NewsNortheast Valley NewsScottsdale News


New mosaic in north Scottsdale highlights wildlife in Sonoran Desert

Posted at 6:31 PM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 21:31:18-04

SCOTTSDALE — A work of art honoring our Sonoran desert has taken shape, nestled in the hills of North Scottsdale.

“It’s going to go from day to night time, so the colors will graduate,” said artist Tammi Lynch-Forrest.

Lynch-Forrest is putting the finishing touches on a 100-foot mosaic nearly three years in the making.

“When everybody else had to stop working during the pandemic, I was able to just come up here alone and work, it was just a wonderful way to isolate myself,” said Lynch-Forrest.

In 2018, the community of Desert Mountain commissioned Lynch-Forrest to create a center piece at the foot of a hiking trail, with resident donations making it a reality.

“I was given the theme of day and night in the Sonoran Desert, so I came up with an idea where we’ll sweep across all the way from dawn to pretty much dusk and night,” said Tammi.

Taking cues from the setting around her, Tammi decided to create a mosaic containing more than fifty thousand hand cut and painted ceramic tiles, using them to form plants, animals, and flowers.

“A lot of my heart and soul started going into this, it just did, it became something very important to me,” said Lynch-Forrest.

The stunning details in the 200+ species hidden throughout the mosaic are even getting noticed from the animals that inspired them. Lynch-Forrest showed us a video of a tortoise practically checking out its portrait and her work.

“Every year, when we have guests here at desert mountain and bring them out here, they’re just in awe,” said resident and donor Gregg Hennekens.

It’s that reaction Lynch-Forrest relishes in.

Walking away from the mosaic when it’s finished won’t be easy but what’s Lynch-Forrest has left behind is a lasting tribute to a place now closer to her heart then ever before.

“I hope it does become very informational to just show how beautiful and rich that life is here in the Sonoran Desert,” said Lynch-Forrest.