Avocado has a new home!

Avo Maria is done!

  

Yay! The floating avocado has been installed at the DU Humanities Garden fountain. Or, as my friend Tonya Everist calls it, “Avo Maria”. It did seem like it would take an act of God to make everything happen but I had a fabulous crew. My husband Wayne, son Ben and friend John Jui helped transport and install today. It may seem like a small thing but the experience helps me understand how the installation of the Blue Mustang at DIA could possibly cost $300,000.  

Carting the sculpture to the site.

  

I ended up renting a cargo van from UHaul and we tied the piece up so it wouldn’t wobble and crush itself on the insides of the van. See the picture of us carrying it to the fountain – it looks like I’m not there but I’m leading the way and carrying the base. I like how Ben looks like he doesn’t have a body and his head is growing out of the sculpture!  

Once we arrived at the site there was a lot of discussion about the even distribution of weight and how to make the piece structurally sound to face the Colorado crazy weather.  

Supporting and stabilizing the art.

  

The guys set it up on the sidewalk to decide angle, support, etc. and then drove a metal rod through the center to attach the avocado to the base. It’s also supported by 2 metal rods and  a foam wedge in the back. The DU PR group was there to take photos and you can see their story at http://blogs.du.edu/today/news/student-installs-giant-avocado-on-campus. We dropped it into the fountain and walked it over to the display site before attaching weights onto the bottom. It all took about an hour and I think it looks pretty good.  

The concept of this Capstone (Thesis) project is to observe the proper placement of a public art sculpture and the change to the environment around it. If you have any feedback please post a comment. I won’t use your actual comments in the research paper but can use the ideas anecdotally to describe overall impressions.  

My advice to anyone who wants to try a project like this:  

1. When choosing to sculpt with a hot wire tool in the garage, plan for cooler weather – not the 90s like I did. 2. Design your piece to the size specifications of the vehicle you plan to transport it in. 3. Get a pair of Crocs or Crocs knockoffs (trust me on this). 4. Don’t hesitate to use your Dyson vacuum in the garage. 5. Tip the trash man the day they take away 20 bags of excess Polystyrene. 6. Like planning anything, take your cost estimate and double it!  

Oh, one last note; my son Ben just graduated with an Architectural Engineering degree from CU and is looking for a position as a lighting engineer. Send any leads my way! Terrie  

The art installation crew.

  

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4 Responses to “Avocado has a new home!”

  1. Chase Says:

    Check out the video of the installation!

  2. Heidi Says:

    Chase shared this with me today on FB.

    It’s very interesting. It makes me want a really big tortilla chip. 🙂

    I enjoy that it’s floating in the water and I’m not exactly sure why that’s so appealing, but it’s better than sitting on a stable surface. Perhaps because an avocado is a living thing (and I love them, btw), and to me it represents fun stuff – salsa, corona, sitting on the beach in Mexico while eating homemade guacamole. Maybe I’m over thinking it, but really it’s making me hungry.

    Nice job!

    • ttaziri Says:

      Thanks Heidi! The Avo Maria will actually be moving in a week or so to a less exciting location just to see if we all agree that it’s “less exciting”. It seems to be doing well so hopefully we won’t have any hail storms to give it dimples!

  3. Jessa Says:

    I just came upon this fun sight walking through campus with my boys! I thought maybe the crazy weather on the 4th blew it in. I’m afraid it may have had some damage from that though because it’s now loose from it’s orange base and kinda floating. I hope it can be repaired because it’s super cool and my 2.5 year old left the fountains hollering, “Goodbye Avocaaaaaaado!”

    We’ll be back to visit it often!
    Very cool!
    Jessa

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