Biltmore Center, located at the northwest corner of Camelback Road and 24th Street, has undergone an award-winning renaissance since being acquired by ViaWest Group. The most recent addition is a signature sculpture by local artist Brad Konick as a focal point of the development’s core.
“We evaluated our main traffic circle and realized its visibility and activity level commanded attention,” says Steven Schwarz, founding partner of ViaWest Group. “We brainstormed many ways to handle this area, ranging from landscaping and flagpoles to fountains and artwork. After much consideration, we agreed that commissioning a local artist to create a lasting sculpture was the best fit for our vision of the property.”
Since acquiring Biltmore Center, ViaWest has re-positioned the Class A office building into a pedestrian-friendly, contemporary office community that is now attracting young, technology tenants in addition to traditional office users. New signage, restaurants, pedestrian parks and communal lobby areas all have enhanced the “live, work, play” ambience of the office development.
With the initial renovation improvements performed by ViaWest, the on-site sculpture, The Public Works, within and surrounding the Northern Trust Tower by the late, world-renowned sculpter, Serge Spitzer, was restored to its original condition. Yet, ViaWest felt an additional sculpture in the traffic circle area would compliment the original piece by infusing the energy and modernism of the recent renovations. It was important to ViaWest to embrace and enhance the historical significance and architecture of the property and the area by incorporating the identity of Phoenix and staying true to the thematic architecture of the original building designs. This included being complimentary to the nearby Camelback Mountain and some of the softer elements of the desert environment.
“We met with a variety of local artists and requested visionary sketches that best addressed the elements we value,” says Schwarz. “The process led us to Brad Konick and we believe his work has not just met, but exceeded our aspirations for the piece.”
According to artist Brad Konick, “This beautiful contemporary sculpture, Arise, symbolizes the new growth and energy of the Biltmore Center. The gently tapered shape signifies movement upward and outward, similar to a blossoming flower. The vertical, column-like form is designed to be elegant and timeless, constructed of durable powder-coated steel. The sculpture illuminates at night from within a center spine as light passes through each steel panel, creating a dramatic gradient effect.”
Brad Konick is a Phoenix-based artist who was raised in the metropolitan area. His wide mix of metal work pieces have been selected for both residential and commercial locations, as well as municipal properties. His current focus is on commissioned work as well as new studio pieces. In 2008, he completed a 20-foot tall, six-thousand-pound monolithic metal sculpture; a public art commission for a new Light Rail station in Phoenix. That same year he had a solo exhibition of new work at the Sylvia Plotkin Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2005, he exhibited a new steel sculpture at the Phoenix Art Museum as a recipient of a prestigious Contemporary Forum’s Artist Grant. Konick also received critical acclaim in the Arizona Republic and New Times for exhibitions at 515 Artspace in the resurgent downtown Phoenix cultural scene.