Artist designs shade structure for new Chandler museum - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Artist designs shade structure for new Chandler museum

May 10th, 2018 development
Artist designs shade structure for new Chandler museum

By Alexis Andreopoulos, Staff


Chandler residents are finally getting what they have asked for – not just a new building for the Chandler Museum, but one with a shade structure bearing an artistic twist.

In August 2017, the Chandler Arts Commission asked for artists to help create and design a public art installation that will be incorporated into the design of the new Chandler Museum building, currently under construction.

As many as 15 local artists applied for the chance to have their design and artistry used to enhance the new building. The artists were told the fee for the project would be up to $60,000 and would cover all materials, fabrication, installation, travel, insurance and design fees.

The Chandler Arts Commission narrowed its search to three finalists based on merit and aesthetics they believed would best fit the style of the building.

In the end, the commission chose Jeff Zischke, an artist based in Scottsdale.

Zischke has designed numerous public art installations around Arizona – including “Water Striders” at Scottsdale Waterfront and a 24-foot-high stainless-steel horse at Westworld in Scottsdale.

Zischke’s installation for the museum, titled Infinite Wave, is made of articulated wavy sculptural shapes that will be installed within the framework of the museum over a courtyard meeting space.

The courtyard and shade structure will serve as a connection point between the new building and the adjacent McCullough-Price House, a historic adobe ranch house just south of the new museum.

“It’s a big shade structure, 65 by 75 feet, and so for me, that was a challenge. I like doing big stuff, thinking on a grand scale, so that intrigued me,” he said. “I chose organic-based wavy-type shapes that were developed with a new design motif that reflects the modern and progressive traits of the people and the City of Chandler.”

Zischke’s main muse for the piece was to create a real experience for anyone who visits the museum.

“My other inspiration was to create really interesting shadows. I wanted something that would be experiential so that when you look up, you see this reflective material in that wavy shape but then also on the terra you would get these great shadows and images as well.”

The Chandler Arts Commission has been working with Zischke to finalize his design so fabrication and installation can begin.  

“I am really looking forward to seeing this public art installation in place,” says Peter Bugg, Chandlers’ visual arts coordinator. “I’m excited to be able to use the public funds obtained from this ordinance for an arts project that will be integrated within the museum for visitors to enjoy. I think it’s a good use of money from the perspective of the artist, architect and taxpayers whose votes to fund the museum.”

Infinite Wave is funded by the City of Chandler’s Percent for Art Ordinance. One percent of limited capital improvement projects, primarily new buildings and parks, is allocated for the acquisition, commission and installation of public art.

The unveiling of the project is scheduled later this year when the museum is dedicated.

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