Sebastopol’s First Public Art Project Features Tall Structures Made From Galvanized Steel

galvanized steel

In Sebastopol, California, three finalists have been selected for a public art project.

This is the city’s first-ever attempt at a commissioned public art project. Sebastopol residents have been asked to select a winner, even though city officials will have the final decision.

Accord to The Press Democrat, the Public Arts Committee will host a workshop and discussion so the city residents can voice their questions and opinions on each of the three pieces.

The winner of the contest will receive $45,000, thanks to funding from a new public art development that has already earned more than $128,000.

Steel usage has greatly improved over the years. At one point in 1972, it took 34% more energy to produce a single ton of steel. Now, galvanized steel can be used for numerous artistic ventures as well, just as it was for these art projects.

Ned Kahn, an artist whose kinetic sculptures are located across the globe, was inspired for his piece, Spire, by meditating and thinking about how plants live pertaining to their vascular system. His piece is an extremely tall, interior column of small stainless steel discs. On the outside of the structure, there are hundreds of rectangular aluminum panels that reflect sunlight and move as the wind blows.

Kahn said if he were to win, his art would be best suited to an area that would place emphasis on the city’s beaches.

Petaluma artists Ilana Spector and Mark Grieve are also hoping to win the contest with their recycle-friendly piece, “Cyclisk.” This piece is 60 feet tall and weighs in at a relatively light 10,000 pounds. It’s made entirely from recycled bicycle parts from Santa Rosa Ave and South A Street.

“We’re looking at a place where you can stop, sit under it, get a falafel, get an ice cream, and sit on a bench and chill with the artwork as the light shines through it,” said Grieve, who hopes to place the piece at the most visited intersection in the city near the downtown plaza. “We’re seeing it as a bit of an intersection, hoping to create an intersection ourselves.”

The Master Gardener artist Vickie Jo Sowell’s piece isn’t as tall as the other two, sitting only at 17 feet by 19 feet, but it does rely heavily on galvanized steel.

Her piece, if selected as the winner, would contain an intricate pattern of metal planters that are holding various plants. She has stated that if she wins, she will commit at least five years of galvanized steel maintenance and gardening care for the piece.

The Public Arts Committee, the four artists, and Sebastopol residents will continue to meet over the next few weeks to discuss the project and eventually select a winner.