Some Whimsical Art in a Shopping Center

Art in a Shopping Plaza

Stopping by one of the new, but smaller, shopping plazas, the Oracle Crossings Shopping Center on N. Oracle Road in the Northwest Tucson town of Oro Valley recently, I encountered some interesting and whimsical sculptures amongst the stores. Even though I didn't have my camera with me, I did have my cellphone and was able to take some very good pictures of the art.

The sculptures were neither classical nor abstract, but were obviously meant to give shoppers a few moments of entertainment while passing by. Each sculpture was in its own area rather than gathered in a central area and each one seemed to have been designed to fit in with its immediate surroundings.

While large, with a variety of stores, this particular shopping center is mostly a place to shop. Unlike nearby malls, it is neither enclosed nor has space that can be used for other types of gatherings. Rather, it is a nice collection of larger stores and restaurants, conveniently built around a large parking lot. While it has more class than a roadside strip mall, it is still basically a place to shop and eat.

Sculpture of boy looking for a bank while  pulling wagon with bag of pennies
Sculpture of boy looking for a bank while pulling wagon with bag of pennies | Source

Public Art

The art in the plaza is obviously what is known as public art- art that is designed with the intention of displaying it in an open public space where it can be viewed by the public at large.

Since ancient times public art has been common in cities. Until recently such art was generally limited to stone and metal sculptures constructed to commemorate or honor famous people - such as Lord Nelson's statute in Trafalgar Square in London or the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., or events such as the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor which commemorates the friendship between France and the American Colonies during the American Revolution.

Such traditional public art was usually commissioned and paid for by governments, wealthy patrons or monarchs.

While governments and wealthy patrons still commission and pay for such art a third group has emerged in recent times and that is private business. Now, private businesses have a long tradition of decorating their buildings with art with the motive being to enhance their prestige and/or attract customers to the business.

However, in recent years governments at all levels in the United States, have begun using their zoning power to require that developers include art in large construction projects as a condition of receiving government approval to build.

The government's role in this varies from simply stipulating that 1% or more of the construction cost be devoted to paying for including public art in the project to having the government play an active role in dictating the type of art the developer is to purchase and place in the project. The art in these pictures was probably commissioned and paid for by the builder as a condition of being allowed to go ahead with the project.

Sculpture of wagon with a bag of pennies
Sculpture of wagon with a bag of pennies | Source
Artist David Voisard
Artist David Voisard | Source

The Artist David Voisard

Accompanying each sculpture is a metal plate identifying the artist as David Voisard. In addition to the date, the nameplate also includes the URL for David Voisard's website.

Visiting David Voisard's website one learns that the artist has been in business as a sculpture in Tucson for over 25 years and serves a large clientele throughout the United States. He produces works of art for both individual collectors as well as public art for projects like the Oracle Crossings Shopping Center.

Moving to his portfolio page, one can see a sample both his individual works in wood and metal as well as some samples of his public art including his Reflections sculpture which sits in the Oracle Crossings Shopping Center.

Selfie of Man Taking Picture of His Reflection

Sculpture of Man Taking a Picture of his reflection.
Sculpture of Man Taking a Picture of his reflection. | Source

Views of Sculpture of Man Taking Picture of His Reflection

Man photographing a wall which contains a picture of reflection of him and of the Catalina mountains behind him.
Man photographing a wall which contains a picture of reflection of him and of the Catalina mountains behind him. | Source
Our photographer from another angle
Our photographer from another angle | Source
Selfie - Sculpture of man taking Selfie picture of his reflection
Selfie - Sculpture of man taking Selfie picture of his reflection | Source
Reflection of man and Santa Catalina mountains which are across the street from the Oracle Crossings Shopping Center
Reflection of man and Santa Catalina mountains which are across the street from the Oracle Crossings Shopping Center | Source

A Couple of Close Ups

Source

Father and Son Enjoying Pizza after a Game

Father and son taking a break from baseball game for pizza
Father and son taking a break from baseball game for pizza | Source
Father & Son reaching for the last 2 slices of pizza
Father & Son reaching for the last 2 slices of pizza | Source
In case you didn't recognize the pizza the name plate beneath the sculpture gives it away.
In case you didn't recognize the pizza the name plate beneath the sculpture gives it away. | Source
A logical backdrop for this sculpture - a Pizza Parlor!
A logical backdrop for this sculpture - a Pizza Parlor! | Source

A Grocery Shopper

Sculpture of Woman entangled in cash register receipt an pushing her child in a grocery cart
Sculpture of Woman entangled in cash register receipt an pushing her child in a grocery cart | Source

© 2009 Chuck Nugent

More by this Author


Comments 7 comments

jbosh1972 profile image

jbosh1972 4 years ago from Indianapolis, IN. USA

I absolutely love this. There is quite a few public art statues in Carmel Indiana in there new art district. There is some abstract displays as well. I will have to take pictures of them.


glowingrocks profile image

glowingrocks 5 years ago from New York

Neat!


candle62 profile image

candle62 6 years ago from London

this was great thankyou


Hub Love profile image

Hub Love 6 years ago from United States

There's some similarly styled art in Jupiter Florida in a shopping center. It's not the same, and definitely not the same artist, but it's also metal sculptures like these, of people doing things. Except the ones down here are children. Some of them look kind of creepy, actually...


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Chuck, terrific sculptures. I agree with JamaGenee that reflection, I took me a minute to realize it was part of the artwork!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

What a great hub! My favorite is the man photographing his own reflection. What imagination it took to come up with that one!


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

this was great...I should post the sculptures we have here in my town...very wonderful art work from so many people..I Love It...I especially liked the shopping cart and the lady ....Thanks...G-Ma :o) HUGS

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working