Art Tour Stops 22-24: Lighting and Etchings

Art Tour Stops 22-24: Lighting and Etchings

Art Tour Stops 22-24: Lighting and Etchings
Elaine Kessler

As a photographer, lighting and lines are everything. One might think that when the sun goes down, it is challenging to comprehend the power of great lighting. However, the magic of the art in the Heritage District is not just what can be seen during the day. At night, the downtown area literally lights up in captivating colors in dynamic and beautiful shapes. There are also compelling ideas behind some of the cool lines one can find just under foot. We will explore some of these shapes, lines, and lighting in this article. 

Stop 22 is Hearne Plaza which can be found at East Hearne Way and Gilbert Road. Hearne Plaza is a combined event space and enhanced streetscape. It is characterized by round lighting fixtures and sandblasted cotton shapes in the concrete under foot. 

According to a document called the Transportation Improvements Project, the design team developed an aesthetic concept rooted in Gilbert’s history: In honor of Gilbert’s agricultural history and the importance of the Town’s cotton production to the State…the design team replicated the agricultural history through use of sandblasted concrete into the roadway and sidewalk. Giant rings of catenary lighting hover over the roadway to provide an enhanced visual effect.”    

From Hearne Plaza you can also see the novel neon light signs (Stop 23) just west of the plaza along Gilbert Road. 

If you travel one street south to E Vaughn Ave you will discover another homage to Gilbert’s agricultural history where lines mimicking strands of hay are sandblasted into the sidewalk (Stop 24). Don’t forget that Gilbert was considered the Hay Shipping Capital of the world! 

And while on the topic of lighting and because it is always makes for stunning images, here is a shot of the Gilbert Water Tower lit up for Pride! 

Gilbert, Arizona. Transportation Improvements Project. Heritage District, 2020. 

Kessler, Elaine. “Downtown Gilbert Features.” Elaine Kessler Photography. 2020. 

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