May 9, 2014 Mitchell Derrey

Every day, I walk past the north side of Century Link field on my way to Silver Fox offices and look up at the tower that includes four giant, metal circles wondering what they symbolize or what they mean.  After some investigating, I learned that the discs, designed by Bob Haozous, an artist who has defined Native American sculpture, were among a number of pieces commissioned for the arena.  

Although inspired by symbols that are part of his Warm Springs/Chiricahua Apache heritage, Haozous believes that the forms and colors of the artwork have universal meanings.

Specifically, the artwork is intended as a reminder of our deep connection to the earth. According to Haozous, the lowest disc, depicting a stylized cityscape, represents our contemporary, man-made world. The green disc above it symbolizes life and growth, but its human figures are flying away suggesting the loss of man’s direct tie to nature. Or in a more hopeful reading, a return to those ties. The third disc honors the sun, highlighting our dependence on the natural world and the redemptive powers of nature. The top disc is a collection of man-made clouds that are meant to suggest the immensity of the natural environment.

Having some insight into the symbolism of the pieces makes me appreciate them even more. I’ll continue to keep my eyes peeled for local art in unexpected places.