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Street view of Vista City Hall. Photo via Google
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Council approves 2020 ‘Kites over Vista’ artists

VISTA — During its Feb. 25 meeting, the Vista City Council once again approved the “Kites over Vistapublic art program for $20,500.

In its 12th year, the city approved six sculptures to grace its downtown landscape. The Public Arts Commission received 12 proposals from nine artists, according to Therron Dieckmann, Vista’s director of recreation and community services.

The artists must deliver their pieces to the city by May 1. The art is raised several feet off the ground and dots the skyline as a kite would.

“It’s provided a venue to showcase sculptures in downtown Vista,” he said.

According to the city, the annual program has numerous goals. Those include enhancing the city through unique and original artwork; stimulating public interest of art and artists; engaging and educating visitors about the city’s public art program, the selected artist and the featured artwork; and providing a venue for artists to promote their art.

In October 2019, staff released a “Call to Artists” for the 12th exhibit of the “Kites Over Vista” display. The competition was open to all artists, and selection criteria included artistic merit, materials used, appropriateness of artwork, and public safety.

“I’m a sucker for art,” Councilman Joe Green said.

The artists include Alex Gall of Vista, Dave Weaver, David Terrell and Noe Estrada of Oceanside, Kellen Shanahan of Fallbrook, Norberto Estrada of San Marcos and Vicki Leon of San Diego.

Each artist will be paid $2,500 for their artwork, while the city will also cover steel display poles for $4,025 and $2,500 for installation.

Gall’s piece is “Midnight Nectar,” which features a hummingbird feeding on Vista’s city flower. Noe Estrada’s work is titled “Sea Life” and its design is to bring awareness to sea life, ocean diversity and awareness.

Weaver and Terrell, who are returning artists to the program, are teaming up to create the “Aeolian Butterfly.” Their concept centers on the wind, which plays the aeolian harp and is played by butterflies.

Also, they have included a radio transmitter, so motorists driving by can tune into 90.5 FM and can listen to “the music of the wind,” according to the staff report.

“Passersby within 100 feet can tune in … and they will have a sound component that will tie into the concept,” Dieckmann added.

Shanahan’s piece is called “Beacon” and was generated by an algorithm, “borrowing from the mathematics of coral and plant growth,” according to the report. It consists of marine life, chaparral and rolling hills, which define Southern California.

Norberto Estrada’s piece is “Dark Ship” and shows a different perspective about ships and the way they moved to create the base of pirate vessels.

Leon created the “Dreamcatcher Totem,” which uses kite-like shapes in a spiral course mimicking the trail of a kite’s tail. Also, it will be lit in the inside using solar power captured during the day.