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Joan Baron

Earth Wall, Living Wall

Designed by Joan Baron and constructed by Rammed Earth Solar Homes of Tucson, Earth Wall, Living Wall promotes the beauty of the desert using rammed earth, ceramic, concrete, and color. Rammed earth is inherently organic, possessing irregularities and imperfections that change with time. Despite its fragile organic appearance, rammed earth is extremely strong and requires very little maintenance. Natural materials (often harvested from building sites) including clay, sand, wood, rock, and charcoal are mixed with approximately 4 percent concrete to create rammed earth.

Baron made her color choices for the concrete walls based on colors found in the natural environment—reds inspired by desert flowers like bougainvillea, flowering cacti, and desert firecracker plants; gold and bronze by the granite and earth; and shades of blue by our most precious resource, water.

Throughout the construction of the wall, the artist conducted a number of workshops inviting contributors to design the ceramic hand-shaped tiles. These hands symbolize a vehicle used by many different cultures to communicate connections between an individual’s place in time and in the universe. Rows of more than 1,000 tiles embedded on the surface of the wall now serve as part of a collective memory.

Baron made her color choices for the concrete walls based on colors found in the natural environment—reds inspired by desert flowers like bougainvillea, flowering cacti, and desert firecracker plants; gold and bronze by the granite and earth; and shades of blue by our most precious resource, water.

As an educator and artist, much of Baron’s work focuses on stimulating and healing experiences conveyed through art within the public realm. She lives and works in Scottsdale, where she creates many site-specific installations for residential and commercial clients. Baron has a bachelor of fine arts from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and a master of fine arts from the Art Institute of Chicago. She also facilitates workshops, seminars, and field trips that promote environmentally sensitive experiences with art.

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details

LocationN 100th St & N Thompson Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, USA

ArtistJoan Baron

DatesCompleted 1999

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