Artwork that gets you thinking. It goes into planning new art for light rail stations along the South/Central Extension and Downtown Hub.
I always find it interesting to look at station art while riding the light rail. I look at the clasped cast bronze hands at the Dorsey Lane and Apache Boulevard station standing 21-feet high, towering over the entryway and wonder how did the artist come up with the design.
I discovered what goes into the planning and implementation of artwork by turning a blank canvas into a work of art. I learned Valley Metro wants dynamic and place-making artwork that gets you thinking.
Translating what may seem like a fantastic first concept into a feasible work of art that satisfies the requirements of safety, security, operations, maintenance, and constructability can be challenging.
“Obviously the artwork can’t impede the purpose of any of our stations or facilities as they safely accommodate many passengers. So, looking out for the Americans with Disabilities Act and other concerns is foremost. We work closely with the architects to ensure the art is integrated into the stations,” Finnerty said.
Installation of new artwork begins within a few weeks. “The Downtown Hub artwork is going in almost immediately after the Super Bowl,” Finnerty said.
Local Native American artist Janelle Stanley is developing artwork for three stations in the downtown area. According to Finnerty, Stanley emphasizes the historical contributions of three cultures in central Phoenix: Hispanic, Asian, and African American, as well as a nod to the ancient Huhugum canal builders. The new sculptures are inverted pyramids with concrete bases, a middle tile section, and stained glass at the top.
The new artwork along the extensions will definitely bring the stations to life while allowing us time to think during our commute.