Installed in late August, a new set of sculptures joined the existing pieces in the Sculpture in the Civic Center Park Exhibition that were introduced last fall. A phase two grand opening celebration is being held Sept. 12 at 2 p.m.; the community is invited to meet some of the artists, as well as attend a short program at 3 p.m.
Out of 81 sculpture submissions, 10 pieces were unanimously chosen in June by a panel of judges that included three members of the Newport Beach Arts Commission (Rita Goldberg, Robert Smith and Charles Ware) and three outside art experts (Julie Perlin Lee, Joseph S. Lewis III and Todd DeShields Smith). The selection process considered artistic merit, durability, practicality and site-appropriateness.
Several of the sculptures use repurposed materials. Inspired by the sunflowers that grow on her windy hilltop, Patricia Vader’s Sunflower, for example, is a wind-driven kinetic metal sculpture consisting of eight bicycle wheels that allow the petals to spin in the breeze. Mama Crusty, by Tim Little, reinvents a 1950s Chevrolet hood and grill as the body of a metal crustacean, with eight Harley-Davidson motorcycle mufflers for the legs and motorcycle tanks for the claws.
A few of the sculptures also encourage interaction from the visitors, like William Bennett’s “Moby-Dick”-inspired Loomings and Warren Techentin’s La Cage aux Folles. “We wanted it to be family-friendly and invite people to experience the art in a more intimate way,” Goldberg explains.
The older sculptures will remain in the Newport Beach Civic Center and Park until September 2016, while this year’s installation will be on display until 2017. Visitors can download the free mobile app, MyNB (available for iPhone and Android), for a self-guided tour featuring descriptions of each sculpture and personal messages
from the artists. (newportbeachca.gov)
—Written by Rachel Young