Officials and members of the public received the first look at the third round of sculptures for the Newport Beach Civic Center Park last week. Richard Stein, president and CEO of Arts Orange County, provided a presentation of the 46 submitted sculptures and revealed the results of an online public poll during a City Arts Commission meeting. A few of the top interesting choices include giant frozen treats reminiscent of roadside American icons, a stained glass matchstick, and a kinetic wind powered kaleidoscope tree. Submissions came from local artists as well as across the country, and even from Europe. The sculptors are movie prop designers, a former professional skateboarder, an industrial designer for an aircraft company, and more. Big and small, the sculptures are made of stucco, steel, stained glass, and other materials.
Earning the “people’s choice” number one spot is a steel, wood and stucco sculpture of a stack of three colorful popsicles that stand 9 feet tall. The popular pick titled simply Popsicles was made in 2016 by Florida-based artist, Craig Gray, and received 51 votes. On the road nowadays, American landscape is dominated by fast food, chain restaurants and box stores, he commented. People have to search for the fun, eccentric attractions that were so popular and visible a few decades ago.
Gray was very excited to hear that people voted for his Popsicles sculpture in the online survey. If ultimately chosen, he is looking forward to taking another classic road trip out west to California to deliver his quirky sculpture to Newport Beach.
Next Phase of Sculpture Exhibition moving forward
PHASE V The Sculpture Exhibition in Civic Center Park July 2020-2022 is the City’s largest display of public art. Initiated in 2014 the exhibition is the home of 20 sculptures designed by Peter Walker Landscape Architecture. The sculptures were chosen for their appeal to a diverse audience!