When artworks are installed
in public places, many people see them everyday, but they
are more vulnerable to a variety of threats. Pigeon droppings
are a challenge for those committed to taking care of Luis
Jiménez' Alligator sculpture in El Paso.
curator, who is familiar with maintaining Jiménez'
sculptures in El Paso, shares her views about ways to take
care of a cast of the Southwest Pieta on the campus of Arizona
environment can be a major factor affecting the condition
of outdoor sculpture. The summer temperatures in Albuquerque
can be quite high. Yet in the winter the sculpture can be
topped with snow.
cast of the Southwest Pieta is installed at Arizona State
University in Tempe, Arizona, near Phoenix, in the Sonoran
Desert. Temperatures rise above 100 degrees most summer days
and also through much of the spring and fall.
the year the humidity in the Phoenix area is extremely low.
Tempe gets only about seven inches of rain a year. Although
it very seldom freezes, water can work its way into any tiny
crack in the surface of the sculpture.
Phoenix area (known locally as the Valley of the Sun) has
experienced tremendous growth in the last few decades. Along
with growth has come urban sprawl and many, many cars and
trucks. In spite of efforts to control air pollution, temperature
inversions can cause pollutants to collect in the Valley.
Such pollution is not only unhealthy for humans, it can damage
outdoor public art, such as the Southwest Pieta.
Both people and nature can threaten
treasures we care about.
to part 2