Toby is a sculpture located in the heart of downtown Tucson, Arizona. The sculpture consists of painted steel in the shape of a Griffin (half lion, half eagle) and an intense light source that is active whenever the street lights are on. 


Griffins have historically been placed on libraries and churches as guardians of valuables. The former Carnegie Library across the street originally had stone griffins perched on the upper corners of the building. There was a fire in 1938 and in the subsequent renovation, the Griffins were destroyed. We like to think that one escaped. The one that escaped was named Toby, and he jumped down from the building and left his footprints in the concrete as he ran to his current location on Scott Avenue. Toby includes incredibly bright red LEDs at his heart. These light the sculpture at night and cast the sharp outlines of his ribs on the buildings and sidewalks nearby.




Scott Avenue, Tucson, AZ


12’ x 7’ x 8’


powder-coated steel, LED lighting, concrete texture (footprints)

Commissioning Agency: 

City of Tucson


Joe O'Connell