Interview by Lara Serbin, Buckeye Main Street Coalition
December 13th, Saturday was the annual Glow on Monroe Electric Light Parade in Buckeye, Arizona featuring 52 floats including semis towing flat beds, trucks, vintage roadsters, horses and school bands decked out in holiday lights. Local businesses, clubs, churches and individuals made an overwhelming effort in the success of this year’s parade. Buckeye Union Elementary School Transportation float took first place. I had a chance to talk to Maria Gomez design director of the float as we were standing in the parade line up as it got dark in Buckeye last Saturday night. As I gazed at the miniature replica of Historic Main Street in Buckeye, Arizona big enough for an action figure to live in, I was amazed at the level of detail that was executed in just 2 weeks.
Why did you replicate Historic Main Street Buckeye? I decided to focus my design on Historic Buckeye, because the City of Buckeye is unique and has a lot of character.
Describe your design process: The design of the historical buildings have such a story behind them that I wanted to capture that in my design. They have a western theme to them and it is very intriguing to me. I would have liked to include several more buildings but unfortunately I ran out of time. I would have loved to add in the Buckeye Museum, The San Linda Hotel and the buildings around it, and the Pharmacy.
What do you like most about working at this scale: I enjoy working with the scale of the buildings I created because I was able to capture a lot more details than I would have if I had created smaller buildings.
Biggest artistic influences: I was influenced by the architects and designers of the historic buildings. Seeing photos of Buckeye’s past and the way the town looked so many years ago is inspiring to me.
Proudest of: What makes me the most proud of my work is the reaction on everyone’s faces when they see it up close. When a business owner see’s their building and the detail, all the way down to a garbage can by their entrance, it makes the long nights and tired hands all worthwhile. They are so thankful for my hard work, and it makes my heart happy.
How would you like this float to be remembered? I would like my float and designs to be remembered as capturing the heart and spirit of Buckeye. I love this city, and am so proud to be a part of Buckeye.
What’s next? My next projects are not set, but I would love to continue “building” Buckeye with adding in some more of Buckeye’s past and present.