By Colleen Sparks
Sunnyslope residents will have a scenic place with shade to make walking on hot days more comfortable as part of a city art program designed to enhance areas with inactive wells.
The city of Phoenix’s Water Services Department and the Office of Arts and Culture have partnered to add shade, boost security and improve the appearance of inactive well sites around Phoenix. One of them is at 6th Street and Butler Drive.
A large sculpture lit from its inside, a “meandering pathway,” an “elegant fence” and several trees are part of the revamped area near the well in Sunnyslope, Kati Stegall, public art project manager with the city of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture said.
“That one has a really cool lighting element to it,” Stegall said. “The community was really supportive and excited about it.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the upgrades at the southeast corner of 6th Street and Butler Drive will be held at 5 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the site.
Every site in the city has its own history, challenges and community context so a different artist is chosen for each spot, along with a landscape architect, to create designs based on community input. The goal is to have one of these projects done in every City Council district.
The artist for the Sunnyslope area, Barbara Grygutis of Tucson, created a sculpture in coordination with landscape architect Dig Studio in Phoenix. The sculpture is cone-shaped and laser-cut out of stainless steel with a pattern “based on shadows of light shining through trees,” Stegall said. A large ribbon-style shape winds around the sculpture and will look like it connects to a pathway being installed at the site. The concept for the sculpture is a “path for water,” creating a visual aspect to how water is collected and reused in ways that help the community, Stegall said.
The pathway will be made of concrete pavers and will be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible. Several trees and plants also will be planted and a galvanized steel fence will surround equipment owned by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department.
A capital improvement program through the Water Services Department provides funding for the upgrades near well sites. The wells are in residential neighborhoods and are no longer active.