Tucson Oddity: 'Captain America' piece grew out of 9/11

2012-01-09T00:00:00Z 2014-09-01T17:13:29Z Tucson Oddity: 'Captain America' piece grew out of 9/11Andrea Rivera Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 09, 2012 12:00 am  • 

"Captain America" attends Pima's Downtown Campus.

Well, at least multimedia artist Bruce Butler's version of "Captain America."

Butler donated the 17-foot-tall steel sculpture to Pima Community College in 2003 when he was an instructor at the college. The sculpture is on the north side of campus near the Roosevelt Building.

Butler was inspired to create the sculpture out of scrap steel and rebar after the 9/11 tragedy.

"I just decided to do that piece as a memorial-type thing," Butler said.

Butler said the sculpture is a big, powerful character much like the firefighters who responded to the events of 9/11.

"It has a fireman look to it, but at the same time it has its own character," he said.

Found objects, such as a tiller wheel, were used to construct the sculpture. Chrome bumpers were cut up into two stars to dress up "Captain America."

The shiny stars contrast dramatically with the sculpture's other rusty parts.

"Captain America" gets his twisted mouth from former President George W. Bush.

Butler watched Bush give a speech soon after Sept. 11 and paid special attention to his mouth.

"His mouth was tough and expressive," Butler said of the former president. He added: "The sculpture is a combination of a lot of weird stuff like that."

Butler mainly works with steel and has work in galleries in Sedona, Tubac and in town.

Butler's work also was the subject of a Tucson Oddity in 2009.

He's responsible for the sculptures at the home on the west side of La Cañada Drive north of West River Road.

He owns Bruce Butler Design near East Glenn Street and North Dodge Boulevard. His latest sculptures combine the use of steel and bronze.

"They are all one-of-a-kind," he said. "No casting. All done by torch."

Contact reporter Andrea Rivera at arivera@azstarnet.com or 807-8430.

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