Canyon Country Community Center Will Feature a Wide-Range of Public Art Pieces
When the City of Santa Clarita cuts the ribbon and welcomes residents to the new Canyon Country Community Center later this year, among the vast number of opportunities for learning and getting active, the facility will also showcase several public art pieces. The thoughtfully designed Center will have interesting and beautiful pieces of art throughout the nine-acre site.
The new gateway plaza will be located where giant billboards once stood. The focal point of this welcoming area will be the appropriately named “Communitree.” This 25-foot tall art piece represents the City’s famed oak tree. The tree’s steel and acrylic plexiglass leaves will have a kinetic effect that allows them to flutter in the breeze, recreating the movement of leaves blowing in the wind. Designed by artist C.J. Rench – this unique and colorful oak tree will symbolize the strength of the community.
Another major art element will offer the community a chance to be part of the creative process. At the February Art Commission meeting, artist Katy Krantz was selected to design the massive ceramic tile wall mural that will completely cover the 50-foot long, 5-foot high concrete wall, which will be the backdrop of the Center building. The art piece, titled “Circle Song,” was inspired by the local natural landscape and the history of quilting. Aspects of the design nod to Santa Clarita Valley’s place in the history of the gold rush and include the legacy of the Tataviam Indians, the first inhabitants of the land. The mural itself will be completely comprised of handmade glazed ceramic tiles. The glaze on the tile prevents color from fading. The color palette is inspired by Santa Clarita’s natural landscape, with an emphasis on earth tones, specifically shades of gold, green and brown. Gold luster glaze will be used to accentuate the rings around the circles in the design as a nod to Santa Clarita Valley’s place in the history of the gold rush. Gold luster is made from 22-carat gold and will appear metallic upon firing. Artist Katy Krantz said, “my goal is for the mural to be beautiful both up close and far away. Up close, while sitting at the tables in front of the piece, viewers will observe details such as textured impressions from local plants and text.”
Circle Song includes socially distanced community engagement programs. The first will invite the public to a self-guided hike. Residents will be given blocks of wet clay to press into natural textures encountered on the hike. The clay impressions from participants will be collected and used within the tile murals design. The second community engagement program will be an artist-led online tile-making workshop in partnership with the Education Department of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. Please check out www.SantaClaritaArts.com for more information on when these opportunities will take place.
In addition to these two pieces of public art, there will also be a bike rack art piece by artist Mike Burke, 18 poems written by residents stamped into the walkways that run throughout the site, maintenance hole covers will all be carefully designed pieces of art and three other unique sculptures will be on the property.
The new Canyon Country Community Center will also offer several opportunities to create art and experience culture once it opens to the community in late summer/early fall of this year. For more information on everything arts in Santa Clarita, please visit www.SantaClaritaArts.com.
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