Feb. 8, 2013
A new public art project to improve the city of Phoenix Water Services Department Lift Station 53 will be dedicated at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 629 E. Las Palmaritas Drive, (north of Northern Avenue off Seventh Street). Vice Mayor Bill Gates and local community leaders will attend the project dedication.
The design was created by Arizona artists Matt and Maria Salenger of CoLab Studio, to fulfill a community request to improve the look of the building as part of security and systems upgrades at the site. The team designed a decorative cornice that runs the 50-foot length of the building’s four walls. Featuring cut-out patterns based upon the flowing shapes of desert and marine flora, the patterns animate a slowly moving play of light and shadow on the walls as the sun moves across the sky. At night, LED backlighting silhouettes the cut-out patterns for people walking along the nearby canal or driving along Seventh Street.
“Projects like this one help to make our public buildings and spaces come alive,” said Vice Mayor Bill Gates. “These improvements not only strengthen the community’s quality of life, they also put talented local designers and fabricators to work in building innovative designs that will last a lifetime.”
Lift stations play an essential role in the city’s wastewater system; they are designed to "lift" sewage that normally travels through underground gravity pipelines over or around obstacles, such as canals, mountains or rivers.
The project was commissioned by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Public Art Program with percent-for-the-art funds from the Phoenix Wastewater Capital Improvement Program.