November Impact Story

Published on December 13, 2022 by West Valley Arts Council

West Valley Arts Council in partnership with City of Goodyear, reveals new public art piece.

Under the leadership and expertise of Master Artist, Daniel Nez, 11 students from around the west valley participated in the research, design, and proposal of a new public work in Goodyear, Arizona as a part of West Valley Arts Council award winning program G37.  The fabrication and installation of their imagined work, Gabion Cactus, recently completed and was revealed at Foothills Community Park on Saturday, December 10. The iron and stone work boasts a cultural significance and stands proudly among the surrounding desert landscape. 

“This represents Arizona,” says one student apprentice. “The rock cairn base keeps it natural, and we used the image of a falcon as a nod to the history and culture.”

The falcon imagery atop Gabion Cactus, is an example of the in-depth research that goes into each G37 work. The falcon not only represents native species of birds that one might find in the area, but also carries Arizona’s own historical and cross-cultural allusions to Egypt.

The City of Goodyear has been a long supporter of G37. Gabion Cactus marks their 5th public work commissioned since 2001.

West Valley Youth Create Public Art Using New Technologies!

Through grant funding and individual support, G37 students were able to use brand new iPads this year. Learning new technologies, students were able to turn their two-dimensional sketches into 3D models that could be projected and engaged through augmented reality (AR). The selected work came about through an impressive proposal process. 

“We have never seen anything like this before,” boasts the Goodyear Arts Commission. “We were able to see the students' works as if we were walking around the actual sculpture. We were soo incredibly impressed!” 

A huge thank you to our partners City of Goodyear Arts & Culture Commission, Estrella Mountain Community College, E2 Innovations, and WVAC supporters. Because of your commitment to the arts, our youth and our communities will continue to be impacted for years to come.

More about G37

G37 is a summer arts apprenticeship that provides access to education and experience through engaging and involving youth in the revitalization of communities throughout the West Valley. With a focus on providing career exploration, professional development, arts education, and mentorship; students ages 15 and 18, who are interested in the arts, work with an experienced Master Artist to design, create, and install a permanent public art piece. G37 helps high school students develop job-readiness and employment skills, as well as access post-secondary education and credits.

For 22 years G37 has significantly impacted both the lives of the teens who participate and the communities they are serving. The program's importance was recognized in 2015 when it received the Arizona Governor's Art Award for its community impact. It is the only youth program in the West Valley and Phoenix metro area that uniquely combines public art with access to quality education and career planning for participating teens.

Check out our past G37 projects HERE