Where is the giant tiki head?by Charles Spillar on Jun. 08, 2009, under Tucson Art
June 8, 2009 by Charles Spillar
If you weren’t in Tucson in December and missed all the media coverage you will be happy to know that the tallest sculpture in Tucson was saved and will soon be unveiled August 29.
The three stories Tiki head from the closed Magic Carpet golf property on Speedway was rescued by the nightclub The Hut located at 8th St. and 4th Ave. At a cost of over $30,000 to remove and transport it to their location they are now spending another $30,000 to build a new base. (Required by new city building codes) They have started construction today. The August event will be the unveiling day with a traditional Tiki ceremony performed along with a closed street celebration. The public is invited.
Funding for the rescuing of the giant folk art sculpture has been done through personal funds, community donations, T-shirt sales and fund raisers. June 20 The Hut is hosting a “Raise the Tiki” golf tournament at the Star Pass Resort. All proceeds go for erecting the giant Tiki on the newly constructed base. Information on the tournament can be found at http://www.rescuethetiki.org/golf.php
The Magic Carpet Golf property located at 6125 Speedway Ave. in Tucson had become a real Tucson icon for the last 40 years. Literally tens of thousands of individuals and families enjoyed miniature golf among the unique hand crafted sculptures created by the late Lee Koplin. Mr. Koplin was responsible for changing the look of miniature golf courses throughout America and had several Magic Carpet parks in the U. S. There are only a few courses left today.
When the late Mel Williams, partner and operator, passed away in late 2007 the property was sold to the Chapman Automotive group. Chapman had plans to extend their nearby Mercedes dealership on the property and offered the historic Valley of the Moon an opportunity to use the facility as a fund raiser and to find homes for the unique statues saving them from demolition.
State Representative and artist Steve Farley made the community aware of the need to save the statues and asked me to represent the Valley of the Moon and find homes for all the statues saving them for future generations of Tucsonans to enjoy. We have found homes for all except the Sphinx. Care to adopt it?
*Note pictures and locations of other Magic Carpet sculptures will be featured in future articles.