One of the things that visitors notice about Mountain View is that we have more public art than other similar cities. That’s because our city 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. Some of the more recent pieces of public art include the art glass window above the CVS drugstore at the intersection of California and Bryant Streets, and the fence to the Childcare Center on Escuela Avenue. If you go to the city website you can connect to a map of all the public art in Mountain View. Click on each number on the map and a photo will pop up of the art that is in that location on. This map was created as a community service project by several students in the Leadership Mountain View program a few years ago.
The art in the photograph above is number 24 on the map and it’s called “Boy and Girl in the Calla Lilies.” It is between City Hall and the Center for the Performing Arts. It’s a favorite of many people who work and play downtown and it’s definitely one of the most colorful pieces that we have.
It is the responsibility of the Visual Arts Committee to send out the “Call for Artists” and then to select the artwork that would be most appropriate for the city to purchase. Their selections are then presented to the members of City Council for the final selection. Last week City Council viewed two pieces that were selected by the Visual Arts Committee for the new Fire Station. City Council voted and the artist selected was Vadim Goretsky. His tall bronze Geese-in-Flight piece will be in front of Fire Station #5 at the intersection of Shoreline and Charleston. Here’s an article about the City Council meeting when the selection was made.
The Visual Arts Committee also selects that art that hangs in the Center for the Performing Arts. The next round of artists will be selected in the spring and the “Call for Artists” will probably be sent out in February. The request for submissions goes out to everyone on the city’s Artist Registry. If you are an artist, or know someone who is, and would like to have your name(s) added to the artist registry, please send an email to Michelle.Coral (at) mountainview.gov. Please include your name, contact information, website and media.
Next time you’re downtown and have a few minutes to spare go inside the Center for the Performing Arts and look at the latest art to adorn the walls. If the Center is closed, but the Bean Scene is open, you are free to go through the coffee shop to get into the Center. Each artist’s work is on display for about 7 weeks and is viewed by thousands of people that go see performances at the center. All over town we have incredible public art to enjoy so take a minute to look at the map in this article and then walk or ride your bike by a few pieces that you might not have known about.