When Colorado-based artist Annette Coleman was younger, she would take her daughter to the splash pad in Boulder.
Now, she’s making artwork for splash pads. Her newest work, “Pinball Wizard,” has been added to the Scottsdale Public Art Permanent Collection near the Marshall Way Bridge at Scottsdale Waterfront.
The project comprises a new concrete wall and bench with 30 concrete spheres and domes of various sizes that are covered with stained glass, plus inset waves of vertical glass mosaic pieces in the bench.
“I hope more people find that splash pad now that there’s art there,” Coleman said. “I’m hoping with this installation that people find this and have fun with it.
“I would hope the Scottsdale community embraces the ‘Pinball Wizard’ installation and it becomes much like the ‘LOVE’ sculpture by Robert Indiana for wedding, shower, and family reunion photos.”
Splash pads:Here are 49 places across metro Phoenix to cool off your kids
How Coleman’s vision came to life
Coleman, who works primarily on stained glass art, applied for the Scottsdale splash pad project after seeing an open call for the work in the spring of 2020. After being chosen as a semifinalist and giving a video presentation on her vision for the project, she was selected.
In December 2020, she signed a contract to begin. The original project was budgeted at $50,000. After bids were put out to cover additional concrete work costs, the total came to $100,000.
The process was long, said Coleman, who has done several public art installations across the country, including a large-scale stained-glass work on the Colorado Mesa University campus in Grand Junction and a lighted mosaic bas-relief work at Colorado Western University in Gunnison.
“Public art projects take more time than you would think,” Coleman said. “Some of the time is working with Scottsdale Public Art in figuring out what is needed to make the space inviting and address any infrastructure issues such as cracks in the concrete and what work needs to be done before the art part of the project begins.”
You won’t believe your eyes:A trippy new Illusions museum is coming to metro Phoenix
What to look for at ‘Pinball Wizard’
The project reflects Coleman’s love of games as a child.
“Games using balls was my focus,” Coleman said. “As a child I played jacks, four-square, tetherball, baseball, tennis and the occasional Pinball game. The inset wave mosaics are a water reference directly relating to the setting.”
To create the domes in “Pinball Wizard,” Coleman used thin-set concrete mortar, cement FibaTape (a mesh tape) and high-density foam. She used Bosu exercise balls to create the Dome forms.
Coleman decorated the large balls with more than 2,000 one-inch hand-cut stained glass squares, she said. The rainbow of colors in the mosaic squares is echoed in more than 100 strips of stained glass in the inset wave on the bench.
The hope for the project, Coleman said, is to enliven the children’s play area and attract people to come enjoy the artwork and take selfies and photos.
“I’m hoping I see bachelorette photos with all the crazy bridesmaids,” Coleman said, laughing.
A huge deal:The arts in Arizona just got their biggest chunk of funding ever
‘Pinball Wizard’ splash pad in Scottsdale
You can see Coleman’s artwork at the splash pad at the Scottsdale Waterfront, 7135 E. Camelback Road. scottsdalepublicart.org/work/pinball-wizard.
Reach the Reporter at [email protected] Follow her on Instagram @sofia.krusmark.