Arizona artist Mary Lucking merged community needs and history to create a series of elegant public art shade structures for three City of Phoenix Public Transit Park and Rides. With beauty and the comfort of riders in mind,
Lucking designed vertical shade panels with seating to address the need to protect riders from the low-angle sun early in the morning and late in the day. Rising 13 feet in height and stretching up to 46 feet along curbside waiting areas, the powder-coated steel arcades of shade double as community landmarks that celebrate the history and features of the surrounding communities.
Beginning with the 2011 Happy Valley Park-and-Ride, at I-17 and Happy Valley Road, Lucking designed the waterjet-cut patterns of the shade panels to illustrate cars, bicycles, and buses traveling the curving mountain roads of north Phoenix. She also worked with the design team to integrate custom fencing, free-standing screens, and scored concrete into the transit campus. For the second in the Shade for Transit series, the 27th Avenue and Baseline Road Park-and-Ride, Lucking drew upon the ranching history of Laveen, depicting cowboys waiting along a fence – like other transit riders – for the bus to arrive. For the latest in the series of park-and-rides, at 24th Street and Baseline Road, Lucking created images inspired by the agricultural history of the Japanese flower gardens that once lined Baseline Road.
The projects were commissioned by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Public Art Program with Transit Capital Improvement Program Percent-for-Art funds.