News Details

Dynamic New Artworks to be Installed at City Hall’s King Plaza

The City of Palo Alto Public Art Program is kicking off a series of temporary public art installations on King Plaza, offering new rotating exhibitions on an ongoing basis.  Over the next two years, selected artists will activate King Plaza in new and exciting ways, offering visual, musical, and participatory experiences lasting from a few months up to one year in length.

Bruce Beasley's Rondo I was installed October 8th in the planter on King Plaza and will remain until September 2016.  The dynamic interlocking circles of the sculpture seem weightless and ready to float or roll away at any moment. The result of years of experimentation with shape and form, Beasley created the Rondo series with the intention of creating art on a large scale that feels effortless and light; something that frames and compliments the surrounding environment. The Rondo series of five sculptures was recently on view on the University of California Berkeley campus.  There will be an unveiling event October 29th.

Located in front of City Hall, Palo Alto’s King Plaza is the ideal location to establish a sustainable venue for public discourse through the arts. During the current public art master planning community outreach process, engagement with more than 200 residents has revealed a lot of support for more temporary public art offering new and unexpected public art experiences. 

Based on the goals set forth by the Public Art Commission and input from the community as part of the Master Plan, staff launched an open call for proposals in the spring and proposed a schedule of diverse, impactful installations for King Plaza over the next two years. The Public Art Commission reviewed the artists under consideration at their July 2015 meeting, gave input, and approved four upcoming installations.  Bruce Beasley’s Rondo I will be installed October 8th.  Dan Gottwald and Scott Watkins’ interactive wooden musical sculpture, Chime, will be installed among the trees of King Plaza next Summer.  George Zisiadis’ colorful oversized Ball Pit will offer a fun and unexpected experience to visitors. Aaron Lee Benson will engage members of the community in the creation of his wooden serpentine piece on the plaza, and donate the wood after the installation to Habitat for Humanity.

About Bruce Beasley

A sculptor for more than fifty years, world-renowned Oakland artist Bruce Beasley is in major museum and private collections such as Stanford University, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Guggenheim Museum, and many others.  Never afraid to take on new challenges or use new technology, he has created sculptures out of acrylic, bronze, granite, wood, 3-d printed plastic, and stainless steel. 

About the Public Art Master Plan

The City of Palo Alto Public Art Program is currently undertaking a year-long Public Art Master Planning process with consultants Barbara Goldstein and Gail Goldman. The Public Art Master Plan will provide a clear vision for the future of public art in Palo Alto for the next decade. The plan will outline goals for Palo Alto’s public art placement, programming and themes, identify strategic partnerships and funding opportunities, make policy and procedure recommendations, and provide direction for ongoing program development and management. The Master Plan will support increased opportunities for diverse public art programming and celebrate art as an essential element for a thriving community.

About the Palo Alto Public Art Program

The City of Palo Alto Public Art Program is committed to contributing to the intellectual, emotional, and creative life of the Palo Alto community by creating engaging art experiences and dynamic public spaces for Palo Alto residents and visitors. The Public Art Commission (PAC) reviews and advises the Public Art Program on selection, placement, and care of public art throughout the City of Palo Alto.  
To get the latest news on the public art projects and activities taking place around Palo Alto, visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/publicart  

Last Updated October 13, 2015