Tucson has plan to repair crumbling public art

Tucson has plan to repair crumbling public art

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The city of Tucson is working on a plan to fix up and maintain public art pieces across town that have fallen into disrepair.

Just north of First Avenue and Fort Lowell, Steven Milligan was walking home when we caught up with him.

“I pass it everyday," he said, pointing at a 20-foot tall sculpture on the corner.

The art piece is covered in trash, the paint is peeling and weeds are everywhere.

“Maybe if they cleaned it up, added some paint, I think it would look good,” he said. “If it looked nice around here, maybe that would strike more attention for people to move in to the neighborhood. Art is a big thing in this community.”

Art projects like this one are losing their luster across the city.

Tucson’s iconic snake bridge, built 20 years ago, is losing its scales and is tattooed with graffiti.

“Art is really important, really important to different areas and cultures,” said Lisa Dembowski, as she stands in the middle of the Santa Rosa Library Courtyard.

The area has painted benches and tiled artwork in serious need of repair.

“There needs to be a really good maintenance schedule, and money put in and organized to make sure we keep it up," she said.

The Arts Foundation of Tucson and Southern Arizona has a contract with the city, and part of that money is for maintenance. However, the city manager’s office admits the recession set them back when it comes to keeping public art shining.

It turns out help is on the way.

The city, along with the Art Foundation, have commissioned a study that is looking at every single piece of public art in the area.

It will tally up the costs to repair them all, before presenting a plan to city council for approval.

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.