May 26, 2022

The completed Cholla Canal Water Resources mural can be seen at the public utility building on the northwest corner of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and the Greenway-Hayden Loop in north Scottsdale. Scottsdale Arts photo.

From Blah to Beautiful: New Mural in Scottsdale

Sculptures of various mediums depicting the spirit of the southwest are a staple of Scottsdale. These sculptures are familiar and comfortable and comprise many of the public art pieces in the Scottsdale Public Art Permanent Collection, including Louise Nevelson’s Windows to the West, below.

Windows to the West by Louise Nevelson has long stood at Scottsdale Civic Center. Currently in storage during Civic Center renovations, the popular sculpture will return to the park in 2023. Scottsdale Arts photo.

Murals are a quite different form of public art. While murals are prolific in Phoenix and other cities across the nation, they are not in Scottsdale. Scottsdale Public Art is working to change this.

Kyllan Maney is a well-known public artist in Arizona, with art shown across the Valley. She enjoys the inventive and creative process of working with color and pattern in her large-scale murals. The scale and color interaction of these murals makes them dynamically viewable from a distance, creating an artistic landmark.

Her newest mural, Cholla Canal Water Resources, is located in Scottsdale on the Water Resources building at the northwest intersection of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and the Greenway-Hayden Loop. The colorful, acrylic polymer mural spans the majority of the building façade that faces the intersection. Maney’s mural is a part of the larger, in-progress Water Resources project, a collaboration between Keep Scottsdale Beautiful and Scottsdale Public Art. This is a beautification project with the intent of transforming a lackluster area of Scottsdale into a community point of pride.

This photos shows the Water Resources building prior to the painting of the mural. Scottsdale Arts photo.

The design for the Cholla Canal Water Resources mural is based on ideas from an Arizona State University design team. This team created the overall concepts for the project. The artwork invokes the natural elements of the place: earth, vegetation, mountains, water, and sky. And it acknowledges the relationship between the landscape and the man-made elements surrounding it: the Central Arizona Project Canal, Scottsdale Water Resources, and the TPC Scottsdale golf course (home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open), all of which have a long history in Scottsdale.

Maney shared an anecdote of her experience creating this desert mural: “One great thing about being next to the canal was observing the wildlife. We saw a number of swallows that live under the bridge of the canal. We were also visited by lizards. We made great friends with a male grackle. He would come and sit on the boom lift arm and chirp and sing with our music. When we moved off the boom lift and onto the ground the following day, he followed us and sat on top of the wall, chimping. We also saw a family of geese, two babies and parents. One day we did not see the babies, just the parents. We were a bit concerned. But a few hours later we saw them all floating down the canal together.”

Go see the Cholla Canal Water Resources mural and keep an eye out for the rest of the Water Resources public art, coming soon.

Kyllan Maney poses with the partially complete mural at the Water Resources building in north Scottsdale. Scottsdale Arts photo.

Kyllan Maney shows her other work across the Valley in various galleries. She has created commercial and residential murals at MonOrchid, Intel, Paypal, The Dhaba, Mesa Public Library, and Roche Diagnostics, and in Downtown Phoenix. She was the recipient of the 2021 IN FLUX  project for the City of Tempe, where she created art for banners on the outside of the Edna Vihil building. Recently, Maney created large-scale vinyl decals for the windows at Tempe Center for the Arts.

Maney loves creating interactive community collective installations and interactive art throughout the year. These projects have included Scottsdale Public Art’s annual Canal Convergence event, Desert Glow at Desert Botanical Garden, and Spark! events at the Mesa Arts Center. As a teaching artist, Maney shares her art knowledge as an instructor and is the visual arts coordinator at New School for the Arts and Academics.

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