About Joe Tyler

In 1972 I graduated from Arizona State University with a Master of Science degree in Environmental Horticulture. I then owned and operated my own nursery for fifteen years. I have always had a love of plant life and like watching things grow, especially trees, and have over five hundred different species of trees on my 40- acre property. I eventually sold my business and became the Founding Director of the Arboretum at Arizona State University for six years, during which time I also began creating art for my garden and home. Through a series of events, I was given an opportunity to have a one-man art show and my professional artistic career took off. I made a decision to pursue art on a full time basis and for the past twenty years I have worked on over one hundred projects, most of them large public art sculptures.

A great deal of my work has strong botanical influences due to my background in, and passion for horticulture and my love for the Sonoran Desert where I was born and raised. I have, however, done a very wide range of public and private artwork that has been inspired by natural, historical, cultural, architectural and site-specific differences. I have done contemporary pieces with straight lines and shinny surfaces. Much of my artwork, however, looks as though it has been in place for a long amount of time, perhaps because I purposely design my work to fit into the scene.

I have been inspired by many various inconsequential, surprising little things, such as a conversation, a phrase, a song, a thought while driving in traffic, a dream, an ordinary rainstorm, the colors of a rainbow or a relaxing moment after a long hot hard day of sweaty work under the welding helmet. Suddenly without warning the perfect form will appear in my minds’ eye. Sometimes the best ideas come from community members or from the particular history or folklore of a town.

My work can be seen in Germany, Japan, California, New Mexico, Texas, and Nevada, and of course in Arizona. I work mostly with welded steel, but also sometimes incorporate wood, masonry, fiber optic, neon, and conventional lighting, copper, brass, glass, paint enamel, and ceramic tile, depending upon the project.

It seems as though most of my work has been in the area of large- scale public art. Orders from municipalities and corporations have made up most of my commissions, however, I do enjoy doing projects for private collectors and each creation is an adventure. I have created war memorials, transit shelters, entry features, gates, fountains, benches, signage, animals of all kinds, and custom artwork.

My goal as an artist is to give the client, whether public or private, a piece of artwork that they feel a connection to because it reflects their own visions, dreams and deep desires. My work is durable, vandal resistant, and designed to last for several generations. I enjoy working with landscape architects, architects, structural engineers, artists, and other design professionals. I design functional art and free-standing sculpture that melds into a particular environment, helping to give a project a thematic sense of place and purpose. My work is meant to create a special memory.

I dream of someday creating a beautiful public garden with trees and plants of many varieties much like my private garden, where sculpture and art are intertwined. It would be a place where nature and art combine to bring peace and joy to all who enter. There would be fountains and a gazebo and comfortable benches where people could sit and watch the glory of nature unfold. It will be named The Healing Garden.

Over the years I have created commissioned public art projects for the cities of Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Stockton, CA. Los Angeles, CA., Queen Creek, Glendale, Peoria, Mesa, Oro Valley, Tempe, Chandler, Yuma, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Sun City, Peoria, Sedona, El Paso, Texas, Surprise, and Litchfield Park. I also have done public art for institutions and major corporations: Arizona State University, the Desert Botanical Gardens, Westcore, Del Webb Co., Good Samaritan Health Corp., Mayo Clinic, Kitchell Construction, F.N.F. Construction, Westin Hotels Corp., Concord Companies Inc., and the Iohono Golf Corp. in Japan. By working with these various entities I have acquired a great deal of experience working with architects, landscape architects, and structural engineers on numerous design teams from respected firms around the country. I have an excellent reputation for completing projects on time and within budget restraints.

I have done many monumental site specific sculptures as well as public parks, gateways, entry features, war memorial, fountains, roadway projects, pedestrian/bike path projects, transit shelters, Kiosks, sculpted signage, lighting treatments, seating, interactive functional art, wall art, neighborhood monuments, bridges, kinetic work, sculpted gates, and ornamental fencing/ railing. I fabricate my own designs and work mostly with welded steel, but also sometimes incorporate stone, copper, lighting, glass, ceramic tile, enamel paint, and masonry materials. I take great care when designing and fabricating to make the finished work as durable and maintenance free as possible. I have experience completing art projects inside and outside of my home state of Arizona, and am familiar with the logistics of fabricating, shipping, and installing intricate artworks. I crated and shipped three large-scale 35’-55’ sculptures to Japan where I reassembled and installed them.

I also have a C-26 Landscape Contractors license and posses extensive experience in the field of horticulture, landscape design and installation. I operated my own nursery for twenty years and served for six years as the Founding Director of the Arboretum at Arizona State University. Also, I am acutely aware of the magical beauty of melding art with landscape and architecture because of my unique background in botany. On my 40-acre property I have over 500 established trees of different varieties, many grown from seedlings from my greenhouses. In fact, my front yard resembles a park like you are describing. I began my artistic career by creating sculptures for my landscape and there are several smaller nooks and crannies where someone could sit and reflect upon life and the perfect beauty of nature.


Joe Tyler