Public art is everywhere, and this is the season for getting out and viewing it. Which is why I’ve started using Wednesdays on Caterpickles to highlight public art projects happening now in various parts of the country.
Obviously, The Eleven-Year-Old and I can’t visit all these places in person, so we’d love to know if you have. Send us your photos or leave us a comment telling us what you saw and what you thought about it. Or if you’d like us to hunt down some public art near you, just leave a note in the comments and we’ll happily see what we can find.
With that, let’s take a quick (virtual) trip to Tempe, Arizona.
The Public Art of Tempe, Arizona
Title: Day Dreaming at Tempe Town Lake, 2012
Artist: Linda Parker
Location: Southwest corner of 7th Street and Mill Avenue, Tempe, Arizona
Photo Source: Matt Winquist, via the City of Tempe, Arizona’s public art website
Associated Public Art Project:
Like Anchorage, Alaska, the City of Tempe, Arizona sets aside part of its annual budget to fund public art. One percent of the City’s total annual capital improvements budget lands in the Municipal Art Fund, which the City uses to advance art in all of its forms. Not surprisingly, there is a ton of public art in Tempe, just waiting for you to find it.
The City has used those funds to transform its bus stops, utility boxes, parks, paths, bridges, and streets, as well as its public buildings and community art center. They’ve even dropped small bits of art on the city’s library cards.
Want to see it yourself?
The City of Tempe makes it really easy for local residents and visitors to find its public art. They’ve catalogued it extensively online, and created a wonderful interactive map to the various art works around town.
Next time you’re in Tempe, take a few minutes and look around. I bet you’ll spot something surprising. When you do, we’d love to hear about it here on Caterpickles or Twitter (@shalahowell).
Happy public art hunting!
- City of Tempe, Arizona Public Art Collection
- Tempe Public Art Walking Guide (Downtown)
- Tempe Public Art Walking Guide (Tempe Town Lake)
- Tempe Public Art: Description of Linda Parker’s Daydreaming at Tempe Town Lake