Opera in Phoenix? I found you!

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.

About pam

I am retired from real 9 to 5 jobs. I do my artwork and occasionally write poetry. In September 2010, I moved to Fargo, ND after spending 60 years in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, five years later, July 2015, I'm back in Arizona. And yes, I love the heat!
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84 Responses to Opera in Phoenix? I found you!

  1. ricewood says:

    We're building a light rail system in my city as well. I like those sails, too. I think they are pieces of art in themselves.

  2. PainterWoman says:

    I think so too Allan. They have become quite popular here and many people have them installed over their patios in the backyard.

  3. PainterWoman says:

    Dave, I drove the 25 miles to Tempe 2 or 3 days a week for five years when I was going to ASU. This was around 2001 to 2006. Tempe's a great city and Mill Avenue?…what can I say. Hustling (literally) and bustling all the time. One section of the light rail takes you right there. ASU is so huge now, it's a city by itself with 60,000 students. I love our museum. Have seen many a great exhibitions there. In fact, worked as a waitress in the cafe for a year and got to serve the people at the Cowboy Artists of America Exhibition (that I've since boycotted). Only place you'll ever see red patent cowboy boots on a couple of the male artists at the opening.Hopefully, I'll be able to renew my membership soon because there's some good free movies coming up for the summer. One is about Diego Rivera and another about Chuck Close.

  4. slackwrdave says:

    I lived in Tempe for a couple of years during the 90's. I loved Phoenix and the surrounding cities. Your post brought back memories for me.I've never been one to go very often to art museums, but the one in downtown Phoenix always had something going on, and on certain days, it was entirely free. The museum's docents were very instructive and made it fun.

  5. gdare says:

    There are negotiations about making light rail in Belgrade as well. Someone decided it will be the best way to improve our transportation system. First, plans were to build underground but I think there are too many hard rocks and water… or so they say.I like that sculpture, looks like a strong headed people going their way πŸ˜€

  6. PainterWoman says:

    Darko, Arizona has that problem of too much rock underground. That's why not many people have basements here. As to water…not much of that. You're right, the sculptures look like people passing through a gate. VERY strong headed people. πŸ˜†

  7. FIFINELEB says:

    The stone wheel makes me think of "The Flintstones" Haha. But it IS art undoubtedly. You have flair to discover such nice things. Kind regards to you,Pam.

  8. PainterWoman says:

    Angeliki, thanks. Have not used the light rail yet. Really have no need to as I don't have a regular 9 to 5. However, I'd like to take one Saturday and take it to different places and make a day of taking photos of the ride.

  9. PainterWoman says:

    Jean, Flintstones is right! πŸ˜† So funny! As long as I've lived here, I know there are still things I haven't discovered. But I better hurry up because everything changes so fast.

  10. ellinidata says:

    a great entry Pam,we do have light rail in New York and by using it plus using the subway I will go with the first in a heart beat! :heart:I love the pictures !*hugs*

  11. L2D2 says:

    Pam, at one time I had aunts who lived in scottsdale and Tempe. Their offspring and families may still live there for all I know. My mom used to have a ball when she would go to visit them. Is Knotts Berry Farm in Arizona? I know she always liked to go there.I have never been west of Midland, Odessa Texas but I know I would like Arizona.Interesting sculpture. What would happen if you painted a large Opera O saying "Get Opera-the fastest browser in the world" and planted it beside this sculpture? Aahahahaha. Then hide and take pictures of people looking at it. Wonder if they would catch the connection?

  12. PainterWoman says:

    I ought to do that Linda. It'd be kinda fun to paint it on a big canvas and set it right next to the sculpture and take a photo. Your family members may very well still be here. As to Knotts Berry Farm….I think that's in California.

  13. L2D2 says:

    I knew it was one or the other states, because Mama also had a sister in California and other family.I don't even remember what their last names were.

  14. Dacotah says:


  15. edwardpiercy says:

    When I lived in Phoenix/Tempe it was pretty much like L.A., maybe worse, if you didn't own a car you were almost totally screwed. The bus system was a joke pretty much. I'm glad to hear that you got the rail system. As for the whole Alice in Wonderland thing, to me that sounds pretty cool.

  16. wickedlizard says:


  17. Suntana says:

    I'm trying to understand. What exactly had the Artist done too many times before? Similar "O" sculptures like that one? And with the figurines in it? I can't help, but get nervous with the design. I can envision someone walking around in the "O" and one or more of the stones will come hurling down. :insane: With the other objects, 3 things came to mind. First I thought of Ribs. Don't you see the Barbecue Sauce? πŸ˜† Then I thought of Giant Matchsticks. Then I thought of Giant Toothpicks with pieces of Cheese on the end. Whatever they're supposed to be, they definitely look like they're dancing to a particular Tropical, Carribean song, but I don't know the title to it.

