A true arts and culture destination, Scottsdale, Arizona, is never short of both indoor and outdoor art experiences perfect for student groups looking to pair tours with educational programming. Scottsdale Arts, a nonprofit organization, manages Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation and Scottsdale Public Art.

It was during the Canal Convergence 2020 — managed by Scottsdale Public Art — that the city’s public art program debuted new augmented reality elements to 11 installations of its permanent collection. With the help of a mobile device, students will get additional information about the artwork from the artist, Scottsdale Public Art staff and others.

“Horseshoe Falls” by Michael Maglich. Credit: Scottsdale Arts

“Public art is such an integral part of Scottsdale’s identity,” said Kim Boganey, director of Scottsdale Public Art. “Everywhere you go in Scottsdale, whether you recognize it or not, you will see public art.”

Scottsdale Public Art offers tours for student groups, with a focus on the downtown area. Throughout, students will find inspiring pieces with more than meets the eye.

Horseshoe Falls by Michael Maglich features curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Art, Wendy Raisanen. Use the AR feature to listen to Raisanen share fun facts about the piece and invite onlookers to interact with it. Inspired by the buds of a cactus flower, Spirit of Camelback by Kana Tanaka includes a time-lapsed video of cactus buds blooming.

“If you are at Scottsdale Civic Center, two of the most iconic artworks to experience are the Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture and the James Turrell skyscape, titled Knight Rise,” Boganey said. “Both also have AR attached to them, which add to your experience of the artworks themselves.”

“Spirit of Camelback” by Kana Tanaka. Credit: Scottsdale Arts

Students will need to download the Hoverlay app and search for Scottsdale Public Art’s channel to unlock these immersive features.

“We aim to grow the number of AR experiences by adding this to additional public artworks in the collection each year so that, eventually, all the 120-plus artworks in the public art collection will have the AR experience attached to them,” Boganey said.

In addition, educators can include student programming to a public art tour with Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation. Opportunities include not only public art, but performing and contemporary visual art as well.

“This is a great opportunity to learn more about creative placemaking, why it is important to cities and how cities are beautified because of this,” Boganey said.

To find more information go to scottsdalepublicart.org.