Standing proud and majestic, the words entwined with growing vines, read on the open book below:
"The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you grow. The smarter you grow, the stronger your voice. When speaking your mind or making your choice," like a prayer to all that pass by, resonating in the minds of the young and young at heart.Joe A. Tyler, is an intrinsic example of his appreciation of nature.
Born and raised in the Sonoran Desert and with a degree in Environmental Horticulture, Tyler found beauty in all things natural, including over 500 species of trees on his 40-acre ranch. This lead to an opportunity as Founding Director of the Arboretum at Arizona State University for six years, at which point he made the decision to pursue art full time and has worked on over a hundred projects over the last twenty years, mostly in the large public art forum.
Tyler writes on his website: "I have been inspired by many various inconsequential, surprising little things, such as a conversation, a phrase, a song, a thought while driving in traffic, a dream, an ordinary rainstorm, the colors of a rainbow or a relaxing moment after a long hot hard day of sweaty work under the welding helmet. Suddenly without warning the perfect form will appear in my minds’ eye. Sometimes the best ideas come from community members or from the particular history or folklore of a town."
His pieces, primarily done with welded metal, also include wood, copper, brass, glass and a variety of other mediums and can be seen in Germany, Japan, California, and thought the southwestern United States.
With a "goal as an artist is to give the client, whether public or private, a piece of artwork that they feel a connection to because it reflects their own visions, dreams and deep desires," I believe Mr. Tyler has done that and beyond with his vision of the "Tree of Knowledge."
The next time you happen to be at the library, spend a few moments in front of the sculpture, that in a way, has become a symbol of one of Oro Valley's finest contributions to our art, culture, and connection.
Heather Nenadovich has lived in Oro Valley a total of five years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. Her husband is Canadian so she is a hockey fan by default and so are her two very clever children. When not being a mommy, she enjoys hiking in Catalina State Park, hand building pottery, and gardening. Her favorite things about living in Oro Valley are the towns recognition of art and culture, their commitment to preserving nature and the Christmas parade. (Also anything from GMG Chinese Bistro.)