  18. wickedlizard says:

    πŸ˜† they also look like marshmellows on a stick! :p

  19. PainterWoman says:

    Carol: πŸ˜€ Ed: I agree about the previous transportation system. Phoenix is too spread and I think this new light rail is a blessing for some folks. I did kind of like the Alice cups and saucers but have to admit they were distracting. :left: :right: Issy: πŸ™‚ Marshmallows on a stick? They do! I'll take a graham cracker and piece of chocolate too. Carlos: πŸ˜† I don't know about the cheese on a toothpick but they DO look like ribs. Ok, now you've made me hungry for ribs. Haven't had them in years!Yes, the journalist was complaining because the artist had done other 'O' sculptures similar to this one for several other cities. He just put the steel beams in different positions. To me, there's nothing wrong with that. Artists are known for doing a 'series'.

  20. edwardpiercy says:

    I want to go through the Stargate and visit Amanda Tapping.

  21. L2D2 says:

    Looks to me like sacks over heads.:lol: Reminds me of the Stargate in the scifi series.

  22. L2D2 says:

    Several of the seasons are available on DVD, maybe all by now.The last two seasons, many of the roles changed. The colonel (bald headed guy) who was head of the place left and was replaced by Beau Bridges. Didn't try to take over same character role, just a new, different colonel.A lot of the regulars started having recurring roles. Like Michael Shanks (he was purty)

  23. L2D2 says:

    I absolutely adored Stargate SG1, and the main character until the last season or two WAS McGyver, aka Richard Dean Anderson. Haha. I was so upset when they did away with the series.The last couple seasons, they had a new character take his place, don't know why. He looked very similar to Anderson. Anderson continued to play a recurring role.SG1 was the longest running scifi series to ever be on TV. 10 years. I miss it.

  24. PainterWoman says:

    Richard! That was it. I wonder if the series is available on DVD. Everything else is. I don't think I ever saw it with the new actor.

  25. PainterWoman says:

    Linda, Darko even said it looked like a gate. Don't know why I didn't think of the Stargate series. I loved that show, especially the main actor. Was it Robert Dean Anderson? Ed, I do remember Amanda Tapping, his Stargate soulmate. I thought they went perfect together.

  26. PainterWoman says:

    Had to look up Shanks as I forgot what he looked like. Yup, he's pretty cute too. Went looking for photos of Anderson too and some blogger said he was 73! I thought that was hogwash so looked him up on Wikipedia. He was born 1950!

  27. L2D2 says:

    I agree with most of your celebrity album. Not sure how I feel about Dr. House, but he does kinda grow on you.

  28. PainterWoman says:

    Just added Anderson's picture in my celebrity album.

  29. L2D2 says:

    That makes him 59, which is believable. It has been a long time since McGyver was on TV. I like him. And he is purty too.He's about the same age as my ex2.

  30. PainterWoman says:

    I don't have one in there of House. Hmmmmm.

  31. L2D2 says:

    I was thinking it was you who had his picture. Then who was that? Thought he was sexy.

  32. Dacotah says:

    πŸ˜† Nope wasn't me Linda. I'm grinning like that because Pam grinned at me. πŸ˜€

  33. Dacotah says:

    Pam πŸ˜€

  34. Dacotah says:

    I've never seen House.

  35. L2D2 says:

    Carol was grinning. Is it you carol? Else, why are you grinning like a Cheshire cat?

  36. PainterWoman says:

    I've seen it too in someone's celebrity album. Can't think of who.

  37. L2D2 says:

    Okay, somebody fess up. Who was it who thought House was sexy? :sherlock:

  38. L2D2 says:

    Damnation! I went through all my female friend's lists looking for someone who had a reference or picture of House. I missed it if it was there. Darn. That will bug me till I find it.

  39. PainterWoman says:

    Linda, I did the same thing. It must be someone we've visited but not on our lists.

  40. L2D2 says:

    Undoubtedly, Pam. But who could it be? Drat! Don't know where else to look now.

  41. Dacotah says:

    Was it a blog post or in a photo album?

  42. Dacotah says:

    I got this link when I search Dr. House photo ablum on My Opera:http://my.opera.com/bskushwah/albums/

  43. PainterWoman says:

    It was definitely a photo album I saw. I'm kinda thinking it was Issy but she's taken her photo albums off her tabs. Whoever it was, they sure had a whole bunch of handsome men in there.

  44. Dacotah says:

    I Googled Dr. House photos on My Opera and got thismy.opera.com/Kerlyy/info/ but when I went to see it said not available.

  45. Dacotah says:

    Who is Cornel Wilde?

  46. L2D2 says:

    Well, this has inspired me. I am hunting down images of my harem…uh, hunks, to make into a celebrity photo album. Men I have drooled over through the ages up to the present. I am thinking it is going to have a lot of pictures in it, cause it goes back to Cornel Wilde—remember him either of you? I had a crush on him when I was in 5th grade!

  47. PainterWoman says:

    Yes I do Linda. How about Cary Grant, James Dean….now you got my mind going. I've only got one female in my album. She was a remarkable actress I saw in a movie in a class about foreign films. I know there are other females I enjoy seeing in movies.

  48. L2D2 says:

    He was a big star in, I guess, the 50s Carol. Very Italian looking and something of a sex symbol. I have a picture of him in Album I just created if ya'll want to go look at it. There weren't any really good pictures of him and they nearly all were in black and white.

  49. PainterWoman says:

    Hi Nevin. Glad you liked them.

  50. thesamanyolu says:

    HΔ±mmm, interesting… I think they are pieces of art in themselves. Wonderland. Pam thanks. :yes:

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