September 23, 2023

IN FLUX: A Look at Past Artists, Part 2

Scottsdale Public Art created the IN FLUX program in 2010 as an artistic response to empty storefronts due to the recession. It then expanded to a Valley-wide collaborative program and has included installations over the years in Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix, Peoria, Glendale, Avondale, Gilbert, Mesa, Goodyear, and Chandler. As the IN FLUX program comes to an end, we caught up with some of the artists who participated in the program each cycle. The artists revisit their experience with IN FLUX and share what they have been doing since participating in the program. Stay tuned to our website and social media accounts for announcements as we redefine our temporary public art program in Scottsdale.

Cherie Buck-Hutchison stands in front of her piece Scenic View Point at the Tucson Museum of Art. Photo: Julius Schlossburg

Artist: Cherie Buck-Hutchison

Tell us about your experience with the IN FLUX program.

My husband, Curtis, and I collaborated on the #bluewing sculpture. We had a great time working together on this project. We brought our individual expertise to the table, but we also learned new things together through the process. We enjoyed watching our piece develop from rigid one-color flat tiles into a three-dimensional sculpture with multiple colors and mosaic texture. Once it was installed, we loved seeing the tiles sparkle with the traffic motion at the public site. Now it is by Camelback Road, catching lights at the Shemer Art Center

What was memorable about the IN FLUX process?

One thing that really stood out during the creation process was the pandemic. The first wave hit right as we were in full production of the #bluewing. Thankfully, the IN FLUX team was fabulous to work with and found many solutions. We did our studio visit via FaceTime. We emailed follow-up photographs of the progress, and I made a video studio tour in lieu of in-person visits. The installation took place outside. Every step went super smoothly and was very professional. 

Since participating in IN FLUX, what have you been up to?

Currently, I have several projects underway. As an intermedia artist, I use a variety of mediums in my work. 

I am working on The Mitigation of Memories project, an interactive project using multiple contributors, layering their memory-related photos onto a semi-transparent landscape I printed on silk organza. It explores shifting memory (including trauma) by layering it onto a secondary image. I invite anyone interested in learning more and experimenting with a layered piece to reach out to me and have their photo transferred to silk so they can play with the process. It is a fascinating subject. I teamed up with Dr. Marianne Roccaforte-Gardner, a professional counselor and researcher of creativity, to explain the logistics of how this works in the brain. We did a Zoom call that we plan to share on YouTube, and the final layers will debut in a place where folks can come to experience the project. 

Anything else you would like to share?

I have a piece in the current Arizona Biennial 2023 Exhibition at the Tucson Museum of Art. It is a great show with many excellent Arizona artists. I just completed a seven-hour performance piece utilizing my hair and multiple costumes. I am excited to exhibit the documentation. Curtis and I are currently collaborating on another mosaic tile project; this one is for a residential tub/shower area. 

To see more of Buck-Hutshison’s work, please visit

The Travelers by Pete Goldlust was commissioned by Valley Metro Rail. Collaborators included So Metal LLC (fabrication), BDA Design (engineering), Skyce Steel (installation), and The Electrical Plug LLC (lighting installation). Photo: Pete Goldlust

Artist: Pete Goldlust

Tell us about your experience with the IN FLUX program.

I participated in four different rounds of IN FLUX, starting with the initial year of the program. The first time, I did a sculptural installation in a vacant storefront in Scottsdale titled The Ceramic Jungle (Goldfish v. Genies). The 2nd and 3rd were digitally printed murals for the front windows of the Tempe Transportation Center and for the Vision Gallery in Chandler, titled Cycle Ops and Chandlerplants, respectively. The last one was a freestanding exterior sculpture for the City of Chandler for IN FLUX Cycle 8, titled Winged Victory (Saule Squad).

Visit the city of Tempe website and follow the city’s arts program on Instagram at @TempeCityArts to learn more about Tempe’s public art program.

Visit the city of Chandler’s website to learn more about the city’s public art program.

What was memorable about the IN FLUX process?

Each of these projects gave me a great opportunity to expand my art practice in ways that were very significant to my career development. These IN FLUX opportunities all had a major impact on my ability to build a sustained career as a working and taxpaying artist.

Since participating in IN FLUX, what have you been up to?

I was living in Bisbee the first two times I did an IN FLUX project. My family moved to the northwest after that, so for the other cycles of IN FLUX I came back from our new home in Eugene, Oregon, to participate. For the past several years, my wife Melanie and I have been working together making public art full-time! This was an outcome we wouldn’t have thought was possible before my first IN FLUX project.

Anything else you would like to share?

Over the past 12-plus years, I’ve worked on public art projects all around the country, including doing a bunch of projects in the Pacific Northwest since we’ve been living out here. I spend a lot of time digging through listings of public art calls all over the place. I think IN FLUX was really the most expansive, well-coordinated, and well-paying of any series of temporary public art opportunities I’ve ever found anywhere. The budgets that came along with each commission didn’t exactly make me rich, but they were significant and realistic enough that they allowed me to explore and produce new kinds of work and pay my expenses to travel to install and deinstall. I’ve come to learn that this is really a rarity among temporary public art projects. Consequently, I think the quality and scope of the work that IN FLUX enabled was consistently the best I’ve seen in any of these programs.

I think it’s probably not a coincidence that the IN FLUX cities in the Valley make up one of the top regions in the country in terms of producing an environment that’s rich in quality public art. I think the investment these communities made in creating entry-level temporary art opportunities through IN FLUX has been instrumental in building the Valley into a major center for public art.

In retrospect, I feel like I was lucky to have been living in Arizona at the time when IN FLUX was getting started. I had just been laid off from a long-term graphic design job, and IN FLUX gave me a couple of very critical opportunities to get some early experience in public art and, ultimately, make a big professional transition. I’m still very grateful that the IN FLUX communities prioritized this program in such a way that these commissions allowed me to expand my artmaking into new areas, at several critical points in my professional development. Thank you IN FLUX!

To see more of Goldlust’s work, please visit

Back to Immerse home.
CONNECTIONSSpark | Amplify  | Inspire