New Temporary Public Art Program in Scottsdale Supports Emerging Artists

“Desert Bloom” by Nicole Davy, a new temporary artwork, was installed Tuesday, April 9, at the northeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Oak Street. Photo by Brian Passey. 

After more than a decade, the temporary public art program IN FLUX has come to an end, but Scottsdale Arts is taking up the mantle to continue bringing temporary public art to the city of Scottsdale. 

Scottsdale Public Art, a department under the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts, has been actively involved in IN FLUX since 2010, collaborating with neighboring cities across the Valley. While still in its developmental phase, the new program will align with the overarching IN FLUX initiative to support emerging artists and foster artistic talent within the community. 

“This is an opportunity to help young emerging artists. That’s what I love about the program,” said Tanya Galin, public art manager for Scottsdale Public Art. “I love helping these artists and getting their names out there. They need to have something in their portfolio, so continuing the temporary public art program gives them that opportunity to do just that.” 

For the first round of temporary artwork in Scottsdale, there will be three public artworks on view, including a mural and two sculptures. The mural will be up for viewing for two years, while the sculptures will be up for one year. 

One of the sculptures is “Desert Bloom” by Arizona-based artist Nicole Davy. The artwork is based on Davy’s experience growing up as an Arizona native and being surrounded by the local flora and fauna that many would not expect to grow in the desert. It stands as a reminder of the beauty that is often unseen. “Desert Bloom” will be her first public artwork. 

“Something like this temporary public art program has helped many beginning artists take their first step into the public realm, something I’m super grateful for,” Davy said. “I really love public art; I think the impact of where it is can really enrich a neighborhood or space. I like the idea of being able to make art that everyone can see and experience.” 

Davy credits Scottsdale Public Art for leading her through this new experience. She researched former installations and current artworks in the Scottsdale Public Art Permanent Collection but still wanted to make sure she showed her own style and character through “Desert Bloom.” 

“I hope that when they see it, the color really draws them in and then they can start to see the shape that is created because of the metal overlaying the color,” Davy said. “I think everyone can look at art and see something for them. When people view art, it’s almost a personal story because it comes from their ideas and their backgrounds. And I love thinking that I get to put something up that people can feel involved with.” 

Scottsdale Arts will be holding a dedication for the three temporary artworks at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA). Attendees will be able to meet the artists and enjoy light bites and speeches.

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