“Temporary public art is powerful precisely for its non-permanence,” said Claudia Pardo, who is Chair of the Ventura Public Art Commission. “It demands that you remain present, it’s intensely personal, unpredictable, and the process of creating it takes precedence over the end result. I think that’s beautiful.”
2015 PLACE Proposals
@City Hall lawn, 501 Poli Street
The Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre will perform twice on the front lawn of Ventura’s historic City Hall. The choreographer has created upon three dancers skilled in three different styles of dance – Flamenco, West African and break dancing – a movement work that will reflect the unique architecture, culture and community of Ventura.
@California & Main Streets Art Pod and various vacant storefronts
Graphic designer Ben Blanchard will create “art for the people inspired by the people” by “using vacant storefronts in the downtown area as a space to show art, bringing life to these unused spaces.” His “type driven illustrations” will “act as words of encouragement … on digitally designed and printed/installed vinyl.” Look for them everywhere downtown.
Spirit of the Sea Eschrichtius robustus-tomolus
@California Street Mini-Park, California & Santa Clara Streets
Sculptor Arnold Martin will install a thirteen foot long “skeletal hybrid inspired by the shape of the traditional tomol canoe [tomolus], once used by the Chumash people to row between Ventura and the Channel Islands, and the bones of a gray whale” (scientific name: Eschrichtius robustus).
The Whale’s Tail
@California Plaza on the Ventura Beach Promenade near Aloha Steakhouse
Artist team Michelle Stevens, Ryan Kaercher and Tyrone McGrath write, “Our plan is to bring together a community to create a damn-near-full-scale whale’s tail using plastic bottles that were slated for recycling but have the potential to end up in the ocean. It is so wild to know that the plastic trash we as a human race have been mainstream-using since the 1960s is killing the largest species on the planet. We also plan to involve local schools, non-profits, five gyres and the Surfrider Foundation.” Ocean gyres are large systems of circular ocean currents formed by global wind patterns and forces created by Earth's rotation. EP Foster School will donate 500 hand-painted “save the ocean themed” recyclable bottles for the whale’s tail which will also have light and sound elements powered by solar. The entire community is invited to interact with and construct the sculpture, after the initial framework is installed, by threading recyclable bottles into the sculpture on Saturday, July 18, during Ventura Summer ArtWalk.
“A project like the Whale’s Tail is highly valuable to a community.,” continued Public Art Chair Claudia Pardo. “Apart from being a creative experience, the process of building it becomes the impetus for community participation, appealing to our sense of civic duty. It encourages collaboration and fosters mutual respect and appreciation.”