Commissioned by Tempe Public Art
steel, powdercoated pinwheels, concrete
Melissa Martinez’s Hardy Drive Streetscaping plan will run the length of Hardy Drive from University Drive south to Broadway Road. The project will be comprised of one monumental sculpture in the median on the corner of Hardy Drive and 13th Street, 8 bus shelters, and hand stamped flowers in the concrete along the street, both the East and West side.
The monumental sculpture will be an abstract Palo Verde tree, Arizona’s state tree. Palo Verde trees bloom profusely in the spring with thousands upon thousand of tiny yellow flowers. This is one of the most beautiful sights to see in the arid Arizona landscape. Bees and birds flock to the trees for shelter and food. One of my favorite things to watch, is when the wind blows, the Palo Verde tree’s yellow flowers dance and spin through the air on the wind, almost like snow. The flowers cover the streets and rain down from the trees. It’s breathtaking.
Martinez’s tree will be made of steel and the canopy of the tree will be covered in yellow pinwheels – flowers. When the wind blows the pinwheels will spin, creating a dynamic representation of the flowers and tree. The flowers will blow down the street landing on the canopies of the 8 bus shelters. Viewers will feel the beauty of the spring all year long on Hardy Drive.