Gila Monsters on Bridge - Tucson, Arizona
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Max and 99
N 32° 09.565 W 111° 00.274
12S E 499569 N 3558106
Quick Description: Two larger-than life Gila monsters lying flat on the median of the Irvington Bridge
Location: Arizona, United States
Date Posted: 6/30/2010 11:08:14 AM
Waymark Code: WM954X
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
Views: 11

Long Description:
These two Gila monsters are about 25 feet long (each) and lie lengthwise and flat on the stone-covered median of the bridge with their tails touching. What's really amazing about this sculpture is the multitude of colored tiles that cover the Gila monsters, and with the strong Tucson sun shining on them, they look beautiful! They are covered from head to toe in small colored glass pieces. In addition, the four corner posts of the bridge are part of this sculpture, and the photo in the gallery shows that it looks just like a cactus coming out of a pillar.
Access to the sculptures can be dangerous, so please use caution when crossing the road if you choose to do so. There is a small neighborhood nearby where you can pull into.

From the Smithsonian Art data base:


Two larger-than-life size Gila monster lizard sculptures are installed on the median of the Irvington Road Bridge. The lizards appear to rise out of surface of the bridge median, one facing east and one facing west, their tails touching at the exact center point of the bridge. The lizards are composed of sprayed concrete (gunite) encrusted with a mosaic of broken ceramic tiles. The tiles are embedded in patterns of light and dark bands and spots, resembling the markings of a Gila monster lizard. In addition to the lizards, the bridge is adorned with four volcanic stone piers installed one at each corner of the bridge. The top of each pier is planted with an agave cactus.


Architect Robert Vint worked with a team consisting of tile setters Fred Gumbard, Mike Wilhelm, and Dan Wilhelm of Wilhelm Tile, and sprayed concrete (gunite) contractor Rick Dyson. Tile was provided by the Mexican Tile Company. Rosario Palomares was stone mason who constructed the four piers. Robert Vint designed the bridge sculpture in April 1990 and completed the working drawings on December 31, 1991. IAS files contain architectural drawings that give an overview of the entire installation.

6 parts. Each sculpture: approx. 2 ft. 6 in. x 10 ft. x 52 ft. 6 in. Each pier: approx. H. 12 ft.
TITLE: Gila Monsters on Bridge

ARTIST(S): Vint, Robert, architect. Wilhelm, Mike, fabricator. Wilhelm, Dan, fabricator. Gumbard, Fred, fabricator. Dyson, Rick, contractor. Palomares, Rosario, fabricator. Wilhelm Bros., fabricator. Mexican Tile Company, contractor.

DATE: Designed April 1990. Feb. 1993-March 1993.

MEDIUM: Sculptures: ceramic tile and gunite.; Piers: volcanic stone.


Direct Link to the Individual Listing in the Smithsonian Art Inventory: [Web Link]

In the median of the Irvington Road Bridge: on Irvington, just east of Mission Rd.


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