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San Pablo Avenue Public Art Project
Rendering of proposed artwork
In March 2012, Arts and Culture Commission passed Resolution 2012-01 approving the final design proposal from the artist team of Jonathan Russell and Saori Ide (“Artists”) for San Pablo Avenue Public Art Project. 

See the final design proposal. (Note: this is a large PDF file.)
A hardcopy is also available for review at City Hall during regular office hours.

12 Wind Sculptures was installed along San Pablo Avenue during the summer of 2013.

If you would like more information about the San Pablo Avenue Public Art Project, please contact ACC staff liaison Suzanne Iarla at 215-4318.

Background
The El Cerrito Redevelopment Agency embarked on the San Pablo Avenue Streetscape project to identify El Cerrito as a distinct place along the Avenue, enhance the economic vitality of the area and create a better walking environment. As part of the City’s Arts in Public Places Program, a budget of $100,000 was allocated within the San Pablo Avenue Streetscape Project for public art.

The Arts and Culture Commission (ACC) determined that they would like the focus of this Public Art Project to be elemental in nature: continuous, consistent, site-specific works along the entire length of the Avenue. Using this vision, in 2009 staff developed a Call to Artists/Request For Proposal seeking an artist to develop and install site-specific, durable, artworks that serve to provide continuity and color along the length of the San Pablo Avenue Streetscape Project.

Download the Call To Artists/Request For Proposals.

The City received 17 proposals, including several from local artists. A selection panel was formed to do the first review of the proposals for recommendation to the ACC. The Panel narrowed the list down to 8 proposals. From there, the ACC reviewed all 8 and chose two to be interviewed at a public meeting. The ACC voted to select the team of Saori Ide and Jonathan Russell, who developed a proposal to "tell El Cerrito's story" through a series of metal artwork icons that will be installed on streetlight poles along the length of San Pablo Avenue. 

In October 2009, the artist team of Jonathan Russell and Saori Ide (“Artists”) were selected to create the San Pablo Avenue Public Art Project. Download the original Artists’ proposal. (Note: This is a large PDF file.)

Based on the  Arts and Culture Commission's  recommendation, on February 16, 2010, the City Council approved a resolution that authorized the City Manager to enter into a contract with the Artists. The contract was signed by the Artists and the City Manager in the spring of 2010.  Download the contract with the Artists.

For over a year, the Artists met with the ACC, solicited public comment, and developed a design proposal for colorful metal artwork icons installed on streetlight poles along the Avenue.

At the ACC meeting of April 20, 2011, the Artists presented drawings for about 58 icons showing both the content and artistic style proposed for the icons. A map was laid out showing groups of icons located around 8 “nodes” identified in the original Call to Artists. After some discussion about the design (including style, content, continuity, and artistic style, etc.) the Commission made a motion asking the Artists to come back with a new approach that is abstract; copper or other metal; sculptural; integrated into the current streetscape; uniquely stylistic.

In July 2011, the ACC rejected the original design proposal and re-affirmed their motion in April to request the Artists present an alternate design that is abstract; copper or other metal; sculptural; integrated into the current streetscape; uniquely stylistic.

In September 2011, the Artists presented alternate design concepts and the ACC directed the artists to proceed in developing a full (detailed) design proposal for the 12 abstract kinetic sculptures on light poles. Since then, the Artists have met with the ACC multiple times and received feedback on the selection of 12 kinetic sculpture designs and the placement for the sculptures.

In March 2012, the Artists presented their final design proposal, which was approved by the ACC.
The artists installed the artworks in 2013.

If you would like more information about the San Pablo Avenue Public Art Project, please contact ACC staff liaison Suzanne Iarla at 215-4318.


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