"Heavy Water" Dominates Corner in South Scottsdale
Eddie Dibler graduated from Scottsdale Community College with plans to accomplish big things, and he’s done exactly that, quite literally.
Dibler’s “Heavy Water” public art sculpture is impressive in size and structure. It weighs half a ton and reaches about 13-feet high, with welded steel cubes cascading, from smallest to largest, onto a concrete base. It’s hard to miss at its location on the busy corner of Scottsdale Road and Roosevelt Street in South Scottsdale.
“It’s supposed to look like pixelated water coming out of a faucet,” Dibler said. “The fabrication of the pour spout didn’t quite work out, so it became more of a sculpture than a literal narrative.”
The structure impressed the judges with PlatFORM, which is a multi-city initiative offering opportunities for Arizona university student artists to propose sculptures for temporary placement in public places. Now a student at Arizona State University, Dibler and five of his classmates in an architectural sculpture class submitted their ideas to be commissioned and Dibler and a fellow student won.
“In class, we made small models of our designs and photographed them using forced perspective to make them look life size,” Dibler said. “At the end of the semester we applied for the public art commission, and I won. I found out on June 3 – my birthday – that my piece was selected and then had until October 23 to complete it.”
Adding to Dibler’s winning streak, he was selected for Northern Arizona University’s Artist Residency Program at Rogers Lake in Flagstaff, where he was able to spend the summer creating his sculpture.
“I bought the steel in Phoenix and hauled it up to Flagstaff,” he said. “It took about two-and-a-half months to complete, because I was also juggling four studio classes and a regular class,” he said.
Dibler’s success as a student and artist didn’t come easy or fast. His first attempt at sculpture was right out of high school at a college in Missouri. That wasn’t successful, and he then spent nine years bartending, before determining he didn’t like where he was in his life.
“My mom passed away and I definitely woke up and thought about where I should be,” Dibler said. “My dad said follow your passion and that’s what I’m doing.”
Dibler knew he wanted to live in Arizona, so he researched schools and said SCC was a good fit and had better ratings than other schools. He enrolled at SCC and was inspired by Fine Arts Division Chair Ted Uran. In 2014 he graduated with an Associate in Fine Arts degree.
“I really enjoyed my time at SCC, with the small class sizes, personal attention – and free parking,” Dibler said. “I miss it. Almost all of my teachers were awesome and willing to help you. I keep in touch with Ted and participate in the Iron Pour each year.”
As for the future, Dibler wants to keep following his passion and has his sights set on getting more public commissions for his art.
“Hopefully I’ll continue on to grad school and eventually teach – I’d like to follow Ted’s example.”