Commission Discusses Beverly Hills Public Art Projects

Arts and Culture commissioners heard updates on the city’s various public art projects and in-person dedication ceremonies to celebrate completed installations at their May 11 meeting. Commissioners also celebrated artist Alexandra Nechita, whose sculpture “Love Anatomy,” was recently installed along the Burton Way median. “There’s a lot of excitement about us coming together post COVID,” Jenny Rogers, director of Community Services, said. “There’s, 1,000,001 events that people would like to do and it’s going to be like the roaring ’20s.”

With Ai Weiwei’s “Iron Root” sculpture fully installed, staff has begun looking through the gathering and safety guidelines, to plan and coordinate the dedication ceremony with UTA, Ai Weiwei, and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. 

“I’ve got some great news for Tom Friedman,” Patty Acuna, Interim Assistant Director of Community Services, said. Friedman’s piece, “Takeaway,” is a 12-foot-tall stainless-steel sculpture of a man with takeout food boxes balanced on his head in Beverly Gardens Park.

“We received a final bid or quote, and it’s been approved for the landscape work for the Friedman. Work is scheduled to begin on May 15 and be completed by the third week of June.”

On April 22, the Arts and Culture liaisons met with Commissioners regarding the request to remove and replace the existing ceiling lobby mural at 9242 Beverly Boulevard. The existing mural by Terry Schoonhoven will be replaced by “Whistleblower” by artist Pae White.

 “Representatives requested for the amendment of the Beverly Hills municipal code to authorize the installation of Pae White’s new art in lieu of making a removal payment to the city’s public art fund,” Aida Thau, library clerk for the city, said at the meeting. “This amendment would be only applying in situations where there is an architectural feature in the building that is triggering also a new fine art obligation.”

“They also asked for the property owner to indemnify the city for any possible claims that they may arise from removal of the mural,” Thau added.

Council liaisons, Vice Mayor Lili Bosse, Councilmember John Mirisch, recommended to move forward with the request, and the item has been added to the June 1 City Council meeting. The next Arts and Culture meeting will be held on June 8 at 10 a. m. 

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