DEL MAR — Del Mar residents will soon be able to enjoy some new art pieces with the approval of locations for rotating outdoor sculptures downtown.
The Del Mar City Council recently approved the addition of five concrete pads around the city’s downtown area where art pieces selected by the city’s arts advisory committee will reside.
The locations of the pads will be 15th Street and Camino del Mar, 15th Street and Stratford Court, the Southeast corner of 14th Street and Camino del Mar, the Southeast corner of 12th Street and Camino del Mar and the Northeast corner of 9th Street and Camino del Mar.
“The Arts Committee will work with an arts selector, who is a professional, that does a call for art. The artists will submit their proposals and the arts committee will select which pieces go where,” Deputy May Dwight Worden said. “And I think very wisely the city council will stay out of artistic judgments as will the city staff.”
A sculpture will be on display in the downtown area for no more than 23 months but is subject to removal if any piece is sold. The sculptures must remain however for at least 12 months before they are removed for a sale.
The Del Mar Foundation will be the entity responsible for the installation and maintenance of the concrete pads as well as any liability that may result.
At least one Del Mar resident wrote an email to the city council expressing their concerns about the safety of adding the sculptures in downtown Del Mar.
“There are also many cars looking for parking on 15th St. along with bicyclists & skateboarders. Then, we have many large trucks making deliveries to these restaurants and to nearby homes. These activities continue into late night,” Del Mar resident Mary Welsh wrote. “Putting a concrete slab with sculpture, lovely though it will be, is a dangerous distraction for people and vehicles. It is an accident waiting to happen.”
Worden, who along with Councilmember Dave Druker are liaisons to the city’s art committee, says that pedestrian and traffic safety was evaluated during the process of selecting locations for the sculptures.
“Safety will be evaluated again when the art pieces are actually selected,” Worden said. “So concerns about safety at 15th and Stratford will be addressed again at that phase. I’m pretty comfortable that we’re not going to put anything in the field that’s going to be dangerous.”
Worden, who along with Druker has worked for some time to get this item finished with the city, expressed his excitement for being able to see how the community will respond to the new art displays and hopes for more in the future.
“The idea is that if this first pilot program works, and if the community likes it as much as we think they will, then it will be continued and there will be a continuous art program. So I’m pretty excited about it and looking forward to it,” Worden said.