Spirit of the Phoenix

“Spirit of the Phoenix” by San Antonio artistCathy Cunningham-Little is a notable project for the Fire Department and Department of Arts & Culture because this is the first fire station public art project. The installation is incorporated into the storefront that also houses a historic fire truck.The artwork is inspired by an abstract Phoenix using geometric forms that frame the display bay. The corner panels represent ladders, with lower warm colors symbolizing flames that lead upwards to cool colors of blues and greens. These colors allude to water, regrowth, and the blue colors of uniforms worn by firefighters. The cool colors overcome the warm, yet some sparks of hot colors flash within the others. The vertical corners and horizontal suspended sections of glass are analogous to opened theatrical curtains. They focus attention on the central character of the vintage fire apparatus. The theatrical lights direct attention to the apparatus while the colored reflections envelope it, emphasizing its role as part of the whole Phoenix parable. The artwork utilizes natural light and LED lights to create reflections that extend the color into and out of the display bay to create a kaleidoscope of colors, shifting in relation to the angle of the viewing, the sun’s position, the weather, and the season. The reflections of the natural light interact with the reflections of the glass and the work behind them becoming an active part of the instillation.

Category: Installation
Location: Facilities

Medium type: Glass; LED/Light

Date created: 2017

Associated artists

Cathy Cunningham-Little
Cathy Cunningham-Little


1318 S Ww White Rd, San Antonio, TX, 78220

Additional Information

Accession Number: 2017.CUN.1
District: 2
Location: Fire Station 18
Artist URL: http://www.cathycunningham-little.com/

Contact information



San Antonio Public Art Map