Last week, on the southwest corner of Hardy Road and Northern Avenue, a group of people gathered for the unveiling and dedication of a new piece of public art.
Paseo de los Sueños, which means “Path of Dreams,” was the Pima Association of Governments’ Summer Youth Art Project. The creation was also made in collaboration with the Town of Oro Valley and the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance.
For the past eight weeks, Carolyn King, who is a Tucson artist, worked with 11 students from all walks of life and backgrounds to create a diverse yet unified piece of public art from conceptualizing and design to fabrication and construction.
“I think this project reflects the different passions and styles of each artist,” King said following the ceremony.
Part of the project, which was dedicated to the equestrian, pedestrian and bicycle lifestyle of the residents of Oro Valley, is industrial punk with things made from found objects. There is the arts and crafts portion of separate mosaic tiles depicting scenes from the desert and Oro Valley. There are the two-dimensional pieces of artwork on the façade of the project. And lastly, the area within the project, where people can sit down has a bit of elegance, King said, has a flow and intricate tile work that also includes dozens of small black horses running around the lower portion of the bench area.
Emmy Beager was one of the 11 students who worked on the project. Along with helping with some mosaic waves, Beager made the horses for the project.
“It feels so good to see it done,” Beager said. “It is a huge relief to know it is all finished. But, not that it is done and here, if seems like it has always been here.”
Like the others who helped build the piece of public art, Beager was really happy to know she was a part of making a piece of public art that will be around for quite some time.
The other students who worked on the project were Alyssa Adams, Dane Anderson, Michael Futch, Alexa Greer, Lovasia Holley, Eva Kyle, Braxton Liddell, Katelin McCabe, Kieran Mercer and Haley Roberts.
King also was sure to thank the student’s parents for their help with the project who helped throughout the past two months. During which the students traveled into Tucson and worked at Santa Theresa Tile Works to give the students real-world experience working in an art studio.
In the studio, students learned first hand the challenges that come with working with tile pieces breaking or warping and learning how to work with mistakes rather than attempting to start over from scratch.
“They learned how to deal with things when they don’t their way,” King said. “It’s a good form of character development.”