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'We’ve received a lot of support for the chuckwalla and I’ve heard some more colorful remarks. I anticipate the sculpture will generate discussion, which is a large part of what artwork is about.' -- Josh Noble, deputy director of the city's department of Economic Development and Tourism

 

KINGMAN – The Arizona Chuckwalla, a long-anticipated Italian mosaic glass adorned sculpture, will become Kingman’s first artwork installed under the competitive Art in Public Places Program at 3n p.m. Feb. 9, a Friday.

 

According to a statement from the city, the piece was sculpted by artist Solomon Bassoff of Faducci Studio in North San Juan, California. Mr. Bassoff has fabricated similar sculptures with his whimsy artistry trademark across the country from Washington state to Washington, D.C.

“As an artist, my goal and responsibility is to educate and inspire the community about local environment and wildlife,” wrote Bassoff in a statement about the piece. “Often in our busy human lives we forget that we share a connection to the natural world and its creatures. By sculpting a large Chuckwalla lizard for Kingman's downtown area, my intention is to provide artwork that will stimulate conversation, create connection, inspire reflection and to celebrate what is special about the area.”

The artwork will be an engaging addition to the already evolving downtown scene according to Josh Noble, city of Kingman Economic Development and Tourism deputy director.

“We’ve received a lot of support for the chuckwalla and I’ve heard some more colorful remarks. I anticipate the sculpture will generate discussion, which is a large part of what artwork is about,” said Noble. “Personally, I recall seeing the occasional chuckwalla as a kid growing up in Kingman, so I look forward to celebrating its presence with this special work of art.”

Chuckwallas are the largest lizard in the U.S., with males growing up to 16 inches in length, according to literature provided by Arizona Game & Fish. They are docile, illusive creatures and are a distinct wildlife in the Kingman area that can live for 20 years or more.

“This large sculpture is intended for everyone to enjoy” adds Bassoff. “It was sculpted with the intention that children of all ages will want to touch it and play on it. Public art becomes a cultural icon and gathering place for a community.” Bassoff invites the community to “meet me at the Chuckwalla!”

The sculpture will be installed on the southwest corner of Andy Devine Avenue and Fourth Street. Parking is available nearby on Andy Devine and at the Kingman Railroad Depot.

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The Arizona Chuckwalla will be installed here on the southwest corner of Andy Devine Avenue (AKA Route 66 to tourists) and Fourth Street downtown.

Doug McMurdo/The Standard

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