Tucson/Pima Arts Council
Mary Ellen Wooten
Three traffic circles, 36 signs, 4 ft. x 2 ft. x 2 ft. each
Cook and Company Signmakers
In the Dunbar/Spring neighborhood in Tucson, I worked with members of the community to create artworks for three traffic circles in their neighborhood. To reflect the neighborhood’s rich history and colorful and creative present, I created a series of images incorporated into colorful street signs. Before I started drawing, I spent time meeting the people in the neighborhood going to community meetings, festivals, community tree-plantings, and learning about current neighborhood issues by talking to residents and participating in their neighborhood internet listserv.
The result was an artwork that tells the story of the place which has been embraced by the area’s residents.
When I started working on this project, the plans for the new traffic circles had space set aside for art in the center of each circle, with reflective directional signs all around the perimeter. Working with the city’s landscape architect, I was able to replace all the directional signs with art panels made from the same highly-visible reflective material, and fill the centers with desert plants.