Westward Adventure

Big Projects, Beginning to End, Dirty, Filthy Fun, Inspiration, Lift, News from the Shop

The last leg of the journey! The sculpture was powdercoated and finally ready to be wrapped up, loaded up, and transported 2000 miles to the west!

Casper wished us luck and we were on our way!

Day 1: We realize the car can’t top 60 mph with all the weight. Ut oh, this drive just got longer.

Day 2: We cross into Texas.

And admire the big blue sky.

Suddenly the landscape shifts! Huge pale rocks rise up and we drive on highway, cut right into mountains. Average speed drops to 50 mph but it’s worth it for the views.

Day 3: Sunrise over mountains. We’re still in Texas. Still.

Day 4: Last 6 hours of road and I can hardly keep from stopping the car to go look at all the cool stuff!

4 days on the road and many delicious Mexican restaurants later we arrived in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Time to install

The Bell Tower is an open air structure that stands 2 stories tall within the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall. Cafes, restaurants, bars, and office spaces surround the tower and visitors to the area look forward to the new Belle Art installation.

The venue was amazing and the people who own businesses in that area were very welcoming and encouraging of the project. The Scottsdale Public Art Program does an incredible job bringing art to the area and the Belle Art Cycles are just one way they incorporate art into the lives of the Scottsdale people. If you’re ever there for a visit, or already live in the area, like them on Facebook to see what’s going on and visit their website to see of the amazing work they’re doing.

We hung each balloon upside down and spaced, then crimped, into place each hoop one at a time. My pal, Finn, flew in from California to help us and wow was she helpful! Finn is a gifted problem solver and came up with all sorts of approaches to speed things along that I never would have thought of. Thank you Finn!

Finn and Andy kickin buttl!
Finn and Andy kickin buttl!
Daniel Funkhouser from the Scottsdale Public Art Program was tremendously helpful as well!
Daniel Funkhouser from the Scottsdale Public Art Program was tremendously helpful as well!
Andy working inside the balloon
Andy working inside the balloon

We spent the weekend hanging the balloons and then hoisting them to the ceiling. Riding the lift to hang Lift was great fun! Here’s a video of my rising up into one of the balloons.

When all the balloons were hung we mounted the benches to the floor below and install was complete!

happy crew!
happy crew!

We had just enough time to enjoy the town and celebrate our victory before heading home!

Stay tuned for final photos of Lift and thanks for following along!

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I create large metal sculptures for public art, smaller items for you and your home, and teach hands on metal workshops in Gainesville, FL. Visit LeslieTharp.com