Tucson's Public Art

Small Gila

Title: Gilas, by Bob Vint, Mike Wilhelm, Dan Wilhelm, Fred Gumbert (1993)

Location: Median on bridge over the Santa Cruz River near Midvale Park and Irvington Road.

Details: Commisioned by the City of Tucson. Concrete and assorted tile mosaic: broken dishes, tile, marbles, scorpions in acrylic, pool balls, spark plugs, mah jongg tiles, broken mirrors, horse shoes, shells, bottles, unfired pottery, coins, religious figures, doorknobs, drawer pulls, dice, etc.

She Said:

I love these two huge Gila monsters!  They really are terrific, decorated with an amazing assortment of colorful tiles and other objects. According to the Midvale Park Master Review Homeowners Association Newsletter, "the twin lizards are decorated with objects that represent a cross-section of Tucson’s history as it was washed up along the river from early trash dumps" and others were offered for use by residents of the area. What great idea! And what a wonderful treasure these enormous desert dwellers are. 

He Said:

Wow! Two fifty foot long Gila monsters. These are easily the best pieces of outdoor art I have seen to date in the Tucson area. Possibly anywhere. It may not be well known, but Tucson has recognized public art as an essential public service to be funded annually. These two beauties show that it's money well spent. Just thinking of these make me smile, and when I drive past, well, that's the end.

As an architect, Bob Vint has been responsible for quite a number of excellent restorations on adobe houses in the historic downtown areas.

Copyright © 2004 S. Halversen. All rights reserved.