A New Path
by Ilan Averbuch
I think of Opera every time I see this and couldn't resist taking this photo of the stone and steel sculpture by New York artist, Ilan Averbuch for the City of Phoenix Light Rail System. I rather like it although when doing research to find the name of the artist I came across a blog by a local writer/journalist (not really sure) who lambasted the artist and the city. The artist, for having done this same type of thing many times before and the city for not hiring a local Arizona artist. I tried to find the article again to post a link and couldn't find it again.
Many of the new art forms we have around town celebrating the opening of our light rail were done by out-of-state artists. This happens alot in our city and I've never really understood why. We have hundreds, if not thousands, of artists here. One of our highways was decorated by giant cups, saucers and pots (as in Alice in Wonderland) by another out-of-state artist years ago but it drew so many complaints that they were distracting, they were taken down. What was done with them, I have no idea. I did see a few of the giant cups in park nearby. Parks would be a perfect place for them.
In any event, I like Averbuch's work.
Phoenix is large, encompassing almost 500 sq. miles. This also includes the smaller cities of Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe. Phoenix alone has 1.5 million residents, as of 2007. There is over 4 million when including the other adjacent small cities. For these reasons, Phoenix had been criticized for years for not having a good transportation system. Now, after spending several billions of dollars and several years of construction AND many more millions for the artwork all around town, we now have our light rail. It began transporting people a few months back and has been very successful.
Below is one of the waiting stations for the light rail. I like the sail like awnings above it which provides much needed shade from our searing sun.