Next Phase of Sculpture Garden Moving Forward

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Phase IV of the rotating sculpture exhibition at the Newport Beach Civic Center Park, including “Chairman of the Board” by artist Steven Rieman, was installed in June.
— Photo by Christopher Trela ©

The City Arts Commission unanimously approved moving forward with the next phase of the Newport Beach Civic Center Sculpture Exhibition at a meeting last week.

Commissioners voted 7–0 Aug. 22 in support of advancing phase V of the rotating sculpture garden to the next step.

The Commission hopes to take the contract to City Council on Sept. 24, with the installation and grand opening in May 2020. This round of sculptures will be on display until 2022.

The fiscal year 2019-20 budget has $135,000 allocated for Phase V of the sculpture exhibition, city staff explained. These funds will be used for project management, honorariums, installation, and deinstallation, according to the staff report.

During previous phases of the rotating sculpture garden, the city selected Arts OC to provide public art coordination and site management services. Staff will again seek a sole source contract with Arts OC for Phase V, which will be reviewed by City Council.

After a contract is approved, staff will develop a timeline with the project manager for the installation of phase V. Cultural Arts staff will issue a “call for entries,” inviting artists, private collectors, galleries and museums/nonprofit organizations to submit artworks for consideration for the temporary exhibition in the Civic Center Park.

Like in previous phases, an expert panel will consider the submissions and make a recommendation to the Arts Commission. Jurors will rate each submission based on artistic merit, durability, practicality and site appropriateness.

The process will also include an online public survey. The Commission will also “maximize opportunities for public participation in the process,” the staff report reads.

The scores will be tallied and the field will be narrowed to 30 pieces to be more closely examined. From that group, the panel will choose 10 artworks and three alternates to recommend to the City Arts Commission. The panel will also suggest locations for each piece. Arts Commissioners will consider the pieces and make a recommendation to City Council for final approval.

Phase IV was installed in June and is scheduled to be deinstalled in June 2021.

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