Pop-Up Park and Peritoneum Sculpture Created Next to MonOrchid
There are dozens of vacant lots scattered around Central Phoenix, each of which are eyesores strewn with dirt, broken glass, and broken dreams. And if it were up to Dorina Bustamante and her cohorts, every last one of 'em would become beautiful public spaces filled with art and greenery.
Keith Mulven A look inside the Peritoneum sculpture, now on display in downtown Phoenix.
They've already transformed the Ro2 lot at Second and Roosevelt streets, which has been given a makeover of green grass, benches, and a colossal blue wooden public art piece created by ASU students and entitled Peritoneum.
The freestanding "organic shade and seating sculpture" is the centerpiece of the verdant pop-up park (which is adjacent to MonOrchid and will hold its opening reception tonight) and a perfect example of how vacant properties can become temporary oases via short-term improvements and art work, Bustamante says.
The pop-up park.
She readily admits that rolling out a carpet of green grass in the scorching summertime might seem a bit crazy, but it's a sure-fire way to grab people's attention. And its definitely been turning the heads of passers-by.
What once was a dirt lot is now a grass-covered space surrounded by tall boxed trees and dominated by the towering blue Peritoneum sculpture. Isaac Caruso's stunning orchid and butterfly mural on the neighboring also provides an eye-catching backdrop
"When there's more greenery and art around - like public art - it can eliminate eyesores and fill in vacant lots to improve our city," she says. "So we've created this little oasis in a pop-up park where people are least expect it: In the summer. We have the audacity to plant grass in the and put in sprinklers and bring in trees and create this amenity."
The creation of the park and the use of the sculpture, which will be in place through the beginning of the fall, are the result of a community improvement project called "The Lot: What Should Go Here?" that Bustamante helped spearhead.
Revitalizing vacant spaces throughout downtown Phoenix is a particular passion for Bustamante, so she organized the project in 2011 and approached Ro2 owner and local architect Mike Davis about transforming the acre-sized lot into something more useful than a patch of dirt.
Bustamante says she conducted six months of interviews with downtown residents -- as well as sociologist and sustainability advocate Andrew Ross (author of last year's Phoenix-focused tome Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World's Least Sustainable City) -- to determine what to do with the lot.
"A majority of people said they'd love to see a garden or a park or something of that nature," she says. "So based on their recommendations, it became the focus."
Bustamante has a tendency to get excited when speaking about the park, her words coming out a mile a minute when describing what she and the other members of "The Lot" envisioned when planning what they wanted to create.
"We thought, 'Let's have shade, let's bring in plant life, let's bring in public art that has that has lots of purposes, that is beautiful, that's functional, that's feeding, that creates more shade, that gives off a feeling of cool," Bustamante gushes.
Lucky for them, the Peritoneum sculpture offered everything they were looking for in a public art piece.