City of Buckeye downtown is growing and becoming more vibrant and a bit of art is on its way. The Buckeye Mainstreet Coalition is working on a project to incorporate art to the Historic Downtown. The art also incorporates trash receptacles. We have seen adding trash receptacles has cleaned up areas of the downtown as evident at Benbow Park. The sculptures are located along Monroe near 6th street.
Buckeye Public Art Aerial
With the collaboration of many folks, Charlene Powers of Powers Leavitt Insurance, a longtime resident, local business owner and Buckeye Coalition Board Member for the initial concept, Lara Serbin of Serbin Studio, Design Chair for the Buckeye Coalition, for the design, detailing, permitting and project coordination. Hondo Jimenez from the Buckeye Union High School to assist on constructability and ultimately fabrication and installation of the steel sculptures using local High School talent. The local corrections facility for the design and fabrication of the trash receptacles. The City of Buckeye for providing a portion of the funding through the Economic Development Catalyst Grant Program.
The project consists of 4 sculptures of varying sizes and colors. They are constructed of 3/8″ thick steel. Portions will be allowed to have a rust patina finish while other pieces will be powder coated. They will be permanently anchored into new concrete footings around city sidewalks.
The largest piece is a tractor to symbolize the influence of farming upon the local community. A great photo opportunity is coming so get your cameras ready. It will stand over 8′ tall and have a powder coated green finish to reflect the influence of John Deere tractors.
Buckeye Public Art Tractor
If you have been to a Buckeye Rodeo, you will have seen the NASCAR of horse racing. Women race around barrels on horseback as fast as the equine can take them without knocking the barrel’s over. This sculpture symbolizes a cowgirl racing around City Hall and incorporates the City of Buckeye ‘Orange’ into the sculpture.
Buckeye Public Art Barrel Racer
At rodeo’s and farms across Buckeye, roping can be seen to round up the stray cattle upon the ranch. This sculpture symbolizes the work of the cowboy wrangling up the trash in Downtown Buckeye.
Buckeye Public Art Roper
Cotton has been grown in the Buckeye Valley since the early 1900’s. This cotton boll, yet larger than life, symbolizes this important industry which helped put Buckeye on the map.
Buckeye Public Art Cotton Boll
This project is just the beginning for more art to be interwoven into the Historic Buckeye fabric. The project is to be completed by early summer of 2016.
First Responders Memorial Plaza Concept to Reality
Shortly after June 2013, we received a call from the homeowner’s association at Riata West. They had just witnessed a tragedy that occurred in Yarnell where 19Granite Mountain Hot Shots died while fighting a forest fire. About a year later,Serbin Studio Inc. began working on the design for the monument which essentially was what we call a pocket park, a small parcel of land within Riata West in Buckeye, Az.
First Responder Memorial Plaza
The property area is about 20′ to 15′ wide (tapered site) and 100′ long. However by the time we removed driveway access areas, building setbacks, utility corridors, and other constraints, we were left with an area of approximately 6′ to 3′ wide (tapered) and 40′ long. Not much to work with when you want the plaza to consist of a monument, shade structure, a flag pole, some walking surface to gather and permanent stone seating. We also took a budget conscious approach to design.
First Responder Water Jet Steel shade Canopy
The structures are made with: local Prescott stone coming from the Dunbar Stone (symbolic to Yarnell area), the main structure of pine wood (reflecting to the forest), a metal shade canopy element that has cut outs referencing diamond plate used on fire trucks and engraved black marble for the monument graphics. Local Designers (Serbin Studio) and contractors (Rounds Construction) along with the support of our client Riata West Homeowner Association President (John Wayne Anderson) & City Property Manager (Jo Jordan), made the project a success.
First Responder Memorial Plaza Event – June 30, 2015
To top it all off, the Grand Opening occurred on June 30, 2015, 2 years from the date of the fire and in attendance was the Mayor of Buckeye Jackie Meck, Secretary of State Michelle Reagan, our state Sheriff Joe Arpaio, several Buckeye Council members, the chief of Buckeye Police and several officers, the chief of the Buckeye Fire Department and many firemen, Members of the Buffalo Soldiers, Sea Cadets, VFW, Aurora the Bald Eagle, some local newspapers and news stations and many Buckeye and Arizona residents.
First Responders Memorial (Concept to Reality)
The monument was designed to honor First Responders (Fire, Police, National Guard, Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, EMS, Coast Guard etc.) who have lost their lives while protecting the citizens of Arizona and beyond but also to honor those currently protecting us around our great State of Arizona.
