PALO ALTO, CA–Members of the community are invited to attend the grand unveiling of a new sign marking the location of the Palo Alto Art Center and Rinconada Library at the corner of Newell and Embarcadero roads on Saturday, October 29 at 4 p.m.
The dedication ceremony will feature opening remarks from the directors of the Art Center and Palo Alto library system, comments from the Library Advisory council representative, statements from the artist, and a countdown to the uncovering of the whimsical sign.
“The Library is always eager to call attention to the beautiful campus and invite new and returning patrons to visit” says Library Director Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne. “For us, this delightful sculpture not only does that, but it also matches the signage in front of the Children’s Library and Jr. Museum & Zoo, creating a connection to other cultural resources.”
Art Center Director Karen Kienzle added, “Four years after the landmark renovation of the Palo Alto Art Center, we are delighted to unveil this sign, creatively marking the campus. Artist Darin Wacs has brilliantly conveyed the sense of wonder and inspiration that libraries and museums evoke.”
The sign project started in March 2014 with Public Works Engineering creating conceptual designs based on the visions of the Library and Art Center. The Palo Alto City Council then adopted a Budget Amendment Ordinance for the funding of the sign in May 2014. The first study session was held in June 2014, and another in September of the same year.
After receiving feedback from the Architectural Review Board (ARB), the project team contracted with artist Darin Wacs, who created the colorful sign sculpture for the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo a decade ago. The first study session in April 2015 included one model that was with solid forms and another that introduced more detailed forms. The ARB decided that they wanted a mixture of the two designs. City staff then presented the final outline for approval in September of last year and received unanimous approval.
“It has been an amazing experience to be able to create a sculptural sign for the Art Center and Rinconada Library,” says Darin Wacs. “The dynamic vitality and energy of both places moved me to work with bold colors and fanciful shapes, which I feel adds an appropriately spirited visibility to their location.”
The 3,300-pound steel sign took nine weeks to fabricate at the welding shop—laser-cutting the forms, welding them together, and bending them according to the model. Painting and masking the sign took another week-and-a-half with the prep work.
The sign was funded by the Library Development Impact Fee Fund, the Palo Alto Library Foundation, the Community Center Development Impact Fee Fund, and the Peery Family Foundation.
About The Palo Alto Art Center:
The Palo Alto Art Center is your place to discover art. See, make, and be inspired because everyone is an artist. Created by the community, for the community in 1971, the Palo Alto Art Center provides an accessible and welcoming place to engage with art. We serve approximately 90,000 people every year through a diverse range of programs.
The Palo Alto Art Center, Division of Arts and Sciences, City of Palo Alto is funded in part by grants from Silicon Valley Creates and the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation. The Palo Alto Art Center Foundation gratefully acknowledges support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Yellow Chair Foundation, private donations, and members.
About the Palo Alto City Library:
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Palo Alto City Library connects and strengthens our diverse community through knowledge, resources, and opportunities. We inspire and nurture innovation, discovery, and delight. For more information, check out the Palo Alto City Library website.