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City Gages Resident Opinions About Santa Monica Public Arts Collection


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By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

August 24, 2017 -- Offering free popsicles and a chance to discuss Santa Monica’s public arts collection, a novel outreach effort by artists pedaling “Paletero” pushcarts through local neighborhoods finishes soon, moving the City closer to a master plan for the future.

The outreach program has already included community forums in Virginia Park last month and, earlier this month, at the Santa Monica Main Public Library.

Now, “Paletas Santa Monica” is ending a month-long campaign to talk with people where they live, as two artists on custom-pedaled Mexican-styled pushcarts (or Paleteros) pause to to discuss views on public art and its future in Santa Monica.

The two artists are handing out free hand-crafted popsicles to those who join in the conversation.

According to the City, the pedaling campaign, led by artist Mario Mesquita, is part of a broader effort to development a Public Art Master Plan.

“The opinions gathered will inform recommendations in the Public Art Master Plan, which is projected for completion in the spring of 2018,” the release from the City’s communications office said.

The pedaling part, though, ends August 29.

But the City is also asking residents to fill out an online survey on the issue. It is available here.

The City’s extensive collection includes scores of pieces of artwork, ranging from murals to interactive installations, with new projects being developed with most Santa Monica public works projects.

The collection’s pieces date to the popular 1925 Native American Totem Pole in Palisades Park (touching it is said to bring good luck) at Ocean Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard.

Since creating the Santa Monica Arts Commission in 1982, the City focused on assembling a collection of both permanent and portable artworks.

Included are artworks which integrated into overall projects, murals, and paintings and sculptures which stand-alone and are permanently installed.

The City’s Public Art Master Plan will outline goals for the selection and placement of public art, programming and possible partnerships funding.


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