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Letters to the Editor from the Oct. 6, 2016 issue of La Jolla Light:
La Jolla Community Center needs input on sculpture garden 'parklette'
The La Jolla Community Center, 6811 La Jolla Blvd., is seeking public comment about placing two Jeffrey Laudenslager kinetic sculptures (donated by the artist for one year use), as the initial phase of beautifying and improving the median triangle south of Nautilus Street on La Jolla Boulevard, as depicted in the mock-up photograph pictured.
The Community Center has long wanted to improve the appearance of this area along La Jolla Boulevard, to make a better impression on people entering the Village from the south. In the long past, board members once painted the paved surface of the median "green" to enhance its appearance. A community-wide contest for ideas or donations of artwork to place on the triangle was planned, when the unexpected opportunity arose to have Laudenslager's two pieces on loan to the community.
Our effort is now to attract the attention of the La Jolla arts community to provide the funding necessary to place and insure the donated sculptures. Laudenslager had "Medusa" and "Orpheus" on display in a landscaped median in Century City until recently, and we approached him to loan them to us for the triangle space to raise interest in providing La Jolla Boulevard with a rotating sculpture exhibit and small park, in what is essentially now a speedway.
The City of San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture was very supportive of the placement of public art there and encouraged us to establish a "Sculpture Parklette." Since Laudenslager's sculptures will only be in place for a year, we would like to be able to rotate in other sculptures and endow a permanent, landscaped sculpture exhibit where the art can be changed from time to time.
The City will also give us trees, and if we can interest arts patrons with the means to endow this (perhaps in honor of a family member), it can be properly established and maintained as an arts place and park. One of our board members, architect Don Hodges, is working on concept designs to subject to the City permitting process.
The Arts Commission unanimously approved the temporary placement of these 21- and 22-foot high kinetic sculptures and the City Streets Division encouraged not only the placement of "Medusa" and "Orpheus," but also the removal of the paved surface in favor of decomposed granite, landscaping, succulents, trees, benches and other sculptures.
Are there other ideas the community wishes to communicate? If you are interested in participating in this effort — making offers of sculptures or endowing or contributing to this beautification effort — please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, identifying "sculptures" in the subject line. All contributions are tax-deductible, as the La Jolla Community Center is a non-profit member-supported Center for adults of any age, and is dedicated to lifelong active lifestyles, arts, wellness and friendship.
Campaign signs = visual pollution
For reasons that I cannot fathom, Denise Gitsham's congressional campaign has placed what must amount to hundreds of yard signs every 10 feet or so along both sides of La Jolla Parkway and Torrey Pines Road (and perhaps elsewhere as well). Even if the City permits this sort of visual pollution in the public right-of-way, it is an offensive and counterproductive attempt to enhance the candidate's name recognition. As a No Party Preference voter with an open mind, I can say with certainty that Denise Gitsham's signs have lost her any chance of earning my vote.
Phone pole blocks view of sculpture
The Guest Commentary in the Sept. 29 issue, beautifully written by Nile El Wardani, Ph.D., was precisely on point with one glaring omission. The view of Nasser Pirasteh's magnificent "In-Out" sculpture is partially blocked by an unsightly telephone pole.
Howard G. Singer
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