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Scottsdale Stories

Big Love

In 2002, an unexpected romance blossomed between the city and a masterpiece of Pop Art – one of Robert Indiana’s world-famous LOVE sculptures – which was installed that year in the park just east of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Indiana, who had a knack for mining the poetry in everyday words, originally created his now-iconic LOVE design in the mid-1960s for a Christmas card. It immediately struck a chord. LOVE became the artist’s signature work and muse, which he would render in paintings, prints and sculptures. It even appeared on a postage stamp. The image’s popularity also would spawn countless unauthorized copies. LOVE was truly everywhere.

Today, Indiana’s LOVE sculptures can be found in multiple sizes, colors and languages in cities around the globe, from New York and D.C. to Jerusalem, Montreal and Tokyo.

Standing at a monumental 12 feet tall, Scottsdale’s LOVE is known to inspire heartwarming acts of devotion. The sculpture is a destination for marriage proposals, weddings and other rites of passage. And of course, it’s a hot spot for selfies (#ScottsdaleLove).

One of the crown jewels of the city’s acclaimed public art collection, LOVE is kept shining and camera-ready thanks to Scottsdale Public Art, which takes care of the 3,800-pound aluminum sculpture. Each year it receives a fresh coat of paint using the artist’s approved red and blue colors.


William Thompson is an avid traveler and occasional writer with a longtime interest in art, architecture and photography. He spent more than two decades working in the arts in Texas and Arizona, including 14 years at the multidisciplinary Scottsdale Arts, where he managed communications for the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, SMoCA and the Scottsdale Arts Festival.