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Tucson artist tapped to create sculpture for Martha Cooper Library

Art will honor long-time Tucson activist Martha Cooper
Tucson artist chosen to create sculpture for Martha Cooper Library
Posted at 12:52 PM, Sep 19, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — "Severe Re-constructivism" can be violent, loud, crazy, messy and sometimes even bloody, according to Jimmy Descant.

He's an artist who works with metal and vintage objects and calls his work "Western Futurism."

“The stuff that I like, and you know, from the Golden Age of American manufacturing...that’s my favorite. The stuff that was meant to last forever," he said. "So I save stuff from the landfill, I put it into art and hopefully in the art, it will last forever.”

Descant was chosen to create a sculpture for the Martha Cooper Library, 1377 N. Catalina Ave., after construction is finished on the new building addition in Spring of 2024.

Martha Cooper was a well-known figure in the Tucson community for many years.

She founded the Midtown Neighborhood Association, spearheaded a nature garden project, and pushed for the Garden District library that is now named after her.

“I’m going to be telling the story of Martha Cooper represented by a Cooper's Hawk," Descant said. "And then it’ll be connected to a 'crested' saguaro, which is a very special king of the desert…the special of all saguaros.”

But this isn't a project he'll be creating alone. Descant is asking for help from the community in donating parts to the sculpture - ones they feel represent Tucson.

The 8 ft-long, 12 ft-wide storyboard concept for the sculpture will connect the residents with their community through these gifted objects.

“When it’s done, the locals can come and they can show their kids that, “That was your great grandfather’s pocket watch,” or “This was a hood ornament off of my dad’s car when I was a kid," Descant said.

"So, they’ll be able to find things in the piece that’s part of the whole story, which is part of the whole community.”

Tucsonans will be able to donate their belongings at the Plant Swap event at John B. Wright Elementary School, 4311 E. Linden St., on Saturday, Nov. 11.

It'll be hosted on the same playground Martha Cooper advocated for before her passing in 2002.

Descant asks that the items be able to withstand the desert climate for an extended period of time.

Mikenzie Hammel joined the KGUN 9 team as a multimedia journalist in the summer of 2023. She graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism with her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. With her passion for human connection and visual storytelling, Mikenzie is honored to share the stories of Tucson and southeastern Arizona. Share your story ideas and important issues with Mikenzie by emailing mikenzie.hammel@kgun9.com.