Sculptor's unique 'lizard-fish' a source of pride in friend's yard

2011-03-28T00:00:00Z 2011-03-28T00:08:50Z Sculptor's unique 'lizard-fish' a source of pride in friend's yardFernanda Echavarri Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 28, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Is it a lizard or a fish?

It's a giant lizard-fish!

The "kind-of-random" sculpture sits on the sidewalk on South Third Avenue just north of East 20th Street, across the street from Santa Rita Park.

The 12-foot-long sculpture was designed and constructed by local artist Jake Honeycutt about six years ago.

Honeycutt began the design process with just the shape - he wanted to make something that curved around like a wave.

"I didn't know what it was going to be, then it slowly turned into a fish," he said. "It was all kind of random."

Once the sculpture took on the shape of a fish, Honeycutt needed a way to make the steel and concrete piece stay in one place. That's when the lizard legs came in.

Honeycutt then painted blue scales and armor-like details on the colorful sculpture, turning it into a big medieval lizard-fish. He also put two saddles on it for kids, or adults, to sit on and enjoy.

Honeycutt initially planned to give the sculpture to the Tucson Children's Museum, but representatives had concerns about children riding it and considered it playground material, not a sculpture.

So Honeycutt decided to put the sculpture somewhere else.

"My neighbor at the time had told me she liked the lizard-fish and thought it was a cool piece, so I asked her if she wanted him," Honeycutt said.

Jane Kroesen, also an artist, accepted the gift and put the sculpture in front of her house, where it has been for five years.

"I love seeing people drive by and point at it. They slow down and enjoy it," she said. "I'm really proud to have it outside my house."

People walking by often sit on the sculpture and take pictures with it, she said.

Honeycutt always thought the sculpture was a boy, "so I called it Fred, or Bob from time to time, but Jane says it's a girl," he said. "So I guess it's whatever people want it to be."

Contact reporter Fernanda Echavarri at fechavarri@azstarnet.com or 573-4224.

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