The Peoria Arts Commission oversees Peoria’s public art program. Funding for art projects comes from the city’s capital improvement projects (streets, parks, fire stations, libraries, etc.) which contribute one percent of the total cost of the projects into a dedicated arts fund. The arts fund is then used for acquiring public art.
IN FLUX: Cycle 9
IN FLUX Cycle 9 recipient Joan Waters created the sculpture totem: The Plant Princess and it is currently installed. This sculpture beckons at the entrance of the Sunrise Mountain Library and will be on display through Spring 2021. Watch a video of artist Joan Waters about this sculpture.
IN FLUX Cycle 9 recipient John Randall Nelson created the sculpture Birdsong for Willie (pronounced Wiley). This sculpture graces the entrance of the Peoria Main Library and will be on display through Spring 2021. Watch a video interview with artist John Randall Nelson about this sculpture.
Arts & Cultural Survey
Please take a moment to fill out the new City of Peoria Arts & Cultural Survey. Your participation will help us establish priority and pertinent programming for each community we serve. Thank you!
Barrel Cactus Sculpture by Gordon Heuther
Gordon Huether Studios installed Barrel Cactus sculpture at Deer Village Park. The dichroic colors from the glass fins are radiant and change depending on the sun location.
After a City of Peoria Arts Commission selection process, Gordon Huether Studios of Napa, CA was selected in September 2017 to create a new public art piece. Barrel Cactus is highly-engineered, structurally-sound, brushed stainless steel armature that has been welded with colorful, dichroic glass fins, resembling the desert's barrel cacti. The use of dichroic glass brings multi-colored reflective properties to this installation. Light transmitted through the glass surface of the panels will appear to be one color and light reflected from it will appear as a complementary color. This creates a dynamic, colorful installation that can be viewed from all angles at Deer Village Park.
Huether's goal with such large-scale sculptures is to create a lasting impact on the world around him. Projects have included art installations for private corporations, airports, transportation centers, parking garages, hotels, universities, hospitals, recreation centers, civic buildings, libraries, and museums. Huether has received more than 70 public art commissions and more than 175 private commissions in the last 33 years.
Blooming Spire Sculpture by Jeff Zischke
Blooming Spire light sculpture brightened the skies when presented to the public on January 29th, 2019. Blooming Spire was designed and installed by Jeff Zischke, an artist and designer who has achieved international exposure and recognition.
Zischke explores the cutting edge of sculpture, public art, mixed media and urban transformation. The cast fiberglass shapes are derived from the desert blooms and have a faceted texture with a frosted finish so they transmit, reflect and refract prismatic light.
The Blooming Spire is based on the organic shapes of some of Arizona’s indigenous desert plants, including the blooms and leaves of several different plants. An essential element of the sculpture is its nighttime lighting. Not only acting as a beacon for passersby in their cars, but its beauty can be appreciated when experienced up close.
Artists's Presentations and Feedback
The Arts Commission invited the public to provide feedback at two meetings, September 14 and 20, 2018, and on the website regarding public art along Happy Valley Road at Lake Pleasant Parkway.
Location: Happy Valley Road at Lake Pleasant Parkway
For this location, Jeff Zischke's concept has been approved by Mayor and Council. The artwork is expected to be installed this summer. Watch Zischke's presentation
September 2018 Update: Construction of the massive base structure is underway and will soon be transported to its final destination for completion. The lighted structure will welcome one and all to Peoria’s gateway from the north! Watch a video about Blooming Spire on Facebook.
January 2019 Update: It's been a long journey, but the Peoria Arts Commission is delighted to announce that Blooming Spire has been installed and the project is now complete! View the finished art installation at the north east corner of Lake Pleasant Parkway and Happy Valley Road.
Watch a video of Blooming Spire installation
Watch a video of Blooming Spire dedication
Artist Jeff Zischke at his studio
Blooming Spire in transit
Gallery 37 Murals
Gallery 37 began in Chicago, Illinois as a city beautification project of Block 37 that included the installation of a summer arts camp designed to revitalize the immediate community while providing job training and arts education to Chicago’s youth. Since 1991, Gallery 37 has expanded to a nationwide program to include more than 24 U.S. cities as well as the UK and Australia.
This school-to-work apprenticeship program results in the creation and permanent placement of a professional piece of public art. Students are exposed to a variety of career opportunities, receive college credit, and are placed in an environment that cultivates interest in furthering their arts education.
The West Valley Art Council (WVAC), in collaboration with the Peoria Arts Commission, rolls out Gallery 37 each summer as a partnership. The WVAC uses a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts to support Gallery 37. As a community project, Gallery 37 joins a teaching artist and high school and community college students to design and create a mural for a specific location designated by the city. Local artists and students apply to WVAC to become part of the project. The artist works with the students to develop a design. The design mockup is presented at an Arts Commission meeting. Under the direction of the artist, the students produce the artwork, while earning credit at the community college level. Estrella Mountain Community College is the community college partner, and is the location where the art is created.
Since 2001, more than 250 Valley students have participated in Gallery 37. Apprentices hail from all over the Valley including Phoenix, Chandler, Glendale, Peoria, Goodyear, Avondale, Buckeye, El Mirage, Waddell, Surprise, Tonopah, and Litchfield Park.
Gallery 37 murals completed:
Above: "Mirage" mural at New River Trailhead. Dedicated September 2019.
Location: 83rd Avenue and Village Parkway, New River Trailhead at Westbrook Village. The mural is mounted on the east-side masonry wall that currently borders the trailhead property.