For years while the town of Tempe was developing the Tempe Town Lake area, I would drive by everyday on my way to work. I never stopped to wander. It has really developed nicely and I took advantage of some shirt sleeve weather to wander around a section of the lake. Free parking was available at the Tempe Center for the Arts.
I hadn't expected the various public art pieces displayed along the way. I headed west on the left shore of the Salt River, starting just below the dam that creates the lake.
I found the public art fascinating, enjoying the way the talented artist-welder highlighted nature features.
Obviously, there were even famous mathematicians involved.
I did get a snicker out of the badly sunburned sign, especially the part about the 'fast currents.' It's been a long while since we had enough rain to have fast currents in this section of the Salt River.
The section below the dam does create an interesting riparian environment. Standing here on the Priest Avenue bridge provided a different viewpoint to watch the Great Blue Heron that were fishing.
Of all the public art on my walk around this section of the park, this one was my favorite. It's a very realistic looking tree until you get up close.
The tree is all metallic. The leaves each have the name of someone who donated funds to plant trees in this revitalized area.
If the last tree wasn't enough, further east on the north side of the lake are these three art trees that include even more names of donors.
I guess you could say that public art comes in all sizes. The origami building, better known as the Tempe Center for the Arts, is rather unique. Given its location on short final for Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, noise was a significant concern for the architects. Each of the three performance venues inside the building are separate structures from the outer envelope.
My favorite piece of functional art was the walking bridge. It crosses the lake (a dammed up portion of the Salt River) just upstream of the dam with the southern terminus right at the Center for the Arts. I imagine that is could be very busy with bikes and walkers at some times, but it certainly wasn't that way the morning I was there.