This continues our report of the opening and dedication of the PAOLO SOLERI BRIDGE AND PLAZA.

The public opening and dedication was held on Saturday, December 11, with the official dedication ceremonies and speakers scheduled between 11 am and 2 pm. There were many other activities and events throughout the day including experimental live music by Elektrobahn and various children’s activities. The day concluded with a panel discussion and slide show at the Library and a guided tour of the Paolo Soleri exhibit at the SMoCA.

Here we see the Arcosanti information booth, tended by Arcosanti residents with their black clothes and white parasols.

[photo: Tomiaki Tamura]

Children’s activities were on the lawns along the side of the canal and included plein air painting by the Scottsdale Artists School and silt casting opportunities provided by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Ice sculptures by the Summit Schools Vitruvius Program melted during the day to reveal design motifs from Paolo Soleri’s work:  arcology and bridges.

[photo: sue]

After the bridge dedication the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and ModernPhoenix.net presented a lecture and panel discussion at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library.

Alan Hess, architectural critic and author, presented the lecture, “Organic Architecture and the Work of Paolo Soleri.” Soleri’s body of work was discussed in the context of the national organic architecture movement and its history. Paolo Soleri was present and commented on the ideas discussed, rejecting the label “organic.”

Four other architectural experts presented lecture/slide shows: Phoenix Architect Will Bruder, AIA (Arcosanti alumnus);  John Meunier, AIA, Professor of Architecture at Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University; Jeffrey Stein, AIA, Dean of Boston Architectural College (Arcosanti alumnus); and Peter Zweig, FAIA, Professor of Design at University of Houston (Arcosanti alumnus.)

The panel discussion was facilitated by Tim Rodgers, PhD, Director of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. A lively discussion between the panel members and Paolo Soleri did not leave much time for questions from the audience. The questions continued on the walk between the library and  SMoCA, where a guided tour of the exhibit, “Bridges: Spanning the Ideas of Paolo Soleri” was scheduled.

[from left: Tim Rodgers, Peter Zweig, Jeff Stein, John Meunier and Will Bruder][photo: sue]

Tomiaki Tamura, Guest Curator and Cosanti Foundation Director and SMoCA Assistant Curator Claire Carter led the tour of the exhibit, “Bridges: Spanning the Ideas of Paolo Soleri” at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. This exhibition of drawings, models and video documentation will close January 23, 2011.

[photo: Tomiaki Tamura]

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