Alter-Native Signs, 2012-15.


Client: City of Tempe

Location: Tempe, AZ, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $10,000

Project Team


John Randall Nelson

Nelson Public Art

Public Art Agent

Maja Aurora

City of Tempe

Studio Assistant

Crystal Phelps

Whonelson Studio


A series of Public Art Sculptures sited in Tempe, AZ, Scottsdale, AZ, Santa Fe, NM, and Anaheim, CA, 2012-15. Sculptural weathervanes and altered sign sculptures made with re-cycled street and traffic signs. The folk art style touches on imagination and social dexterity as a means of transport.


The goal of this project was to create signature landmarks across the Phoenix Valley as well as in California and New Mexico.


After meeting with the neighborhood residents, we presented several site-specific ideas. With feedback from the selection committee, the desert fauna theme was chosen. Alter-Native Signs are the end result of a collaboration between Tempe Public Art, the neighborhood residents, and our studio.

Additional Information