Super Bowl 2015 has created a push for restaurant design in and around Westgate City Center in Glendale, Arizona. Westgate is anchored by a 2-story AMC Theatre and University of Phoenix Stadium. We are working with J.J. Girn , an entrepreneur and franchisor of Fresh Healthy Café a new dining experience moving into the Entertainment District at Westgate. During the design phase of this project I had decided to see Malifacent the movie with my kids. To kill time we hung out in the splash pad area. As I looked to find the empty suite where Fresh was going to be located I noticed how big and bold Buffalo Wings signage was. It occurred to me that we needed to make sure the signage on Fresh was just as bright and tall.
It is important to use contrast so signage will read correctly. Look at the photo on the left above, the yellow lettering really POPS! Fresh Healthy Cafe uses bright lime green and white for their branding so the sign will be able to compete with Buffalo Wild Wings. I was against putting the signage on the gray block wall being that it would be too far back from Wings lettering. This just proves how important it is to look at your design from every angle not just as if you were standing in front of the storefront looking straight on. Or even worse never getting out to see a movie! Most people will take 6 seconds to make up their mind about the visual message of a storefront. You have to convey a positive attraction quickly or it is a design failure. Like a friendly wave saying “Come on over here, I am clean and fun inside!”
Most of the equipment to make the healthy wraps, smoothies and salads was established when we first came on board. We took the concept from Fresh Healthy Cafe and then verified clearances, finalized finishes, light fixture layout and the design of the outdoor patio eating area. We satisfied all the code requirements and worked with the building management and City of Glendale. We even helped our client select the building contractor. We spoke with the candidates past clients to ensure this build out will be complete in time for the BIG GAME!
When designing anything it must be functional and meaningful. The photo below is a stop shot. That’s when I make whoever is driving stop the car so I can take a photo. The architect probably used this 1960’s CMU pattern on many of their buildings back in the day. But someone creative added the sweet colors so it caught my eye. Is it meaningful? Yes, it keeps the rain out of the inside of the building and heavily armed knights charging the wall with x-calibers.
It is easy to get caught up in design especially architecture and forget that people are actually going to use your design after you leave your new building or whatever you designed. The photos below are from the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. I like this exhibit because it reminds the visitor of playing with cars. I always like when collections of any kind are showcased. To make it more meaningful and fun they could design a ramp and let you race cars. The orange track has the cars permanently mounted. Cool but too static and boring.
You need to look at the problem from a different angle or a different outfit. Stepping back is a good way to do this. Changing into flip flops and shorts could work too. Ask a friend for their perspective.
The Collections Cafe in Seattle is a great example of meaningful design. Forgive me for not listing the designer, whoever you are… Can I be you? You rock! Suspended accordions, vintage transistor radios, and creepy yard sale poodle statues are all part of Dale Chihuly’s private collection. Hence the name of the Cafe. Crazy I know! It was a sequential understanding of one artist’s work. First you start in the dark gallery where the glass art is the main focus. Then you have lunch at this cozy cafe and absorb visual clues of Chihuly’s inspirations for his work. I could imagine him looking around at flea markets in hopes of finding another fishing lure for his extensive collection.
The menu design is wonderful too with a continuation of shapes and color. The whole design package is a design win!
The view from the double swinging aluminum doors of the Chase Bank in Historic Buckeye is quite spectacular. Everything inside is a typical Chase interior except when you glance out the front doors which looks onto the rustic aged super graphics painted on the brick of the historic San Linda two story building. The rustic brick cropped image beyond the glass doors is such a stark contrast to the sleek commercial interior. You know you are in the heart of Historic Buckeye.
I was dropping off a stack of the brand new maps of Historic Buckeye. I had some banking to do and after I was done I shared the map with teller Blanca Villareal. She became very friendly as she explained, “I have lived in Buckeye since I was 10 years old.” She was excited that something had been done like this for Buckeye. The Buckeye she remembers was a robust down town full of activity and buzz. The flier made her feel hopeful for the future. She thought the maps would be a great item to give to a new client opening up an account. Blanca has noticed that more people are buying homes and opening new accounts in Buckeye. Derek Stephens, a third generation Buckeye local and personal banker for this particular Chase branch was happy to see the fliers. He opened up the flier and his whole face lit up, “This is awesome! I love the photo of Hobo Joe!”.
This map was a group effort designed and printed by the Buckeye Main Street Coalition. I am very proud indeed to be a member of this group. Our group combines the unique skills and vantage points of both public and private sectors to revitalize down town historic Buckeye commercial district. Through a gradual process that begins with small steps, sustainable improvements are being achieved.