Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Floating $2.4 million Phoenix sculpture not sunk yet

[Source: Connie Cone Sexton, Arizona Republic] -- Phoenix officials decided Monday to give a $2.4 million proposed piece of downtown public art another chance. The floating sculpture by internationally known artist Janet Echelman was axed last week by the City Manager's Office but now will have its fate tied to a City Council meeting next week. But first, members of the council's arts, culture and historic preservation subcommittee will discuss the piece Friday afternoon. A meeting time has not been set.

Ed Zuercher, the Phoenix deputy city manager who initially decided to kill the artwork, said that he and other city officials were moved by the passion of several members of the arts community who want to see the piece erected, or, at the very least, have more of a public review. Zuercher had said that the artwork, which would be suspended about 55 feet in the air and supported by three large towers, would be too difficult to install in time for the November opening of the Civic Space park. He said "it appears a lot of people are concerned about the cost." However, the funding is mandated to be used for art under a city ordinance.