By Susan Motander
The city council approved three new art installations in the city at the meeting last week. Two of the works are regular parts of the city’s “Art in Public Places” with funds coming from various developments in the community, the third is a bit more unusual as it is a tribute to former Mayor Bob Bartlett.
The tribute to Bartlett has been under consideration for several months with a committee chaired by Council Member Larry Spicer working on the project. That committee has been reviewing proposals from several artists to create an artist tribute to be installed at Station Square near the Gold Line station.
The committee finally agreed that “Carole Choucair Oueijan best represented their vision and recommended her proposal.” Her concept consists of several steel panels with mosaic “pictures” of images related to important contributions made by Bartlett. For example, there would be the image of an “All America City Seal” as Bartlett was instrumental in the presentation made to the committee that awarded that designation, and the image of a Foothill Transit bus will be included as Bartlett was a founder of that bus line.
The council also approved a plan to bring “art” down to street level with the implementation of Sidewalk Poetry and Monrovia Moments. Poetry will be stamped directly into the concrete of the sidewalks on East/West streets. Monrovia Moments would be facts of interest about Monrovia that would be stamped into the concrete in the sidewalks on North/South streets. City staff has not yet been able to find a local company to manufacture the molds for the work, but will use the company in Minnesota at the current time.
The final new art display will be on the wall of the new apartment complex at Station Square, MODA. This piece will be an artistic depiction of Monrovia Falls: an “eight color mosaic of cascading small reflective discs.” City Staff used the example of the advertisement on Sparkletts’ water trucks, but there is a better, more artistic example on a wall as one pulls into the passenger station in Downtown San Diego.
This art is a result of a 2004 action of the Monrovia City Council when it enacted Ordinance 2004-3 that established Art in Public Places, a chapter of the municipal code requiring 1 percent of the project cost of every residential development that involves five or more dwelling units and a has a project cost exceeding $1 to be used for public art. The developer can use the money directly on the project in question such as the homage to the red line at The Paragon and the arch over Myrtle in Old Town or this waterfall at MODA.
If the developer chooses to do so, the money can be contributed to the city’s Public Art fund and used for such art installations as the tribute to silent movies near the Krikorian Theater in Old Town or the new Sidewalk Poetry project. In either case, each application for the installation of artwork must be reviewed by the Public Art Committee and approved by the City Council.