​​​​​​​Arizona Science Center (formerly Phoenix Museum of History)

​Lighting Centerpiece​​

 

 

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ARTIST:    Tom Joyce
DATE:   1998​​
LOCATION:   105 N. 5th Street
TYPE:   Sculpture
MATERIALS:   Forged Steel, Mica, Copper
BUDGET:   $50,000
DISTRICT:   8
ZIP CODE:   ​85004


The artist created an abstract design based in part by the agricultural origins of Phoenix including the complex canal system and early agricultural tools used by the Hohokam to provide irrigation from the Salt River.  The centerpiece was designed to wrap around a structural support member in the lobby. The process of creating the work alludes to the myth of the Phoenix bird.

The work, which measures twenty feet by seven feet high, is comprised of more than 140 pieces held together by 480 fasteners. Each piece of the armature was hand-forged by Joyce in a coal fire.  Amber-colored sheets of mica were used for the translucent glazing areas of the work.  The mica sheets are edged in copper with a dark patina.  The abstract form of the work is evocative of fire and casts subtle shades of amber light in the museum's lobby.