By Zach Colick
CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Local artist Gerald Dawavendewa's luminaria has been on display outside Centennial Hall. His work will be auctioned off to support the KUAT and PCAC.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, March 8, 2005
A local artist has created an illuminated sculpture of a parrot adorning the front of Centennial Hall. It will be auctioned off to the public in April with the proceeds benefiting KUAT.
UA alumnus Gerald Dawavendewa designed and built the 6-foot tall "Parrot Luminary," a multicolored, solar-powered sculpture composed of wood and Plexiglas, in a Southwestern motif.
According to the Tucson Pima Arts Council Web site, Dawavendewa is one of more than 35 artists taking part in the Tucson Luminarias del Pueblo project who are working tirelessly in cutting, welding, gluing, hammering, and, with the help of Tucson Electric Power, learning to estimate wattage requirements and wire the solar lighting for their creations to illuminate at night.
The solar-powered creations are a collaborative effort between artists, non-profit organizations and business and individual donors, according to a press release.
Pamela Dickens, spokeswoman for KUAT, said Dawavendewa's "Parrot Luminary" is "spectacular work," and she said she enjoys knowing such artistry can be displayed on the UA campus.
"We're very grateful about all this," Dickens said. "The parrot is a great sight to see, and I've become quite a fan of his (work)."
The three-pronged collaboration between local artists like Dawavendewa creating the sculptures, corporations like Merrill Lynch donated money to sponsor these works and nonprofit organizations like KUAT benefiting from the auctioned work, is something very special, Dickens said.
"It's a win, win, win situation and I think it's a terrific collaboration," Dickens said.
Merrill Lynch and partners Scott Vaughn, Judy Lewis and Jerry Short donated $3,500 to sponsor the "Parrot Luminary's" design for the benefit of KUAT, according to a press release.
KUAT will receive 70 percent of the proceeds to benefit local programming and production, while the remaining 30 percent will be split among Dawavendewa and the Tucson Pima Arts Council, Dickens said.
Dawavendewa said the inspiration to create the parrot sculpture was to show the public his Hopi Indian heritage where the Hopis would collect parrots and use their feathers as a symbolic act during ceremonial events.
"There's a huge, rich world out there when it comes to native art," Dawavendewa said.
Dawavendewa said he has received positive feedback from people who have seen the project on campus. He said he takes pleasure in knowing the proceeds of his sold work will benefit a worthwhile cause.
"I feel great knowing that this project will help out a great organization like KUAT," Dawavendewa said.
The luminarias will be auctioned at a gala event at the new JW Marriot Starr Pass Resort and Spa, 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd., on April 2.
For more information, visit http://www.luminariasdelpueblo.org.