Now you can take your own guided tour at the Scottsdale Public Art through a new augmented reality app called Hoverlay.
The app, first introduced during Scottsdale Public Art’s Canal Convergence in November, enables the audience to hold their phone up to a participating artwork to uncover an animated video of artists and dignitaries sharing the behind-the-scenes story of each piece.
“With these new AR features, people can find out more about the artworks than they would get from a simple plaque,” said Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections for Scottsdale Public Art.
Raisanen also features as an AR figure during the experience.
“It was fun to tell stories about the public art in front of the green screen and then see my avatar talking on the screen of my phone,” she said.
A few notable artists within the experience are John Randall Nelson, Mary Bates Neubauer, and Curtis Pittman. The captain of the Navajo County Sheriff’s Hashknife Posse, Mark Reynolds, talks about “Passing the Legacy” by Herb Mignery while the staff from the Cosanti Foundation talk about “Soleri Bridge and Plaza” by Paolo Soleri.
The AR experience can be accessed at any time, and all it needs is a smartphone with the Hoverlay app.
Bringing art to the public through augmented reality is a welcomed innovation in the domain amid the pandemic. Moreover, this specific initiative allows the Scottsdale Public Art to continue a variation of the 3.25 mile Cycle the Arts event, which was canceled in 2020 due to the safety protocols.
“In years past, Scottsdale Public Art and the city would team up to host Cycle the Arts on one day because we would arrange artists and staff to be present at each stop,” said Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker, public art manager for Scottsdale Public Art.
“This year, AR technology allows us to offer additional content to the stops at any time and in a safe, socially distant manner. Cycle the Arts’ content will now be available to anyone encountering these works — whether they are doing the tour on foot or even in their car — beyond Valley Bike Month and throughout the year.”
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