City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture acknowledges that modern-day Phoenix is on the traditional lands of the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and the Tohono O’odham and before that their ancestors (Hohokam) as well as the Pee-Posh (Maricopa). We honor the elders of both past and present, as well as future generations that enable us to live here today. Further, we acknowledge the sovereignty of the 22 Tribal Nations who continue to steward the lands that make up the state of Arizona.
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture requests qualifications from professional artists to work with an engineering design team, City departments, community groups and stakeholders to design, fabricate and install integrated public art and other enhancements along the Grand Canal corridor between 47th and 75th Avenues in Maryvale. The selected artist will be expected to work with the community and city to create enhancements that bolster the visual identity of the area and enliven the pedestrian experience. This is an opportunity for artists specializing in three-dimensional artwork and collaborative design teams. The engineering team will be selected through a separate RFP process by the Phoenix Street Transportation Department. Salt River Project (SRP) operates the canal system and is collaborating with the City of Phoenix on this exciting new project.
The Grand Canal area between 47th and 75th Avenues can accommodate pedestrian and bicycle use, so an improved canalscape project will be a welcome recreation or commuting alternative to navigating nearby roads. Improvements will be made along the north bank of the canal. SRP uses the south bank for operations and maintenance.
The project will incorporate public art, landscaping and neighborhood access points to the path to provide better visibility, access and, ultimately, appreciation of the canal system in the Phoenix area. Grand Canalscape Phase 3 will link neighborhoods with multiple schools, transit routes, churches, employers and entertainment venues like American Family Fields of Phoenix (formerly Maryvale Baseball Park).
The overall project team will be expected to develop concepts and designs for improving the aesthetics, safety, function and visibility of the canal corridor at sites including the arterial crossing at 51st Avenue and on the north side of the canal between 55th and 57th Avenues. The selected artist will also be expected to participate in community presentations as part of the project. Artwork will be created through a collaboration with the project design team including the City Streets department, engineering consultants, landscape architects and the Office of Arts and Culture. The ideal artist should have experience creating three-dimensional outdoor artwork, designing multiple public art enhancements, and collaborating on design concepts with fabricators, community and design teams. Public art opportunities may include, but are not limited to, vertical shade features, seating, walkways, crossings, landmarks and landscape enhancements that improve canal visibility and community access and links to the canal trail. The selected artist will be expected to work with various city departments to integrate their concepts into the overall goals of these projects.
The 22-mile Grand Canal is the oldest (1878) of nine major canals developed to deliver water to Phoenix and its surrounding desert cities. Owned by the United States Bureau of Reclamation and operated by the Salt River Project (SRP), the system encompasses more than 100 miles of major canals and approximately 925 miles of smaller irrigation laterals. In addition to delivering water, the canals serve as increasingly important recreation and alternative transportation corridors. This multi-use purpose for the canal banks has evolved steadily since 1964, when SRP and Maricopa County signed an agreement, which opened 68 miles of canal banks for public recreational use for the Sun Circle Trail. Phoenix and other Valley cities have worked closely with SRP since then to improve the canal corridors by paving and lighting sections of paths, adding safer crossings, and creating significant public art destinations, such as Phoenix’s Sunnyslope Canal Demonstration Area and the landmark “Waterworks” at Arizona Falls. The Phoenix Grand Canalscape Multi-use Trail Enhancements project grew from the ReinventPHX initiative. It explored the potential of canal corridors near major transportation lines and hubs to incorporate Transit Oriented Development (TOD).
Please see the commission document for full project information, and find the application form linked here.