Bougainvillea

Submitted by Mary Shindell

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Client: Valley Metro Light Rail

Location: Phoenix, AZ, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $35,000

Project Team

Public Art Agent

MB Finnerty

Valley Metro Light Rail

Architect

Paul Schmidt

Architekton

Industry Resource

Bruce Thornham

Advance Terrazzo

Artist

Mary Shindell

Overview

“Bougainvillea”, commissioned by Valley Metro for the Northwest Extension of the light rail, is designed to incorporate imagery of one of the iconic plants from the adjacent neighborhood into the light rail expansion. The purpose of the piece is to add intricacy, color and organic design to the site. Eight Terrazzo wall panels comprised of polyacrylate thinset with recycled glass 4’ x 32’ are attached to Traction Power Substation #18, Las Palmaritas and 19th Ave., Phoenix, Arizona.

Goals

This artwork is designed to enhance the existing neighborhood and to integrate the traction power substation into the neighborhood. Situated along the roadway, it is important for the TPSS to become something of a landmark for residents and users. “Bougainvillea” will become a visual bridge between the old and the new, the residential and the urban. This connection is important in an area like Metro Phoenix as new infrastructure is installed into the preexisting environment in order to improve transit.

Process

I worked with the archtects and Valley Metro to design artwork that could be incorporated into the design of the Traction Power Substation. The substation is situated on the east side of 19th Avenue in a residential area. I spoke to neighbors about the area and observed the mature landscaping that many had in their yards. The most vibrant plant in the neighborhood was the beautiful Bougainvillea so I used it in my artwork.