Torre de la Flores

Submitted by Jim Hirschfield

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Client: SunMetro

Location: El Paso, TX, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $250,000

Project Team

Artist

Jim Hirschfield

Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii, LLC

Artist

Sonya Ishii

Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii

Overview

Our project Torre de las Flores is an artwork that carefully blends site with metaphor. In the 1950’s, there existed in El Paso a tall blue pyramidal structure built to announce the Sunrise Center. Until it was torn down, it served as a major landmark and icon of the city. Finding inspiration in its lore, our new 4’ x 4’ x 61’ aluminum blue column commemorates the historic original. We also celebrate the fields of poppies that drape the surrounding hillsides in yellow throughout the spring by placing over 600 yellow titanium stainless steel disks that sprout over the tower’s surface. As the sun sets, lights from within and along its edges, illuminate the tower with a range of slowly shifting colors.

Goals

It was very important to the community of Northeast El Paso, a community that in the past had been somewhat neglected by the city, that the work of art placed in the Transit Center be a work of art that would serve as an icon for the area, and a work of art that they would be proud to have represent their community.

Process

We worked closely with the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, Sun Metro, the city’s transit providers, and the architecture firm EXIGO to make certain that the work both fit the transit center’s plaza and truly met the community’s goals. We also met with the community itself, to hear their perspective on the project and to make certain we understood their hopes for the project.