Mountain View has a policy to set aside 1% of the cost of construction of any major public buildings (that are 1 million dollars or more) for artwork that will be either part of the building or in a public area in front of the building. It is the responsibility of the Visual Arts Committee to select/recommend the artwork that would be most appropriate for the city to purchase. Their selections are then presented to members of City Council for the final selection. I was on the Visual Arts Committee (VAC) for a few years and it was an honor to get to be part of the process. During my period on the committee, we selected the bronze sculpture for the front of Fire Station #5 and I still feel quite proud of that sculpture (bronze geese) every time I drive by it on my way to Shoreline Park.
The VAC recently updated an online map that is a tour of the public art in our city. Here's a link to it. Another responsibility of the VAC is to select the art that hangs in the lobby of the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts. Usually, that art is also for sale and there is a sign that has the artist's contact information. To find out about future call-for-artists, go here.
The most recent focus of the VAC has been selecting artists and pieces for the Rengstorff Community Center renovation project. They selected four artists and the works were approved by Council at the end of 2016. Now they're working with the artists to refine the actual works. There will be one exterior piece and three interior ones.
The latest big art project completed was the mural on the outside of the Youth Center on Escuela. It was participatory, with local youths helping design and execute under the guidance of the artist. The project was also a collaboration between the VAC and the Youth Advisory Committee.
Just for fun, in the scrolling images above, I've included one image that isn't in Mountain View, but next door in Sunnyvale. If you are the first person to email me and point out which one it is, I'll give you a $20 gift card to Eureka Restaurant.
There's so much to see in our city.