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Renowned Artist Joan Waters unveils ‘Totems’ series at Park Central

photo of Joan Waters totems series
Inspired by the intense desert light of Arizona, Joan Waters has become known for her sizeable abstract acrylic paintings and distinctive metal sculptures like the ones now installed at Park Central in Phoenix. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress)
‘Totems’ become permanent installation at Park Central in midtown Phoenix
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Accomplished artist Joan Waters installed her latest series, “Totems,” at the entrance of Park Central after a successful exhibition of her work at Park Central’s Artlink Gallery, “mood room.”

The pieces showcase a captivating exploration of shadow compositions and a unique fusion of nature’s energies and forms through intricate Corten steel sculptures. Originally hailing from England and now an active participant fixture in the Phoenix art scene, Ms. Waters earned her BFA from The Maryland Institute, College of Art.

Inspired by the intense desert light of Arizona, Ms. Waters has become known for her sizeable abstract acrylic paintings and distinctive metal sculptures, according to a press release.

Ms. Waters’ ‘Totems’ series is a testament to her artistic journey, encapsulating her fascination with the mysterious shapes formed by the desert sunlight casting dense and distinct shadows. The installation provides a unique opportunity for art lovers to immerse themselves in the dynamic interplay of light and form, as each three-dimensional sculpture casts its own distinct shadows.

“I’m thrilled to showcase my ‘Totems’ series at Park Central,” Ms. Waters said in a prepared statement. “The desert’s intense sunlight has been a constant inspiration for me, and this exhibition allows me to share my exploration of shadow patterns and their transformative potential to activate imagination.”

Park Central, a vibrant hub for art and culture in Phoenix, provides an ideal backdrop for Ms. Waters’ visually arresting artwork. The sculptures, from east to west, are “Totem: Desert Flower”, “Totem: Los Animales” and “Totem: Deconstructed Shadow.”

‘Totems’ become permanent installation at Park Central in midtown Phoenix

The ‘Totems’ series by Joan Waters at Park Central is not only a celebration of artistic innovation but also a testament to the enduring power of nature’s influence on the creative process. Art enthusiasts, collectors, and the general public are invited to witness the pieces and engage with the dynamic synergy of light and steel.

At age 34, breast cancer surgery and six months of chemotherapy forced Ms. Waters to take time off to get well; during this period of introspection, a re-examination of priorities led to her decision to commit more time to painting, drawing, and exhibiting her work more often.

Ms. Waters exhibits her work extensively in the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas and the East Coast.

Recent commissions include public art for the cities of Phoenix, Mesa and Chandler. Her work is in many private and public collections including the Phoenix Sheraton, Burton Barr Library, Ryan House, Congregation Or Tzion and iLuminate on Roosevelt. Waters completed the Desert Landscaper Certification at Desert Botanical Garden with the intention of combining desert plants with her sculptures.

“We were pleased to welcome Joan’s incredible work to our mood room gallery at Park Central,” said Catrina Kahler, president & CEO of Artlink, which helps curate the public art at Park Central. “Her work is very dynamic and provides a wonderful focus on light and shadow that showcases well on the property.”

Plaza Companies and Tucson’s Holualoa Companies have teamed up to redevelop Park Central into a vibrant destination, which once was the city’s first official large-scale shopping mall. The companies have transitioned the expansive space from a retail center to an almost 500,000-square-foot bustling community hub ideal for playing, working, congregating and celebrating the arts.

“This sort of exhibition is just what we envisioned when we made the commitment to revitalize Park Central with a focus on the arts,” said Sharon Harper, chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies. “We look forward to sharing Joan’s work with the community in the coming months.”

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