Using Public Art to Improve Beauty and Function in Chandler

Aug. 4, 2020
| by:
Councilmember Terry Roe

Chandler has a long-standing commitment to high standards in creating and preserving safe, beautiful and vibrant neighborhoods and public spaces. Through the Council’s Strategic Framework a renewed focus on arts and culture was born, resulting in projects that incorporated innovative elements to re-imagine spaces.

One focus area for installing public art was Downtown. The projects implemented blend history with new development, promote walkability throughout the Downtown and add vibrancy to underutilized spaces to create a destination for visitors, businesses and residents. It serves as a reminder and celebration of both our past and our future as the Community of Innovation.

Public art helps shape the character of a community. It fosters pride, creates a sense of place and makes communities more inviting. We are focused not only on aesthetics but using public art in functional ways. We are using art to connect developments and neighborhoods and to increase mobility. For example, through thoughtful planning we have created a pathway for patrons to walk from the north end of Downtown to the new developments in the south without having to utilize the main road. To promote usage of this pathway murals were used to turn blighted alleys and breezeways into vibrant and inviting spaces and other public art pieces, like the selfie station on Chicago, were installed as destination pieces to visit along the route.

These, and many other public art pieces, can be enjoyed in-person or digitally through the City’s Interactive Art Tour.

Snapshot of projects completed in 2019-2020

Monuments to Us by Joey Salamon and Cam DeCaussin

This breezeway mural connects Historic Downtown Chandler to New Square and was funded through Council contingency funds. The piece depicts the City’s historic past and innovative future, with vignettes featuring Chandler’s agricultural roots that evolve into the City’s iconic contemporary buildings.

Hum in the Desert by Ariana Enriquez

The Commonwealth Canal mural, a partnership between the City, DCCP, San Tan Brewing and San Marcos Resort, was inspired by the idea of water as a vital element in our desert that allows native species to thrive. Ariana’s design is filled with bright colors, flowing water, succulents, desert flowers, hummingbirds, bees, and the king protea flower – a symbol of courage and diversity, growing in full sunlight.

Roomates by Nick Rascona

The six-foot steel sculpture that is equal parts saguaro cactus, paper airplane, and building, inspired by the idea that simple changes can turn a piece of paper into an airplane, desert into farmland, and neighbors into roommates.

Cubizm by Jeff Zischke // Shade Awnings by CoLAB Studio

The new Oregon Street Parking Garage features two functional art installations. Cubizm depicts a funky array of sizes and shapes of benches, made of ceramic tile and powder coated steel. The cone-shaped sun shades are designed for people to look through and enjoy from above and below, while playing off the natural light of the day.

Chandler Selfie Station by Lisa Razenberger

The Chandler Selfie Station provides a fun opportunity for those in Downtown Chandler to take a photo in the large, mirrored C, that depicts well-known elements of Chandler.