Less than a week after the unveiling of the Hashknife Pony Express monument, downtown Scottsdale welcomed another public art work.
“Windsong,” a nearly 21-foot-tall multicolored steel sculpture, made its formal debut Thursday on the grounds of the Optima Camelview Village.
“It’s joyous and whimsical — a perfect foil to the elegant, understated architecture,” said Valerie Vadala Homer, vice president and director of Scottsdale Public Art, who was on hand to help dedicate the art work.
The sculpture, created by architect and Optima president David Hovey, is the second in a series of public art displays the company erected at Optima Camelview Village. The site’s 21-foot steel sculpture, “Sundance,” made its debut in October.
Optima Camelview Village is a 600-unit luxury residential community located at the intersection of Scottsdale Road and Highland Avenue, just north of Scottsdale Fashion Square. Its residences range in price from the $500,000s to upwards of $2.5 million.
The two sculptures, along with an as-yet unnamed third Hovey sculpture, which is set to go on the Optima Camelview property before year’s end, are public art pieces the company funded for Scottsdale’s Public Art program.
The laser-cut art works on the Optima Camelview land go above and beyond what the company was required to provide by the city’s Public Art ordinance, Homer said.
Optima pledged $400,000 to the cause, said Homer, who described the Hovey-designed Sundance and Windsong public art sculptures as “the icing on the cake.”
Homer said Optima has already donated $100,000 in funding to the Hashknife Pony Express monument and is in talks with city officials about offering two private sculptures to the Scottsdale Public Art Collection — a bronze sculpture by artist Joel Shapiro and a galvanized steel sculpture by artist Isamu Noguchi.
Hovey, who splits his time living in Scottsdale and Chicago with his wife Eileen, said he wanted to create the whimsical steel sculptures, despite already fulfilling his public art commitment to the City.
“I’m interested in art and architecture and the relationship of sculpture to architecture. The sculptures are fun and hopefully enhance the public streetscape and architecture around it,” said Hovey.
The playful Windsong piece, with its free forming curves and asymmetrical perforations, stands in contrast to the modern Optima Camelview development’s rectangular lines.
And that was just fine with attendees at the dedication.
“I love the colors,” said Scottsdale City Councilwoman Betty Drake, remarking on Windsong’s bright gold, blue, red and white panels that glisten in the sun.
“I think it’s a great addition to downtown Scottsdale,” said Scottsdale Vice Mayor Wayne Ecton. “When you see beautiful things, it tends to lift you up and make you feel better.”