The Coast News Group
Love locks
Possible designs for the proposed love locks public art statue proposed for Oceanside Harbor. Courtesy photo

‘Love locks’ statue proposed for Oceanside Harbor

OCEANSIDE — A proposed interactive public art statue may be bringing some love to the harbor later this year.

Earlier in June, both the Arts Commission and the Harbor and Beaches Advisory Committee approved a staff proposed public art project for Oceanside Harbor.

The proposed statue would be located in front of the Harbor’s beach, providing some excellent photo opportunities for visitors according to staff. Besides photos, visitors would be able to attach “love locks” to the statue as well.

Love locks are padlocks on which couples write their names, lock onto a statue like the proposed one in the harbor and throw away the key as a symbol of their love. Love locks can also be found on bridges, fences, gates and other monuments in often popular tourist areas throughout the world.

The original proposed design was in the form of a heart with an “O” in the middle of it. An ad hoc committee formed to review the art design and decided that it should be changed to a design featuring an “O” with a heart in the middle resting on a wave.

According to staff, the interactive art piece provides residents and visitors with a reason to revisit Oceanside as well as social media exposure and “dramatic photo” opportunities.

The project’s estimated total cost is $55,000, with $45,000 for the artwork and $10,000 for installation, and will be funded by public support. Randall Art Ranch, a married artist team based in Vista, will be creating and building the statue.

Harbor Manager Ted Schiafone told The Coast News he has been an advocate for public art in the Harbor since he was first hired by the city in 2017.

“The Harbor is a perfect venue to add additional public art displays,” Schiafone said via email.

Schiafone hopes to work with the city and its Arts Commission on future art installation opportunities for the Harbor.

Now that the Harbor and Beaches Advisory Committee has approved the proposed public art statue, the project must now go before City Council for its approval before it can be implemented. Council is currently on recess and will return to City Hall in early August.