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11/27/2013 1:07:00 PM
'Rearing' to go at Roundabout
Striking horse statues enhance approach to Chino Valley
Review/Salina Sialega

Artist Jon Hair; second from left; and town crew members erect the first of three larger-than-life horse statues Nov. 19 for the new roundabout display on Highway 89 at the south end of Chino Valley.
Review/Salina Sialega
Artist Jon Hair; second from left; and town crew members erect the first of three larger-than-life horse statues Nov. 19 for the new roundabout display on Highway 89 at the south end of Chino Valley.

Salina Sialega
Chino Valley Review


As drivers arrive at the south end of town, three larger-than-life bronze horse statues now stand guard.

The sight not only brings an artistic touch to the roundabout at Highway 89 and Road 4 South, but also gives many passers-by a new feeling about Chino Valley, says Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce Director Tracie Schimikowsky.

"It lets you know part of what we're about," Schimikowsky said. "Between the horse statues and the new welcome on the wall, it's a nice presentation for our community."

Mayor Chris Marley, who has worked 40 years in metal casting, says the statues are eye-catching.

"I've haven't gotten to see them up close yet, but what I have seen, they are beautiful workmanship. I admire real artistic ability," Marley said. "(As drivers approach Chino Valley) the horse statues give folks a good impression of a western town. This is rural America."

North Carolina artist Jon Hair, who made the statues, joined several Chino Valley town crew members Nov. 19 to erect the statues, which took about five hours, atop the raised center of the roundabout. A large lifter carried each statue from a long-bed trailer to their pre-placed bases, as the workers carefully guided the matching posts into the base holes.

One horse looks west, one looks east, and the center horse, raring up on its back legs, faces south, as if to greet everyone coming into town.

The statues have been a long time coming since plans began in early 2010, changing from local artist Diana Simpson's original submission to Hair's final plans because of federal and state Department of Transportation agencies' requirements in the funding process.

A portion of a $1.5 million federal Transportation Enhancement Grant that the town received - $250,000 for beautification - paid for the statues, along with a decorative retaining wall around the 35-foot center, and a smaller walled planter that soon will contain shrubs and other plants. The planter, which is on the northeastern curve of the roundabout, features a "Welcome to Chino Valley" greeting in large silver metal letters.

The remainder of the grant paid for sidewalks along both sides of Highway 89 just south of Center Street to the roundabout.

Related Stories:
• Chino Road 4 roundabout to get bronze sculpture


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Article comment by: Sin Ical

A pretty as they appear, the line of sight for the round about is not even more restricted. I anticipate the accidents to increase. Let's face it, if the driver's could not drive when the sight line was open, how will they drive with an obscured line of sight.

Posted: Sunday, December 1, 2013
Article comment by: Kathleen Reiman

They look like plastic Brayer horses. Just curious, now that we are stuck with them, who is responsible for their upkeep. As everyone knows...the cheapest part of horse ownership is the purchase price. These will get weathered, dirty, possibly defaced. Their podium will get weedy, full of trash. Who now pays for the maintenance??? ADOT sure doesn't upkeep the median, it is always full of weeds.

Posted: Friday, November 29, 2013
Article comment by: Merry-Go-Round- About

the overhead powerlines distract and detract from the visual aesthetics. overall, an unsafe situation, when your attention is drawn from the task at hand.

Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013
Article comment by: MIKE B.

MR LEE, HWY 89 IS A STATE ROAD NOT THE CITY. THE SIDEWALKS AND ROUND ABOUT WAS PAID FOR WITH STATE AND FEDERAL MONIES.
IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH CITY STREETS I SUGGEST YOU CONTACT RON GITTMAN . HE IS CHINO'S TOWN MECHANIC.
AND AFTER A WEEK YOU WON'T EVEN KNOW IT'S THERE. JUST LIKE THE OTHER TWO ON THE WAY TO TOWN.


Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Article comment by: Obstruct My View and Distract

Some might see them as art, or beautification. I see them as a distraction for motorists at a time when they should definitely be watching for other vehicles in the round-a-bout.

The raised area that they are on also has severely reduced visibility of vehicles entering the round-a-bout from other directions.

A safety hazard in my opinion.


Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Article comment by: Diane K

This is a great addition to Chino Valley! We needed to add something like this to our area. Nice job!

Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Article comment by: Chino Valley didn't spend money

Chino Valley didn't provide the money for these statues. Read the story: "A portion of a $1.5 million federal Transportation Enhancement Grant that the town received - $250,000 for beautification - paid for the statues..."

Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Article comment by: Kenneth Lee

Chino Valley probably has the worst streets in Arizona, half or more aren't paved and they are spending money on this crap!



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