Tucson artist unveils sculpture 2 years in the making

Joe Pagac unveils sculpture on The Loop
Published: Apr. 30, 2023 at 3:52 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Artist Joe Pagac unveiled a sculpture on The Loop at Rillito Regional Park on Saturday, April 29. Known for his murals around Tucson, this piece was a new venture, but also a long one.

The sculpture is a bronze bike with one of Tucson’s iconic animals, the javelina. After hiking through Mexico and enduring the pandemic, Pagac is happy to see his sculpture out in the sun.

“Now that it’s finally here and out in the public, seeing people jumping onto it and interacting with it,” Pagac said, “it’s just a really great feeling as an artist to see people respond well to your work.”

Jeanne McDonald was the donor of the piece and worked closely with Pagac. An avid cyclist, McDonald and Pagac worked on making an image and a passion come to life.

“I wanted to have a project that was kind of like mine,” McDonald said. “And The Loop was a perfect place to put it because I do a lot of cycling.”

“I mean, the reason I moved to Tucson was for the cycling.”

Spanning over 130 miles, The Loop is famous for walks and bike rides. The addition of art pieces makes the experience for visitors better and keeps the grounds looking new and vibrant.

Pima County Public Art Program Manager Jeff DaCosta said the new piece and others make people want to keep visiting The Loop.

“When you take an artwork and place it adjacent to The Loop, it kind of embellishes an already great asset,” DaCosta said.

With this project, Pagac is happy to give an art project to the community for people to enjoy year-round.

“With any type of artwork I put in the community,” he said, “seeing all of a sudden people are shooting music videos in front of them or proposing in front of them, or whatever else they come up with; I love that feeling of turning something loose to the community to take it in their own direction.”

Pagac hopes to create more pieces featuring different animals in the future.

For a list of current artworks along The Loop, you can click the Pima County’s website.

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