Artists, faculty, and volunteers unveiled the newest permanent ceramic art display at Paradise Valley Community College last week, honoring indigenous tribes who once lived in and around the college’s Union Hills Campus. The ceramic mural entitled Water for Life, depicts the struggle humans face with water contamination and shortage, and celebrates water as the center of our being and existence.
“This project is an example of collaboration at the highest level,” said David Bradley, PVCC art professor. “Dustin (Lopez) and Kaily (Toney) brought their cultural information to inform the design of the mural, and willingly shared the Native American perspective, while being open to this new art medium of ceramics and an unfamiliar process.”
The team, made up of Bradley, local artists Lopez and Toney, and numerous volunteers, worked diligently on the project for six months. Lopez and Toney shared their heritage to design, fabricate and install this permanent work of art that will inform viewers about the Native American culture that existed previously, and exists today.
Lopez, a graduate of PVCC’s EMT and Fire program, came up with the concept stemming from the Dakota pipeline protests along the Colorado River, which shed light on the pipeline's impact to Native American sacred sites along the river.
“This was a true collaboration on so many different levels and it shows that with community, ideas can really become a piece of art for all walks of life to enjoy,” Lopez said. “I have developed an affection for David (Bradley) and Frank (Krevens) as artists, ceramics specialists, collaborators, educators and lifelong learners, and express my gratitude to the college and how proud I am of Kailey for offering her insight during this project. It’s not every day you get to leave a higher education institution with something as permanent as this.”
The ceramic mural is the second ceramics project in a series of art projects commissioned by PVCC President Dr. Paul Dale, who envisioned thoughtful and provoking artwork throughout the campus for years to come. It is located in the amphitheater area in the center of campus between K building and KSC. To read more about the project, click here.