Mesa Community College (MCC) has for years been dedicating specified areas around campus to beautify and develop the Art Walk. Since the Soleri Bells were added in 1968, the MCC administration has been allowing artwork be created on campus by faculty, students, alumni and celebrated artists as an effort to raise awareness of the arts and beautify the surrounding areas. More than thirty permanent public art exhibits ranging from sculptures to painted works can be found just by simply taking a walk around the school.
Beginning the walk from the MCC Rose garden located on the north side of campus five unique pieces of art can be found here, including the well-known Rose Garden Bridge that connects the Southern road sidewalk to the parking lot. The bridge was built in 2013 after MCC were chosen to receive a grant from the Stanley Smith Horticulture Trust resulting in up to $40,000 for a variety of garden projects that were meant to enhance the environmental look. The bridge was added so students can quickly and safely cross the retention area near the Southern and Dobson corner of the campus of without damaging any of the projects performed since the grant was given to MCC.
Only a short walk from the Rose Garden and located outside building LA3 is the iconic piece entitled Sacrament. Created as part of MCC’s Art in Public Places program the sculpture functions not only as rainwater collector but given the unique design also is a filtering device.Sacrament, is one of the older pieces completed in 1992 by Kevin Berry, pays tribute to the Salt River and the ancient people that once lived on its banks. The structure is made of bronze and filled with stones all representative of the local environment.
Finishing the walk to the other side of campus we find “Generations”. This is a student-designed mural on found on the west side of Studio 28 and incorporates many themes highlighting the heritage of the Southwest. The issues of women’s rights, the cultural gap between generations, urbanization, water rights and the concept of past, present, and future are all interwoven into the design, which seeks to bring awareness to the good and bad consequences of expansion.
The project involved several months of student-based research, design, and execution and included a Community Paint Day, which drew over 70 participants from MCC and the community.
The entire project was completed in the Spring of last year under the direction of artist Hugo Medina. This collaborative project was overseen by a cross-disciplinary team and made possible through a 2015-16 Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction grant and MCC contributions. Mesa Community College has a clear dedication to the education and development of its students, and through the various projects done on campus young artists are given this rare opportunity.
In this article, we have only mentioned three of the over thirty public art pieces that have to be conceived and created here on the Mesa Community College campus. All are encouraged to go out and take a walk around campus to enjoy the arts