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downtown fresno

Dancing Waters

Catagory: Public Art

Dancing Waters by Stan Bitters (1936-present) is located on Fulton just south of Fresno Street

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Stan Bitters is one of the Valley’s most prominent artists, known internationally for his sculpture, both in ceramics and in bronze. A graduate of UCLA, he also attended San Diego State and the Otis Art Institute. After graduating, he went to work as a designer for the Hans Sumpf Company in Madera, CA, the world’s largest manufacturer of adobe brick. He went on to teach at Fresno State, and in 1976 published the book “Environmental Ceramics”. He has awards from Otis Art Institute, Chicago and commissions from Lake Tahoe and Maui hotels. In 2006 he was profiled in the Los Angeles Times.

Dancing Waters was one of the centerpieces of the mall art collection. At its inception, the fountain spouted water pulsating as high as fourteen feet into the air. Colorful lights also used to illuminate the fountain after dark. Due to prevailing winds and concerns over public safety the water spouting was reduced years ago.  The photo below is taken from a postcard and shows the fountain in action.

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Today, the fountain’s water has been drained because it leaks into surrounding building basements.  It is estimated that to repair the fountain would be around $300,000.

In addition to Dancing Waters, Bitters designed the sculptural clay pipes that adorn water features throughout the Fulton Corridor, which take their inspiration from the irrigation standpipes found in fields throughout the Valley.

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