On Monday, June 24, 2013, at 10 a.m., the public is invited to celebrate a solar event on the Luis G. Gutierrez Bridge crossing the Santa Cruz River at Cushing Street. At the event, the canopy shade cut-outs, which depict raindrops, will cast sunlight on the ground plane imagery to commemorate the start of El Dia de San Juan, Tucson’s monsoon season. City staff, the Tucson Pima Arts Council, community members and artist Brenda Semanick will be present for the event.
On June 24, 1540, Francisco Vasquez Coronado is believed to have prayed to St. John the Baptist for rain from a location along the banks of the Santa Cruz River. The rain came and June 24 is celebrated as El Dia de San Juan, marking the beginning of the season of Tucson’s summer rains. Local tradition hails St. John the Baptist as the Saint who brings rain.
The artwork consisting of shade canopies with waterjet-cut imagery, and corresponding ground plane sandblasted imagery, is an outcome of collaboration between artist Semanick and bridge designer Dave Dobler of Structural Grace.
Parking for the event is available in the unpaved (dirt) lot near the west end of the Luis G. Gutierrez Bridge and is accessible from Linda Avenue. From Congress Street, Linda Avenue is west of Interstate 10 and east of Avenida del Convento. The artwork for El Dia de San Juan is on the north walkway of the bridge.
Later in the day, the 16th Annual El Dia de San Juan Fiesta will take place at the Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento. The Fiesta, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., will feature a procession, live music and dance, food, arts and craft vendors, games and activities for families.