At night, each creamy white whale bone will be illuminated from below.
The city paid an artist $35,000 to design not only this piece of public
art but also two miniature plazas, which were approved in December. The
plazas, planned for an area near the sculpture, will have floor designs
shaped like seashells, according to a city memo dated Monday.
The artwork is part of $7 million in improvements planned for South
Beach, between Huntington Street and Beach Boulevard, the memo states.
The changes include new restrooms, security lights, landscaping and
resurfacing of parking lots.
But the o7 piece de resistancef7 will be the whale bone sculpture,
which could be installed as early as April 2001, said Ron Hagan, the
city's director of community services.
The sculpture makes a powerful visual statement, Councilwoman Shirley
Dettloff said. The bones are very "touchable" and will "glisten" at
night, Councilwoman Pam Julien said.
The only dissenting vote came from Councilman Peter Green, who said
whales do not make sense as a design theme in Huntington Beach. He
preferred art more in line with the city's surfing history.
The city had initially considered in December whether to build a
collection of 18-foot stones shaped as surfboards set in a circle of
sand. But the sculpture, dubbed "Surfhenge," was too similar to a piece
already built on the East Coast, Hagan said.
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