A Gilbert resident is one of three artists whose work was selected to be featured at Cityscape in downtown Phoenix during the holidays.

The elaborate piece of art by Sam Fresquez will be suspended above stairs leading to the second floor of Cityscape until Jan. 6 as a festive welcome to visitors to Cityscape’s ice rink and lighted cooper Christmas tree.

Called “El Nuevo Coloso,” the installation consists of 4’ x 8’ mirrored plexiglass and Styrofoam sheets cut into three-dimensional calligraphy.

Each piece is a translation into Spanish of the inscription found at the base of the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses longing to breathe free.”

The translations were done by her father, brother and grandmother; though similar, they are still unique to each person. The pieces are installed on metal uprights about 10-15’ above the stairs leading to the second floor at Cityscape.

“They seem to soar,” said her grandmother, Mary Ellen Fresquez, a downtown Gilbert business owner and a member of the Redevelopment Commission.

Fresquez is a fourth-year art student at Arizona State University and already well known in the local art scene.

This year she was the artist-in-residence at Xico, Inc., whose mission is to create awareness and greater appreciation of the cultural and spiritual heritages of Latino and Indigenous peoples. During her tenure there, Fresquez curated an all-woman art exhibit and taught community classes.

She also participated in the Bentley Gallery Art d’Core Gala-2018, which pairs emerging artists with established artists. She will be a part of that show again in 2019.

Her art was selected for the Arizona Biennial exhibition at the Tucson Museum of Art,  the oldest running state-wide juried exhibition featuring exclusively Arizona artists.

That show is highly competitive; this year over 1,500 pieces of art were submitted by 550 artists. Only 75 artists were ultimately chosen.

In Gilbert, Fresquez’s work has been exhibited at the All Art Arizona 2017 at Art Intersection. Earlier this year, she participated in “Migrant Stories” exhibit at The Sagrado Galleria in Phoenix. Eight artists showed works inspired by time spent with migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border.


-If you would like more information (including photos) about this topic, please call Mary Ellen Fresquez at 480-205-5271, or email: