Rhythms of Nature

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Client: City of Tucson

Location: Tucson, AZ, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $135,000

Project Team

Designer/Sculptor

Niki Glen

Niki Glen Studios

Client

City of Tucson

Transportation Department

Co-Designer/Sculptor

Cindee Lundin

The Studio by Cindee Lundin

Sculptor

Ralph Prata

Ralph Prata Sculpture

Overview

Rhythms of Nature, a Showcase of Art and Landscaping in an Urban Setting. This series of six pocket parks along a bicycle and pedestrian pathway aims to inform and educate people about the beauty and wonders of our natural world. The colorful and intricate sculptural forms that enhance the roadway create a visual and sensory experience, while at the same time, they blend in with the landscape. This design establishes our universal connection and shortens the distance between human and the natural world. Themes of nature inspire awe and awareness of the natural beauty that surrounds us. The unity of plants, people, and the elements depicted in mural like scenes are meant to inspire conversations, thoughts and experiences about the astounding power of nature. Hand carved by artists, Niki Glen, Cindee Lundin and Ralph Prata, in bas relief each pieces tells a story.

Goals

This art is a series of concrete sculptures that is installed at multiple locations along the corridor.
The cool thing about the public art on Broadway East is that all users of the roadway – motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians – will have the opportunity to appreciate the art at the six art sites along the 2 mile stretch. There are large pieces that motorists will enjoy, and small pieces for pedestrians to stop and examine. One of our goals was to create art that people will return to time and time again and always find something new to discover and relate to.
Residents in the area wanted art that represents the beauty and resources of the desert. “It was important that the Broadway residents have their voice heard in the art selection panel so that they could be happy with how the art came out, as they are the citizens who will get to see it each day as they utilize Broadway,” quote by Greg Orsini, Project Manager City of Tucson.

Process

Rhythms of Nature is a series of sculptural sites built along Broadway Boulevard between Camino Seco and Houghton Road in Tucson, Arizona. The 2 mile pedestrian walkway, boulevard, and bicycle path showcases the public art created by Niki Glen Studios. Lead artist Niki Glen was joined by local artists Cindee Lundin and Ralph Prata to create these stunning works of public art. The sculptures were fabricated in The Studio by Cindee Lundin collaborating with Niki Glen, who oversaw the design. Local residents participated in public meetings and collaborated on a panel as well. Their input and suggestions were integrated into the artists’ overall design concept.

Each site within Rhythms of Nature is part of a broader story that interweaves the flora, fauna, and people of the Tucson area within a historical framework. The project invites our awareness back to nature; space arises for reflection on how to re-connect and interact with the organic world.

Additional Information

The design of Rhythms of Nature is contemporary and yet has a distinct regional flavor. With simple sleek forms, shapes and stylized imagery, each of the six sites tells its own unique story in mural form on low relief. The overall palette is colorful, reminiscent of a sunset or local wildflowers and has elements done in beautiful neutral tones with a splash of color here and there, like the desert itself. By observing nature and all its complexity, we can understand ourselves better and find time to contemplate and notice beauty. We, too, are all a part of nature.