Art plan

A sculpture titled “Facing the Sun” is featured in the civic plaza on the courtyard outside of the Development Services building. The city will hold a workshop on the Public Art Master Plan tonight, which will provide a blueprint for installations such as this.

PALMDALE — The City Council will discuss Palmdale’s Public Arts Master Plan during a workshop beginning at 7 p.m. tonight at the new Courson Art Colony, 939 E. Ave. Q-12.

“We’re asking residents to come to the meeting wearing red to show their support for public art in Palmdale,” Director of Recreation and Culture Keri Smith said. “Sir Peter Hall, a renowned geographer and authority on economic, demographic, cultural and management issues facing cities once said, ‘The innovative cities of the coming age will develop a creative union of technology, arts and civics.’  Our plan is a bold new step in the direction of building that union.”

The Council will be presented with the draft plan, the product of a year-long process with consultants Gail M. Goldman Associates and Elwood & Associates.

It is intended to provide a guide for the future of public art projects in Palmdale for the next decade, covering issues such as selection and placement of public art, funding opportunities, staffing, maintenance of the art installations and policies regarding donations.

The plan also includes policy and procedure recommendations, as well as direction for ongoing program development and management, according to city officials.

The plan development process began with a series of community meetings last spring to gather public input on the role of public art. Residents were asked about the role of public art and how it benefits the community, and suggestions were sought for locations where the community would like to see art used.

The city also conducted an online survey through the city’s website to gather information to inform the Public Art Master Plan.

Tonight’s workshop meeting is a continuation of that public process.

Existing public art in Palmdale includes a life-size bronze statue of Larry Chimbole, who in 1962 became Palmdale’s first mayor.

The statue, donated to the city in 2015 in a grassroots effort, sits on a bench inside the lobby of the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center.

Recycled materials were used by artist Sol Mesz to create sculptures of Joshua trees unveiled in 2014 at the Palmdale Transportation Center and of poppies and Joshua trees at the Neighborhood House No. 1 Community Garden on East Avenue Q-3 at Fifth Street East.

The $53,000 cost for the sculptures were paid for by $38,000 from a state Beverage Container Recycling Grant and $15,000 from Proposition A transportation sales tax revenue.

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