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Cocoon is a monumental, illuminated sculpture located along a walking/biking path parallel to Houghton Road in Tucson, Arizona. The artwork was created as part of the Irvington-Valencia Improvement Project under the Regional Transportation Authority with the goal of constructing a destination or meeting place along the path for the surrounding community.

Composed of nearly 130 sanded and rolled stainless steel pipes, the sculpture was inspired by nature and wildlife habitats such as butterfly and moth cocoons. The artwork allows people to move through the piece at all hours and have the sensation of being transformed by the experience. Sunlight glimmers on the steel surface creating an effect that is both natural and industrial. At night, colored lighting transforms the inside of the cocoon into a shadow theater where people can see themselves projected onto the surface of the sculpture and its surroundings.




Houghton Rd, Tucson, AZ


14' x 42' 


stainless steel, LED lighting

Commissioning Agency: 

Tucson Pima Arts Council


Joe O'Connell

Nina Borgia-Aberle

Blessing Hancock


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