​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A Time Machine Called Tinaja

Community Well Site 84/88


For more information, check out this video and see images of the final project below!​

If you'd like to learn more about Bobby Zokaites check out his website and instagram​

Artist Talk

ARTIST:   Bobby Zokaites
TITLE:  A Time Machine for Tinaja
DATE:  2020
ADDRESS:  7304 W. Crittenden Ln
TYPE:  Inactive Well Site Enhancement
MATERIAL:   Steel Sculpture, Lighting, Fencing, Landscaping
BUDGET:   $335,000
ZIP CODE:  85033​

Developed through a partnership between the City's Water Services Department and Office of Arts and Culture Public Art Program, Arizona artist Bobby Zokaites and landscape architects from Dig Studio​ turned a large vacant lot surrounded by chain link fence into a community space with walking paths, sculpture, fencing, lighting, and landscaping.  ​

2023 Arizona Forward Environmental Award Winner

Learn More



Tinaja 12102https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Public Art Openings/Time Machine for Tinaja/TinajaWeb1.jpgTinaja 1https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Forms/DispForm.aspx?ID=21020x0101009148F5A04DDD49CBA7127AADA5FB792B00AADE34325A8B49CDA8BB4DB53328F21400BC0531F15EF7BD4DA33B67ED47CA6AB0Image
Tinaja 22103https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Public Art Openings/Time Machine for Tinaja/TinajaWeb2.jpgTinaja 2https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Forms/DispForm.aspx?ID=21030x0101009148F5A04DDD49CBA7127AADA5FB792B00AADE34325A8B49CDA8BB4DB53328F21400BC0531F15EF7BD4DA33B67ED47CA6AB0Image
Tinaja 32104https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Public Art Openings/Time Machine for Tinaja/TinajaWeb3.jpgTinaja 3https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Forms/DispForm.aspx?ID=21040x0101009148F5A04DDD49CBA7127AADA5FB792B00AADE34325A8B49CDA8BB4DB53328F21400BC0531F15EF7BD4DA33B67ED47CA6AB0Image
Tinaja 62106https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Public Art Openings/Time Machine for Tinaja/TinajaWeb6.jpgTinaja 6https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Forms/DispForm.aspx?ID=21060x0101009148F5A04DDD49CBA7127AADA5FB792B00AADE34325A8B49CDA8BB4DB53328F21400BC0531F15EF7BD4DA33B67ED47CA6AB0Image
Tinaja 42109https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Public Art Openings/Time Machine for Tinaja/TinajaWeb4.jpgTinaja 4https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Forms/DispForm.aspx?ID=21090x0101009148F5A04DDD49CBA7127AADA5FB792B00AADE34325A8B49CDA8BB4DB53328F21400BC0531F15EF7BD4DA33B67ED47CA6AB0Image
Tinaja 52110https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Public Art Openings/Time Machine for Tinaja/TinajaWeb5.jpgTinaja 5https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Forms/DispForm.aspx?ID=21100x0101009148F5A04DDD49CBA7127AADA5FB792B00AADE34325A8B49CDA8BB4DB53328F21400BC0531F15EF7BD4DA33B67ED47CA6AB0Image
Tinaja 72111https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Public Art Openings/Time Machine for Tinaja/TinajaWeb7.jpgTinaja 7https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Forms/DispForm.aspx?ID=21110x0101009148F5A04DDD49CBA7127AADA5FB792B00AADE34325A8B49CDA8BB4DB53328F21400BC0531F15EF7BD4DA33B67ED47CA6AB0Image
Tinaja 92112https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Public Art Openings/Time Machine for Tinaja/TinajaWeb9.jpgTinaja 9https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Forms/DispForm.aspx?ID=21120x0101009148F5A04DDD49CBA7127AADA5FB792B00AADE34325A8B49CDA8BB4DB53328F21400BC0531F15EF7BD4DA33B67ED47CA6AB0Image
Tinaja 102113https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Public Art Openings/Time Machine for Tinaja/TinajaWeb10.jpgTinaja 10https://www.phoenix.gov/artssite/MediaAssets/Forms/DispForm.aspx?ID=21130x0101009148F5A04DDD49CBA7127AADA5FB792B00AADE34325A8B49CDA8BB4DB53328F21400BC0531F15EF7BD4DA33B67ED47CA6AB0Image

Inspired by comments from Neighborhood Groups as well as Trevor G Browne High School Students and the transition of use of land on this site, the improvements include several new amenities: custom sculpture, trees for shade, lighting for safety and fencing for security. 

​The team began their work on this project by meeting with neighbors of the site.  They further researched the community’s concerns by holding a workshop with over 100 students at Trevor G. Browne High School. Through these workshops, students were able to express their needs as they are the primary users of the site, passing it daily on their walk to and from school. This community work in addition to studies of historic aerials and land use helped the artist develop his concept.


Historic Aerials of this site indicate the transition of time from when the location was home to farmland. A water well is first shown in the mid 1960’s – still surrounded by farm fields. In the late 1970s and early 1980s we see the use of the land transform dramatically into densely populated neighborhood. Around this point in time, the large above ground tank well appears to have been removed as well. This transition of land use from native desert landscape to fertile farmland and again to residential neighborhood and city park inspired the artist and landscape architect to create enhancements for this park that reference the passage of time. 

​The word "tinaja" is Spanish word for earthen jar, and also identifies natural small pockets of water that sit on top of the Sonoran desert. For the artist, finding one of these pockets in the desert is always a reassuring sight, and very exciting. Therefore the title “A Time Machine Called Tinaja” references the transition of land use, water sources, and the community’s interaction with the land.  The sculptures themselves are a kind of​ passageway with glowing light and cool blue panels that mimic the look and feel of water. ​