by Nina Baldwin

cloud catcher*dream maker*artist

"Art touches the is reaches out from the canvas and passes through the eyes of the viewer right into his heart where it can leave an imprint of beauty that can make the spirit sing."
Nina Baldwin ...

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

PAUL COZE - Public Art - Phoenix Airport, Terminal 2, St. Thomas the Apostle

I have always admired Mr. Coze’s artwork. I can remember the first time I saw the Phoenix rising out of the ashes in front of the Town & Country Mall in Phoenix. I was enchanted by it. I had never seen anything like it before. I was just a kid, but every time we drove past it, I would look for it, staring, trying to take in as much as I could. His artwork was like that for me…jaw-dropping, earth-shattering. It touched my spirit. Even at my young age, I wondered how anyone could accomplish anything that big, that remarkable.

I can remember when the Phoenix Airport, Terminal 2 now, was brand new. And I can remember feeling great pride in not only the building, because it seemed so elegant to me at the time, but also in the huge artwork created by Mr. Coze. There was a sense that his artwork belonged to all of us who lived in Phoenix…that it was our story…I think the whole city was in awe of it. It was located over the way to the concourse, as I recall. I can remember our family making a special trip down to the airport just especially to see it. Even now when I see pictures of it I feel a thrill. Last year while visiting the area, I made a trip down to Terminal 2 just to see if the artwork was still there…it was! I can’t tell you what that meant to me!! I hope that it will be cherished always, saved for many more generations to see and appreciate.

I was in close proximity to his artwork also while I attended grade school at St. Thomas the Apostle on 24th St. and Campbell Rd. Paul Coze was commissioned to paint the Stations of the Cross for the new Church. They were not the usual plaque-like structures I had been used to…they were actual paintings on canvas. One stands out in my mind. The Seven Deadly Sins…let’s see if I can remember them…sloth, greed, (I’m already having trouble remembering them!) wrath, envy (I’m grasping for them now!), pride, lust and gluttony…(oh, ok, I had to look up the last three!!). But what a painting!! Mr. Coze had painted 7 hands each representing a different deadly sin all grasping at a cloth, as I recall. Oh, my gosh!! It was exquisitely done! You wouldn’t think that 7 hands could be that different, but you actually could identify each deadly sin just by their appearance. I guess that is one of those things that is etched in my mind…his art touched my soul even as an elementary school student!

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