Our thoughts and prayers go to the McCain Family. Listening to all the tributes reinforces why we want to commemorate this champion of freedom.
Hi, my name is Aaron Bass and in collaboration with Chen + Suchart Studio, and Eric Marvin, we are excited to bring you “The Maverick”. The Maverick is a commemorative mural located in the heart of “Old Town” Scottsdale, and will be dedicated to Senator John McCain and his family. Together we are architects, developers, and artists. In practice, we use computational design and digital fabrication to bring projects to life. We are raising a minimum of $20,000 dollars for The Maverick with hopes to surpass this goal, so we can continue to create other large-scale public art projects. This mural is not only a commemoration but a reminder that discourse and discussion are pivotal. Thanks for supporting the Maverick.
Kevin Lynch, the American urbanist said it best: “As an artificial world, the city should be so in the best sense: made by art, shaped for human purposes.” The Maverick mural shapes Scottsdale’s urban landscape through art—enhancing the individual experience of visitors and lifelong residents alike. The Maverick’s scale, iconography, and history highlight Arizona’s independent spirit and inspire conversation, both about where we have been and where we are headed. At the center of the mural, Arizona icon Senator John McCain embodies the independent, persistent, and resolute nature of the State.
site & scale
The Maverick mural will be located in the heart of “Old Town” Scottsdale on the north elevation of the 4235 N. Marshall Way building, adjacent to a surface parking lot, and across the street from the Bob Parks Horse Fountain. Its dimensions are massive: 30 feet tall by 120 feet long, totaling roughly 4,001 square feet.
The concept stems from a re-imagination and interpretation of a Nigel Parry portrait of Senator McCain. The mural pulls from the halftone printing process, used to print newspapers since the 1800’s. The halftone process uses a grid of dots varying in size to produce an overall image. Using computational tools from the architecture field, the Maverick places a digital spin on the halftone process. Instead of using different sized dots, we digitally arranged roughly 30,000 pictograms with varying color densities in a specific organization to create the overall image of Senator McCain with the State’s flag in the background. Each pictogram stands 3 inches tall and represents Arizona’s “five Cs”; cattle, copper, citrus, climate, & cotton. The computational design tools not only help design the art but create the blueprint for installation and fabrication.
fabrication & installation
The art lies in the fabrication and organization before any paint is applied to the building. The mural starts in the computer with a custom written computer program to create with a series of digitally stencils that numerically organized and digitally cut to fit the building. The building is then divided into a grid of 179 stencils applied by hand and used to guide the painting process. At that point the project has reduced from a complex mathematical problem to a sophisticated paint by numbers installation.
We look forward to the opportunity to create a piece of art that’s evocative and engaging for the all the people of the Scottsdale, while commemorating Arizona icon.