Several illuminated pillars along Route 66 in Flagstaff, Ariz., will be kept in storage indefinitely after a car accident and other problems with the art display cropped up in recent weeks, reported the Arizona Republic.
Titled “Solar Calendar” and designed by artist Mary Boone Wellington, the display at Route 66 and Postal Boulevard has reportedly been called “alien outhouses” by locals. The display had problems staying lit, and would have cost thousands of dollars to repair.
Worse yet, a car hit the display several weeks ago, exposing an electrical terminal. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, that was the second time a vehicle had struck it.
A Google Street View photo of the installation can be seen here.
Here’s more about Wellington, and this quote about “Solar Calendar”:
The site there (in Flagstaff) is very mystical. The mountain across from the site is called Mount Eldon. It’s a sacred mountain. I created the shape of the piece to reflect the view of the mountain as seen from the sculpture site. The different columns are made in different heights to reflect the profile of the mountain. And I wanted to create a piece that talked about that timeless power – that connection to patterns beyond our scope, while positioning the viewer in a place of power and knowledge in relationship to the natural world.
The public art had initially cost the city $50,000 when it was first erected. In retrospect, some city officials now agree the location of the art project was poor. Also, Wellington reportedly did not respond when the city tried to consult with her on problems with the art piece (and she’s on Facebook, so it wasn’t as if she was inaccessible).
So between bad drivers, a bad location, possibly a bad design and a refusal by Wellington to help, it seems there’s plenty of blame to go around for this failure.