At Lizard Acres, a special family of larger-than-life critters brings a little bit of fantasy to everyday desert living. Oversized tortoises happily munch away on prickly pear cacti, and a whimsical horned toad suns on an enormous boulder.
Lizard Acres was commissioned with the benefit of the community in mind and a goal of contributing a valuable sense of identity and pride. It has been created as a long-lasting addition of original public art exclusive to this Scottsdale neighborhood and will serve as a community asset for years to come. Arizona artist, Joe Tyler, painstakingly custom-designed and crafted several endearing critters from durable steel and rebar over the course of two years. Tyler worked in association with the engineering firm of BRW, responsible for the landscape’s design.
Joe Tyler believes there’s a lot in a name. As the McDonald Drive streetscape improvement project developed and construction began, the artist christened his work with a title that referenced a favorite childhood haunt. Lizard Acres was originally the name of the largest cattle feed lot in Arizona, a vast playground for the young would-be artist. Youth was also the time when Mr. Tyler’s love for horticulture began. Botanical drawings were his first art projects, and these later became the basis for sculptural experimentation. With a designation secured and a passion ignited, the space was able to develop, housing surreal, out of proportion reptiles and delicate steel plant life that are woven into the desert landscape.