Simon Donovan and Ben Olmstead
Located in the center of the first arterial and first multi-lane roundabout in Scottsdale near the Scottsdale Airpark, Aspire reflects the human aspiration for flight. The human-like figures can be seen in two ways: as one man in varied stop-motion poses lifting off into flight, or as three men standing upon each other’s shoulders with the top one soaring. The intent of this “flying dream” concept is to uplift and inspire the spirit.
The process of creation was a unique one – thousands of stainless steel washers were individually welded together on top of sculpted foam and plaster figures, which were then cut apart and removed, and the remaining “skin” made of the washers was welded around an interior structure of steel tubing. At night, LED lights shine up onto these lacey, perforated forms, turning the piece into a beacon for the roundabout after dark. This technique of using the washers was an economical and light way to create metal figurative forms. Traditional cast metal forms would have been heavier, more difficult to engineer, and cost prohibitive for the budget.
Simon Donovan is a multi-media artist living in Tucson, AZ. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. Born in Boston, MA, he received a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in New Media from the Transart Institute in Berlin, Germany.
Ben Olmstead, a sculptor, designer, and master metalworker, is a longtime public art collaborator with Simon Donovan. He operates a full metal fabrication shop, Olmstead Fabrications in Tucson, AZ. He is originally from Boston, MA, and holds a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Arizona.
This artwork contains AR components.
See fabrication images of Aspire and hear artist Simon Donovan as he describes how the artwork was made.
Location15599 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, USA
ArtistSimon Donovan and Ben Olmstead
DatesCompleted April 2014