Faces of the Community

Phoenix College, Phoenix, Arizona
18 ft. total height; 10 ft. tall pyramidal base with masks and clay faces; 8ft. tall steel sculpture
100sf mosaic
Steel and mosaic sculpture, includes clay pieces, plaster cast life pieces


Created by Helen Helwig, Niki Glen, Zarco Guerrero, and Michael Anderson with high school and college students, this obelisk is composed of hand-built clay with an abstracted metal piece at the top. Students, teachers (former and current) and community members made clay life-cast faces and hand-moulded faces for the sculpture. Anchoring one end of the campus, the entire obelisk is layered with faces, and these faces represent the community of diverse ages, cultures, and expressions.


Extensive planning and coordination resulted in a truly community-built art project. During the planning stage in 1999, there was lots of community interest, support, and energy. When the project was finally in the fabrication phase, the artists organized many community workshops to create the masks and to maintain project enthusiasm.

Contributing artist: Micheal Anderson (sculpture).