When you go to downtown Phoenix, it’s hard not to miss the large copper dome reflecting the sun. The Capitol began construction in 1898, and it began operation in 1901. In 1918 and 1938, expansions were added on the west side of the building. Since then, many renovations have been done. I have a friend that works there and we have lunch every couple of weeks. She gave me the tour and I was amazed at some of the public art around the grounds that pay tribute to solders and other historic events. It made for a fun photo shoot. I’m always teasing her to get me in to see the Gov.
I took my Dad to the Philadelphia Sandwich Company in Scottsdale – home of the Philadelphia Cheesesteak. We went to their newest location in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. The ingredients to their famous sandwiches include thinly sliced eye-round steak, melted cheese (American, Provolone or Cheese Whiz), oven-fresh baked bread and grilled onions. For me, you always have to go with the whiz. We then walked around the Scottsdale canal project by crossing the Soleri Bridge (2010) by artist Paolo Soleri. We also looked at the large public art The Doors (2007) by Donald Lipski enhanced with sounds with Jim Green’s Sound Passage. The Doors is a kaleidoscopic sculpture that when you walk in it you see multiple reflections of yourself that also contains an oculus that creates the optical illusion of a geodesic dome overhead. It’s an incredible piece of public artwork.
LOVE was designed by Robert Indiana during the Pop art movement in 1964 for a Christmas card. It became a symbol for peace during the Vietnam war. Now many sculptures are present all over the world, some in different languages. The original sculpture is in Indianapolis. I’ve always been fascinated with the LOVE art. I have seen two of these sculptures in person, one in Philadelphia and one here in Scottsdale at the civic center.
While visiting the arts center, I had dinner at one of my favorite little restaurants in Scottsdale, Los Olivos Mexican Patio. This little family owned establishment has been serving up fine Mexican food by the Corral family over 60 years ago. Throughout the years, they have maintained their family traditions in hand rolling their own tortillas and serving up their own unique flavors. Tucked away next to the Scottsdale Arts Center, this restaurant has a unique architectural design that helps brings an intimate family feel environment to it. On some nights, you can catch mariachi bands performing. I’ve been dining here for years and this place has always been special to me. Esta casa es su casa y vuelvan pronto.
Here’s a little history on the LOVE sculptures I’ve visited..
Edmund Bacon (who is related to actor Kevin Bacon) conceived Philadelphia’s LOVE Park in the 1930’s. It was constructed and finished in 1965.The plaza was dedicated to JFK not too long after that. In the 80’s, it became a popular skateboarding hang-out for kids due the curves of the concrete. ESPN’s X games were held in the park on a couple of occasions due to the popularity of skateboarding there. Controversy erupted in the 2002 when the city then banned all skateboarding at the park. This in turn produced many demonstrations. Even Edmund Bacon rode a skateboard through the park at age 92 to voice his opinion. This brought about the Free LOVE park campaign that is still going on today to bring back skateboarding to the park. Scottsdale purchased theirs through the Scottsdale Public Art Program with support from Pascal and Sylvie de Sarthe, Scottsdale and Simon and Gilian Salama-Caro, New York, in 2002, LOVE is a 144″ (h) x144″ x72″ (d) sculpture made of poly-chromed red and blue aluminum, weighing 3,800 lbs.
There is something about cold weather and art that go hand in hand for me. After a nice dinner and some good wine, a nice stroll through an ArtWalk with some cold drizzly rain weather is always refreshing for me. It gives me opportunities to relax and clear out my thoughts. Layers of clothes, my beanie, a hot coffee, and a new camera in hand really add to my adventure as I embrace other’s creative minds. I love stepping out of my world for a while and stepping into somebody else’s world being expressed through their artwork.