Two Phoenix Public Art Projects Named Among Nation’s Best Two Phoenix Public Art Projects Named Among Nation’s Best <div class="ExternalClassBCF8BF386AB843219DC1035CA4D7E4C2"><p>Two Phoenix public art projects were named among the nation's top 37 public arts projects by the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review program. The projects, "Ground Cover" and "Desert Spring," were selected from 345 projects submitted in 2013 by cities and communities throughout the United States. </p><p>The Public Art Network Year in Review is the only annual program that celebrates the nation's most compelling public art. The awards were announced last month at the 2014 AFTA/PAN convention in Nashville.</p><p>"Ground Cover" was created by Arizona artist Ann Morton. She brought together quilters, knitters, weavers and other "blanketeers" from 22 states and two provinces of Canada to make 300 blankets that filled a vacant lot downtown with the monumental image of colorful desert flowers. The giant blanket (116 feet x 50 feet) was installed in December 2013 on a lot at First Avenue and McKinley Street. After the one-day display, the large blanket was disassembled into the 300 smaller ones, which were distributed to homeless people through social service agencies. </p><p>"Desert Spring" was designed by artists Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar of R+R Studios in Miami, in collaboration with Premier Engineering of Phoenix. The project was built by Haydon Building Corporation. It included photo mosaics, shaded viewing areas and seating to enhance the experience for drivers, bicyclists and hikers using the new Sonoran Boulevard and its multi-use trail through the Sonoran Desert Preserve in north Phoenix. The artists worked with the project engineering team to fully integrate the enhancements into the roadway's three bridges across Apache Wash and Cave Creek Wash. The mosaics – located on the bridge walls – depict a colorful panoramic view of the Sonoran desert plants.  </p><p>Both award-winning projects were commissioned by the city of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Public Art Program. "Ground Cover" was supported in part by a National Endowment for the Arts "Our Town" grant as part of Cultural Connections, a series of temporary artworks commissioned by the city of Phoenix, the Arizona State University Art Museum and Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation.</p><p>For more information about Phoenix's Public Art Program, visit phoenix.gov/arts, call 602-262-4637 or TTY 602-534-5500, or follow the Office of Arts and Culture on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Phxofficeofartsandculture.</p><p>The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture was established by the Phoenix City Council in 1985 to advance the growth and development of the city's arts and cultural community.</p></div>7/28/2014 9:00:00 PMJoyce Valdez602-262-6213