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Santa Monica Paves Way for Downtown Area Art Installations
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By Lookout Staff

February 14, 2017 -- Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade and the new Colorado Esplanade near the Downtown light rail station should soon be enhanced with temporary public art installations.

The City Council on Tuesday is expected to authorize the City Manager to negotiate an 18-month Memorandum of Understanding with Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) for the pilot temporary art program, according to staff.

The public art installation would be located on the Esplanade at the landscaped triangular site adjacent to the intersection of Main Street and additional installations would extend along the Promenade to Wilshire Boulevard.

"Arts and cultural activities activate public spaces and create welcoming environments for residents and visitors alike," staff wrote in its report. This "is especially valuable in Santa Monica due to the increase in foot traffic resulting from the Expo light rail line."

The program would extend the "rich array of public art" downtown "into the larger downtown footprint, encouraging pedestrian mobility in the downtown core," staff said (Pictures of public art works in Santa Monica).

The City's Cultural Affairs Division (CAD) and DTSM would "select and commission a slate of artists" who would create the artworks that would be installed for an 18-month period.

The City would use $75,000 in Percent for Art funds that are allocated for artwork on the Colorado Esplanade, and DTSM would use $150,000 from its funds to extend the art through the Promenade and "possible locations beyond."

In addition to funding art projections of the Promenade, DTSM will fund a consultant to manage the installation of the project on behalf of the City.

"By partnering on this project and pooling resources," staff said, "the artworks selected for the downtown area will be aesthetically holistic, which will increase both the presence and impact of the art."

Art works could be divided between the locations with instructions indicating where to find the other components of the work, staff said.

If approved by the Council Tuesday, the Arts Commission and Public Art Committee will consider the MOU at its February 27 meetings.

Downtown Santa Monica’s District Issues Committee will consider the MOU at its February 14 meeting. The Arts Commission, Public Art Committee and Downtown Santa Monica board would then approve the artists selected for commission.


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