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Basket Bridge

BASKET BRIDGE (2011) Palm Springs, CA, Bob Hope Overpass


Media: Stained cast-in-place concrete, galvanized mesh, patinated steel
Dimensions: Basket: 7’-6” tall; Bridge: 294’ long
Commissioning Agency: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

Enhancements to the Bob Hope Interchange on I-10 have made it into a landmark for the exit to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ nearby casino. In 2001, the Tribe contacted Braaksma to provide the art for the Interchange enhancements. After researching the Tribe’s heritage and arts, she presented ways to incorporate imagery of basket making and plant motifs into the construction elements of the roadway project. Braaksma worked closely with the Tribe to develop the bridge concept. When the Tribe received federal stimulus funds almost ten years after the project’s inception, the construction plans were finalized and the interchange constructed in 2011.

The Cahuilla Indians’ history includes subsistence in their desert environment; the patterns in their woven baskets are considered to be part of the Tribe’s identity. Cahuilla basket patterns and plant motifs are used to make up special pieces of the bridge fencing. Fabricated from galvanized mesh and powder-coated steel, they speak to the Tribe both visually and culturally. The focus on baskets celebrates the Tribe’s traditions of craft and artistry as well as their emphasis on storytelling. The larger visual scope of the interaction of the bridge enhancements provides a work of art that the Cahuilla community can be proud of and take ownership over. ***Public Art Network Year in Review 2011

Posted in Bridges & Roadways