Momentum – Chandler, Arizona - Atlas Obscura


A $100,000 tumbleweed decorates an Arizona park and ride that got its priorities a bit tangled. 


Perched atop an angular modern pillar at the edge of an Arizona parking (by the bus stops) lot is an impressionist piece of prairie trash that cost the local taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. This pricey piece of modern art created by Joan Waters is officially titled Movimiento del Viento.  However, it is known simply as Momentum (at least when it isn’t being called mean nick-names by spurned locals). 

Unveiled in 2008, the metal sculpture was intended to reference nearby Tumbleweed Park with its artistically-styled tumbleweed placed 10 feet off the ground on a futuristic pedestal. The pedestal itself stands atop a squat block of carved concrete completing the entire piece. The work was commissioned from a Denver artist; the work cost the city $100,000 in tax dollars. After seeing the rather short result of the city council’s choice, the public was less than impressed.

The piece was given silly nick-names such as “rat’s nest” and “hairball” and general displeasure ensued. Even some city council members spoke out, remarking democratically that the artwork was not quite what they were expecting from their grant.

Regardless of the feelings behind the $100,000 tumbleweed, it remains to this day, reminding commuters arriving at the park and ride just how many of their tax dollars blow away in the wind.


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