Skyburst 2

How does it work?

As people approach Skyburst, a motion detector sends a signal to the sculpture’s computer program. It switches the electronics into a high-energy state, rapidly flashing the LEDs for a short period of time. This pattern is designed to attract the attention of passersby and encourage them to approach Skyburst. Then the computer program puts the LEDs through a constantly changing series of displays in which the lights flash, blink, pulse, twinkle, and wave in an incredible range of colors and intensities.

Who built it?

Public art sculptors Stephen Fairfield and Patrick Marcus created Skyburst for Tucson-Pima Arts Council’s Luminarias del Pueblo in 2004, after which it was purchased by Michael Hanson, President of TransWest Properties and owner of The Plaza Colonial. Fairfield was responsible for the original concept and construction of the physical structure. Marcus designed and built the electronics and wrote the computer program that operates the motion detector and controls the LEDs.

What’s it made of?

Skyburst is constructed of steel, stainless steel, acrylic casting resin, light emitting diodes (LEDs), custom designed electronics, a printed circuit board, computer microprocessor, electronic components, cable and a motion detector. A custom designed computer program controls both the LEDs’ blinking frequency and their color changes.

How can I learn more about commissioning a new media sculpture?

Fairfield and Marcus have many unique new media art concepts that would fit various settings and applications, whether private residences, public spaces, or commercial enterprises. For more information, please visit the “Contact Us” page from the menu above


Skyburst 2 is installed in the inner courtyard of Plaza Colonial, between Schlomo & Vito’s Delicatessen and Tavolino Ristorante Italiano.  Plaza Colonial is located at the corner of Campbell Avenue and Skyline Drive, Tucson, AZ.

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