At its meeting scheduled for January 28, the Glendale Arts and Culture Commission is scheduled to review design concepts for two new public art installations on Artsakh Avenue, the rebranded stretch of Maryland Place which city officials have looked to brand as an arts and entertainment corridor. The two installations, which would have a combined price tag of just over $1 million, would include a decorative overhead canopy structure at center of Artsakh and a new gateway monument at Broadway. Each alternative would be slated for completion by late December 2022.
Here are the concepts under consideration for the "Overhead Artwork" category.
AgoraKnit, by Jenny Sabin Studio
Our proposal, AgoraKnit, is a responsive and sustainable civic environment that continually transforms through community engagement and participation. The name of the project speaks to its urban and material natures. Agora + Knit co-generate a diverse central public place, literally meaning “gathering”, through digital textile fabrication processes and the knitting of a collective, cohesive, social fabric. As a responsive community-focused urban intervention, AgoraKnit will enrich the day-to-day experiences of Gendale’s diverse community, inspiring moments of pause through an engaging and welcoming environment. Through its highly transformational nature, it will also become an alluring destination spot to the greater LA area and visitors/tourists. Our generative design approach will sensitively engage with these inputs, including incorporating color, high-tech responsive fibers, an optional misting system, and photoluminescent materials as a choregraphed dance of color and light constantly changing from day to night. The design strategy will provide shade, foster play and interaction, and promote performance, health, and wellbeing through soft light-filled forms, responsive materials, and areas that are transformational, beautiful, inclusive, and connecting. With two stage options, a modular and moveable larger stage, and a tower platform for smaller impromptu performances, AgoraKnit will also serve as a new performance space connecting to Glendale’s cultural infrastructure, such as the Alex Theatre, ACE 121 Gallery, the Brand Library & Art Center, and the City’s numerous multi-cultural organizations. AgoraKnit incorporates all five of ACC’s curatorial expectations through 1.) Direct physical engagement with the public; 2.) by creating multiple visual angles and approaches; 3.) continuous activation and transformation, day and night; 4.) the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies, high-tech sustainable and responsive materials, and highly creative mediums and computational design strategies; 5.) and sustainable, robust, and durable materials and design strategies that will require minimal maintenance.
Louvered Canopy, by Depena Studio
Colored Metal Fins and Infrastructure (Suspended and Attached to Ground Footings Shown)
Bountiful, by Matthew Mazzotta
BOUNTIFUL is a interactive kinetic sculpture and social space in the form of a “Tree” that provides multiple seating arrangements and a moving canopy activated by wind. The tree trunk of BOUNTIFUL is wrapped in images of fruit bearing plants that are native to Artsakh....
On ﬁrst glance the colorful swaying tree is an exciting and whimsical image that one sees turning the corner onto Artsakh. For visitors who go under the shade structure of the large swaying tree canopy it is an immersive experience of shadows and colors. Images of ﬂowering fruit plants native to Artsakh wrapping tree’s trunk. The playful nature of being dwarfed by the moving shade structure is enhanced by the multiple seating options of the “roots” and swing to spend time under the tree.
Although most visitors will ﬁrst be drawn to the unique experience of the colorful swaying tree, BOUNTIFUL actually has a deeper connection to the location this project’s concept is born from - Artsakh. The deeper context of the project will be available on site or could be tied in as a remote piece for the future National Armenian Museum.
Breeze, by Paul Cocksedge Studio
This metal canopy embodies the elemental force of the wind, appearing as a piece of fabric that’s rippling in a breeze. Rather than using a single, heavy piece of metal to create shade, we’ve used a series of lines that allow light to filter through. We can tweak the arrangement of these lines to offer more or less shade - currently, the canopy provides 50% shade.
The candidates in the "Gateway Artwork" category include:
Curtain, by Paul Cocksedge Studio
This sculpture serves as a portal to the site, resembling a piece of fabric that’s been caught in the wind and frozen in time. It brings a sense of energy and direction to the surrounding area, as well as a feeling of being welcomed in. Each metal line could be engraved, with words that reference the surrounding area in some way.
This outdoor sculpture is a celebration of natural forces, and the joy of being outdoors. I believe public art should prompt an emotional reaction, and connect with as many people as possible.
Vortex, by Futureforms
Vortex is a dynamic beacon that celebrates Glendale’s diversity, energy and optimism. The artwork’s outer layers are defined
by whirlwind of colorful petals and geometric ribbons of polished metal. The polychromatic petals begin as individual streams that progressively entwine to create a collective form in the sky. The sculpture evokes organic forms found in nature, flower petals, flocking birds and futuristic space vehicles. Its iconic form evokes an era of rapid change and uncertainty, while also inspiring curiosity and playful interaction.
The artwork’s towering form would be visible from multiple visual angles and approaches. It would create a gateway beacon at the corner, engaging pedestrians, bicyclists and automobiles. It is sited 4’ from the edge of Artsakh Ave which permits maximum visibility while also allowing the surrounding sidewalks to be accessible to wheel chairs. The sculpture is currently pushed back from the corner to avoid potential conflicts with street lighting and signage, but it could easily be shifted to alternate locations if desired.
Clip, by Christian Moeller Studio
The sculpture, with the current working title “Clip,” allows for multiple readings, appearing perhaps for some viewers as a deconstructed light post and for others as giant wire coat hanger or a paper clip. It is located on the extended sidewalk on the southwest corner of the intersection of Broadway with Artsakh Avenue and will contribute a strong and playful contrast to the everyday architecture of its urban environment. Two light fixtures integrated into the suspended part of the sculpture each project a perfect circle of light onto the street surface at night. On a windy day, this “dangling” ele-ment of the sculpture, can move gracefully back and forth adding to its lively presence.
Sky Lantern, by James Carpenter Design Associates
Building upon the physical legacy in Glendale of towers marking important civic, commercial, religious and cultural centers; Sky Lantern’s soaring column radially collects and layers environmental imagery and light, embodying the city’s sky and hills.
At once luminous marker and environmental mirror, Sky Lantern consists of two main components, Light Mast and Image Field. The Light Mast is the inner cylindrical component comprised of a fine net of stainless steel rods which acts as the conduit for artificial light to illuminate the tower at night. The Image Field is the outer cylindrical skin of bi-colored custom extruded aluminum fins which captures light and images from the surrounding natural and man made environment.
Which do you like the best? Let us know in the comments.