The Tempe Tourism Office and Downtown Tempe Authority (DTA) partnered together to create a new public artwork in downtown: large letters that spell out TEMPE. This new Tempe landmark and work of art, titled Our Tempe, is located at Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway, next to the historic Hayden House.
Inspired by similar signs in other cities, Our Tempe is intended to be a destination for visitors and residents alike and a popular photo spot. Kyllan Maney, a local artist and educator, painted a colorful design on the letters, symbolizing people from all walks of life converging in Tempe.
According to Julie Kent, Director of Placemaking for DTA, “For years we had been trying to find a space to have a TEMPE sign. When we moved our office to Hayden House we knew that having it in front of an iconic building was the perfect spot. We are thankful to Tempe Tourism for helping to make this possible!”
Public art can be found in unexpected places throughout the city. Some of the most recognizable works include artist-designed electrical boxes and newspaper racks in Downtown Tempe, sculptures at Valley Metro Rail stops and neighborhood murals.
Michael Martin from the Tempe Tourism Office wanted to add to the public art landscape. He said, “I saw city signs that naturally became photo spots in other cities and I really wanted to have one in Tempe. The Tempe Tourism Office is thrilled to be able to support an art project in Tempe which will act as a point of pride for the community.” The letters were installed by Merestone, a local event production company.
The tourism office is producing a video showing this new work of art along with an interview with the artist. There will be a QR code on the base of the sign that will link to the video.