Monday, June 1, 2009

Along Sunrise Drive

Today's Cactus Monday post features some of the public art on Sunrise Drive between Swan Road and Craycroft Road. The sculptures and wall plaques are part of a road widening project completed a couple of years ago. The plan is to continue the road improvements all the way east to Sabino Canyon Road.
All of the steel and ceramic agave plants by Santa Theresa Tileworks are unique. The succulents are in various stages of bloom and the yellow and blue sunrise design tiles are all different.
A cell tower saguaro sits on a hill along Sunrise Drive. It's hard to tell that the rocky canyon wall below and blooming agave are also simulated.
This blooming agave sculpture is about twenty feet tall. It looks as if it just sprouted up among the natural gray Agave americanas.
The ceramic blossoms are a bright greenish yellow color. They resemble the natural ones I saw in bloom at Sabino Canyon the other day.

Each post on this wall is adorned with an agave silhouette plaque.
The plaques look similar but each one is a little different than the others.
It looks as though this rusted rebar ocotillo just sprung out of the cliff wall pocket.
I thought the green saguaro on this cyclist's shirt fitted in with the Cactus Monday theme, so I couldn't resist including it here.
And finally, here's a real live saguaro by Sunrise Drive Elementary School. A Gila woodpecker was busy investigating the holes.
The road work and art installations are so in harmony with the natural desert, that I hadn't paid much attention to them before. But since walking along Sunrise Drive, and taking these pictures, I've been noticing and appreciating art along other roads in the area.

Thanks to Teri's Cactus Monday flickr group, I've been discovering cactus everywhere. Yes, I do happen to live in "cactus country" but it's easy to take things for granted that you're surrounded by.

For more Cactus Monday posts, mosey on over to Teri's Painted Daisies.

New: I recently learned about a blog called Touch the wind... Warren finds all sorts of interesting subjects around Tucson and beyond, and his photos are fantastic. Check out his blog here.


deedee said...

Wonderful post, as always! You're right... the cyclist's shirt does blend in well with the surrounding area.

BC Doan said...

Isn't it a great feeling when we pay closer attention to our surrounding?

You have some great pictures, Diane!

deepazartz said...

Hi Diane

I was unable to post in your blog last week and in between too...some problem occurs when I get to your blog. Donno why!

Today...there seems to be no probs so far!

That was interesting pics..the plaque is quite unique and the cyclist shirt is just hilarious!

Have a nice day!HCM!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

That cyclist did have on a neat shirt, didn't he Diane???? Love seeing all of the cactus--even the "cell tower' ones!!!! NEAT!


betchai said...

wow, some of the structures really look natural, if you did not tell us, i would not know they are not real. and yes, the man's shirt really blends.

Margaret Ann said...

OOOOH MY! AWESOME!!!! I had to call my husband in for this one...spectacular metal art...I can't beleive we wisked down Sunrise several times on out trip and didn't see a thing...I guess that being the main problem..WE WISKED!!!! A perfect illustration of needing to slow down and simply stopping to smell the roses! Thanks for this post...enlightening in many ways!!! HCM fellow cacuteer!

Teri C said...

Oh MY GOSH, I know where I need to head to when I come back! These sculptures are just awesome. Thanks for posting them.


marianne said...

Inspiring pictures!
I have fallen in love with cacti and the desert, thanks to all posts of my fellow cactuteers!

happy cactus Monday!

Outside In said...

Love the photos, Happy Cactus Monday!

Martha Z said...

Wonderful public art. I have noticed it seems to be common once again to brighten public spaces with art.

Prospero said...

I like the tall Agave sculpture. It's interesting that each of those plaques are unique. Do you know how many artists have worked on these projects? What an undertaking.

If it forces people to take a second look, then the work is doing what it's supposed to do.

Joyce said...

I am peaking at your blog today and you live in such an amazing part of the country and I am enjoying all your photos. I will visit again.

KaysWay said...

Love all of the art. You live in a really interesting area.


Annette said...

It is amazing how your landscape differs so much from mine. I really enjoy your photos. I enlarged you last photo--- love it!

studio lolo said...

I really enjoyed this post!! We do tend to keep our eyes closed to that which is closest to us. Or maybe we tune it out because we're used to it. No matter, we should be mindful and appreciative of our surroundings. Thanks for reminding me of that ;)

Gaelyn said...

Outstanding cactus art. I especially like the big agave and the tile work. And how very cool that cell towers can be made to look like a saguaros. You are so right about us not looking at the things under our noses. A good reminder.

Warren said...

Great pictures, I really like the blooming agaves. I've never noticed the rebar ocotillo when I pass by... I'll have to watch for it! And thanks for the link too!

lisaschaos said...

How cool! I love that they are starting to try to blend the towers. :)

Barbara Martin said...

Another interesting post with photos and information. Well done.

yoon see said...

Wow! Creative post to set the day, especially for cactus monday!
Unique public art making me so excited and thrilled as always!
I love the sculptures and wall plaques's details:)
Very beautiful and ancient feel & touch!

Wow! Cyclist's shirt with cactus on.
Thanks Diane C, just so much to see and admire here!

LisaNewton said...

I love it. This is what art is all about, meant to be enjoyed in everyday occastions, like driving down the highway.

Oh, and of course, you know I love the cyclist.............:)

bettyl said...

Such a great project! All of the states should take notes on what they are doing in your area.

Jen said...

Greetings Diane-
Betsy from Joyful Reflections sent me over here. We just purchased a place in Tucson :) (snowbirds for now) so I will be back to learn more about the area from you.

Glynis said...

I just love dropping in to see what you have treated us to, I am never disappointed!

Jenn said...

One of the the things I love about Phoenix/Scottsdale is the public art works. Coming from the Detroit area, seeing such is a marvelous surprise.

Don't we love the unexpected beauty?