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Unveiling of public art attended by small, appreciative audience

 

KINGMAN - Kingman’s first entry in the Art in Public Places program was unveiled today on the southwest corner of Andy Devine Avenue and Fourth Street, downtown Kingman.

 

California-based artist Solomon Bassoff earned the bulk of a $10,000 grant the city council provided to design and create the lizard. He said the piece is made out of steel and different types of concrete. It weights 1,831 pounds.

The steel armature is welded and then sealed so it won’t rust. There’s a galvanized lath around the armature and within the lath is solid concrete, he said.

On top of the lath, said Bassoff, is GFRC concrete, which is glass reinforced concrete that includes fiberglass, he said. The final coat is white concrete with mineral pigments mixed in integral with the concrete. Its claws are cast bronze.

The project from start to finish took about a month and a half at his secluded home studio on five-and-a-half acres in a wooded area of California.

Bassoff said he was aware of the controversy the commissioning of his work created in Kingman. He smiled and his eyes brightened by a few watts before he said, “That’s the purpose of art. Stir things and you get a portal into who we really are,” he said.

Beyond the benefits of a vigorous and mostly healthy public discussion, Bassoff said he hopes the Arizona Chuckwalla is a reminder for people. “We’re all connected,” he said. “I hope people look at this and remember to care for the natural environment. The Arizona Chuckwalla is part of the natural environment.”

chuckwalla joey kaelin jr web 2

Joey Kaelin Jr., 11, of Kingman takes a ride on the Arizona Chuckwalla, a steel and concrete sculpture that was unveiled this afternoon, Feb. 9, on the southwest corner of Fourth Street and Andy Devine Ave., downtown. Mayor Monica Gates, a proponent of art in public places, below, takes a seat for a moment gratis the Arizona Chuckwalla.

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chuckwalla chuckwalla web 2

 

 

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