First Look at New Southeast Library’s Artwork

45-foot-long screen to showcase Vail's history

The Arts Council of Tucson and Southern Arizona has selected local metal artist Troy Neiman to create the public art for the soon-to-be-constructed Southeast Library, and we are very excited to share his preliminary concept drawings!

We are very familiar with Troy’s work because an earlier piece, the beloved “READ” bike racks, stand in front of our Joel D. Valdez Main Library. Troy has also exhibited in the periodic BICAS metal art shows in our art gallery.

In preparation for the Southeast Library design work, Troy consulted members of the Vail Preservation Society, who shared history and photos with him. On his own, Troy went exploring! He visited the Cienega Creek area, Colossal Cave, Saguaro National Monument, the old post office and feed store, the Shrine of Santa Rita, and of course, what remains of the old railway bed. Troy also highly recommends the 2018 documentary “Voices of Vail” (trailer) to anyone who wishes to understand this corner of Arizona.

This research inspired the resulting design, an undulating 45-foot-long screen cut from steel plate to illustrate a timeline of Vail history, area cultures, as well as our desert plants and animals. It will be placed on the right side of the entrance walkway, screening it from the library’s patio.

The Southeast Library will be located in Vail, AZ, on a corner of the acreage slated to become Esmond Station Regional Park, east of Empire High School and just off of Mary Ann Cleveland Way. Library construction has already begun; building design is by BWS Architects, the same designers as our Oro Valley and Martha Cooper libraries. For more information about this library's construction, please see the Southeast Library Facebook page.

The funding for Troy’s artwork was made possible by the Pima County Public Art Program, which sets aside one percent of the cost of capital improvement projects for public art.