvements to bolster the street’s emerging identity as a vital new destination, and give people more reasons to come to the market and spend time downtown. In a larger sense, the upgrades will help Phoenix’s revitalization efforts in its urban core as a “Connected Oasis” of shaded sidewalks, plazas, streets and open spaces.

NEA: Why is it important to have arts and culture at the table when planning community revitalization efforts?

OSUNA: It’s difficult to imagine designing and building a community, let alone a city, without tapping the talents of artists and other designers and thinkers. Their works enrich the quality and character of the things we build.

NEA: Given the nature of the city’s project, how would you describe public art?

OSUNA: Phoenix has been a national leader in giving artists a vital role in designing city infrastructure and spaces. Our best projects have both invigorated the design and expanded the function of things like freeway overpasses, pedestrian bridges, parks, canals, streetscapes, and recycling centers. We expect this project to do the same by advancing new thinking about how downtown streets should function and serve both people and cars. We also expect it to spark the invention of smart strategies and designs to help reverse the heat island effect that challenges the basic livability of desert cities.

NEA: How do you think works of public art enhance the civic life of a community?

OSUNA: They help to make cities livable and memorable.

NEA: How important is MICD 25 funding for the success of your project?

OSUNA: The grant has given our design efforts a great boost, and helped to focus public attention on the merits of integrating pedestrian comfort into the design of downtown streets.

Please visit the MICD 25 page on the NEA website to learn more about the grants.

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