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Youth Competition Seeks Artworks to Help Power the Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Lookout Staff

August 27, 2015 -- Can wind and solar power plants be designed to be as beautiful as a piece of public artwork? What will be the visual impact of such renewable energy installations on local landscapes?

The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) attempts to help answer such questions by challenging middle and high school students to design artworks that would help power the historic Santa Monica Pier by harnessing natural forces such as the sun, wind, waves and tides.

The artworks would be located on a site adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier that stretches from the beach into the water, LAGI officials said.

“Working together we can build a global community of young people who are inspired and equipped to design the landscape of our clean energy future,” LAGI Directors Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry said in announcing the competition, which opened August 15.

“The idea is that the artwork will help to power the historic Pier while inspiring tourists and beachgoers about the beauty of our 100 percent sustainable future,” they said.

Winners of the Youth Design Prize will be awarded a combined $6,000 – or $3,000 each for the Middle School Prize and High School Prize, sponsors said.

All entries -- which must be submitted by May 15, 2016 -- will be included in exhibitions and in a printed publication, sponsors said. The contest relies on the use of subjects as diverse as math, science, art, creative writing, graphic design, engineering, history and environmental study.

Each sculpture should be designed to continuously distribute clean energy into the electrical grid, having the potential to provide power to thousands of homes.

At its website, LAGI provides a toolkit of activities that lead students through the entire design process, from understanding the problem to conceptualization, design iteration and presentation. The LAGI team is available to provide workers in person and online throughout the year, officials said.

The submission process is also online and consists of uploading three image files and one written document. Those entering the contest are encouraged to design in two-and-three dimensions.

LAGI has hosted a series of design competitions worldwide in the last five years, including one in Dubai in 2010, another in New York City in 2012 and a third in Copenhagen in 2014.

Project partners include the City of Santa Monica, Green Public Art, USGBCLA Chapter, Arts Earth Partnership and Lancaster Museum of Art and History.

More information can be found at

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