The Devil's Dish

2014 Cronkite High School Summer Journalism Institute

“Her Secret is Patience”

The sculpture, “Her Secret is Patience,” constructed in 2009, remains a sight to see. Artist Janet Echelman was inspired by Arizona’s colorful natural environment. Photo by Olivia Rendon.

The sculpture, “Her Secret is Patience,” constructed in 2009, remains a sight to see. Artist Janet Echelman was inspired by Arizona’s colorful natural environment. Photo by Olivia Rendon.

“Her Secret is Patience,” the sculpture overhanging the park on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus is still a landmark for tourists and citizens alike

By Allyson Vasilopulos

Anyone familiar with the downtown area of Phoenix will have seen or heard of the sculpture that spans two blocks of the city’s Civic Space Park. “Her Secret is Patience, crafted by artist Janet Echelman in 2009, stands 145 feet tall and is constructed primarily of galvanized steel, cables, twine netting, and colored lighting.

Inspired by the shadows and colors strewn throughout the desert, the sculpture is known for its ability to change color depending on the season, as well as for the shadows it casts onto the pavement below.

But despite its looming presence in the metropolitan Phoenix area, many people are unsure of what to make of the sculpture’s purpose.

“As a work of art, I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean,” said Ben Moffat, an incoming freshman at the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Each of Echelman’s sculptures represents varied elements of the environment that they are in often reacting to wind, water and light. “Her Secret is Patience” demonstrates this, often described as a work of art that dances in the wind.

Public eyes are frequently drawn to its unique characteristics and build.

“I think it’s becoming an iconic piece that is a tourist attraction,” said Mandy Romanski, a nursing student at Arizona State University.

But its appeal isn’t merely at a local level. From the moment it was first constructed in 2009, “Her Secret is Patience” has received attention nationwide.

“For a lot of tourists, it’s the main thing they come and see. We always get asked about it,” said Carlos Macias, police aide at Cronkite. “It’s kind of something different. I think it’s neat.”

No matter the public’s interpretation, most can agree that its addition to the downtown campus is beneficial to the urban atmosphere.

“Aesthetically it’s pretty cool. It’s a landmark. It just kind of fits into the scenery of the downtown area and the downtown campus,” said Moffat.

For more information about the artist and her contributions worldwide, visit her website at http://www.echelman.com/

 

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