Scottsdale Public Art

Permanent Art

Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren by phoenix-based artist Carrie Marill at the Palomino Library in North Scottsdale was completed in 2017.

Cactus Wren was inspired by the landscape and wildlife surrounding the Palomino Library.  In addition to the portrait of the Cactus Wren, the mural also includes areas of multicolor triangles and multi-directional arrows in the form of mountains. These designs are a part of Marill’s visual language.  

“After being commissioned to paint the mural for the library I wanted to pick a bird that was indicative of the area so I went for a walk in the mountains across the street from the library. I thought ‘the first bird that shows himself to me will be the bird meant for this mural’ and sure enough, not 10 feet down the trail, a cactus wren squawks at me from a saguaro.  Cactus wrens are intelligent, intense, gregarious, and inquisitive birds – perfect for a high school/library. The wrens, native to the Sonoran Desert, have beautiful geometric and organic patterning on their feathers. From the patterning found on the cactus wren the mural image turns into mountain-shaped triangles. The symbolism of the triangle is rich and varied – for this project, I was drawn to the symbolism of a triangle as a ‘tent door’ or a gateway from the ancient Phoenician culture – much like a library can be a gateway to another world.  The triangle is a symbol that embraces both male and female divinity and balance - from those triangles another patterned mountain distributes arrows to symbolize change, direction and meditation on one’s next move in life.” Says Marill

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