Press Release, Public Art

May 2, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 2, 2024 
MEDIA CONTACT: Sydney Ritter | [email protected] | 480-874-4663

Public artwork brings together athletics, art at new sports complex in Scottsdale 

Scottsdale Public Art and artist Troy Neiman installed “Polygon Plaza” at the Reata Sports Complex.
Photo: Brian Passey

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Scottsdale Arts welcomes a new addition to the Scottsdale Public Art Permanent Collection with the unveiling of “Polygon Plaza” at the new Reata Sports Complex. 

The complex, located at Thompson Peak Parkway and McDowell Mountain Ranch Road, is part of a larger project to build up to 13 full-sized multiuse sports fields to meet the increased demand for lighted sports fields in the community and create the ability for Scottsdale to host larger tournaments. 

“It’s nice that we are doing projects that aren’t conventionally art-focused,” said Victoria Sajadi, public art manager for Scottsdale Public Art, a department of the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts. “To have these projects at sports complexes is going to invite people who maybe wouldn’t go to a museum or seek out public art. ‘Polygon Plaza’ will hopefully become an art gateway for sports fans who see those references and how they align with their interests.” 

Neiman drew inspiration from a classic soccer ball. The artwork is constructed of two types of regular polygons: 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons. In geometry, this configuration is known as a truncated icosahedron and has remained a lasting symbol of soccer since the 1960s. 

“Polygon Plaza” celebrates this iconic design with a unique convergence of mathematics, sports and public space. 

“I have a renewed interest in the history of soccer, especially the soccer ball,” Neiman said. “It’s gone through some changes, but I think it’s fascinating that you can use these flat-sided shapes to make a round ball.” 

As observers gaze upon “Polygon Plaza,” they might assume the artwork comprises only polygons, but the surrounding brick wall is also an essential part of the artistic design. The hexagonal shape of the half-wall is included in the soccer ball design and is made from bricks produced by Brick by Brick, a program developed and coordinated by Scottsdale’s Human Services department that aids individuals facing homelessness. Participants produce compressed earth blocks for use in Scottsdale capital projects, such as “Polygon Plaza.” 

“The program was super helpful and knowledgeable and friendly,” Neiman said. “It’s environmentally friendly, it gives people jobs and it looks great. It’s a nice contrast between the concrete polygon pedestals in the middle and the bench that surrounds the artwork.” 

This partnership with Brick by Brick perfectly symbolizes not only the intersection of art and sports that “Polygon Plaza” creates but also the spirit of collaboration and community engagement. With its innovative design and inclusive spirit, the plaza stands as a testament to the power of creativity to inspire, connect and enrich lives. 

“I like that ‘Polygon Plaza’ not only relates to the soccer ball concept but also becomes a gathering space at the pinnacle of the complex,” Neiman said. “People can sit on the artwork and have a conversation with each other, and kids can play on it. That’s what I want public art to be.” 

The city of Scottsdale and Scottsdale Arts will hold a dedication of “Polygon Plaza” at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at the official opening of the Reata Sports Complex, 9809 E McDowell Mountain Road. The dedication will include speeches, light bites and an opportunity to meet the artist. To learn more about “Polygon Plaza” and view photos of the artwork, visit ScottsdalePublicArt.org/work/polygon-plaza.