Monday, November 4, 2019

Brea's Art In Public Places

In 1975, California, like the rest of the country, was dealing with cultural shifts.  Like cities struggled to find their own identities as the adult population shifted from the Greatest Generation to their offspring, the Baby Boomers. Those boomers began putting down roots, but wanted to do it on their own terms.  
Jewel of the Nile by Marton Varo, Birch east of Randolph & Civic Center

Ascending Dancer by Robert Holmes, 
West side Brea Blvd. North of Central
Some cities began to see major shifts in the way they were growing, and sitting on the north edge of Orange County with neighbors La Habra and Fullerton, the little citrus and oil industry town was developing rapidly.  Housing developments were springing up, and with those homes the need for support was growing.  A large new indoor mall was planned at the edge of town next to the new 57 freeway that tied Pomona down to the Orange Crush, where Inerstate 5 intersected. 

Business was headed to Brea, but the city planners wanted to do something that set the little community apart from the neighboring cities.  So the city adopted an ordinance that for any new construction that would occur within city limits, developers had to include a work of art that could be done in any  variety of mediums: it just needed to stand up against the elements and be easily viewed by the public. 
Thus the Brea Art in Public Places program was begun, and over the years the collection has grown to over 170 sculptures and mosaics, many by world famous artists like Marton Varo and Nikki de St. Phalle.  All works are funded by the developer, maintained by the property owner, and wisely must go through an approval process prior to installation. They vary in style from iron sculptures, marble statues and water fountains.  

To give yourself a tour, first visit the city's Art In Public website and refer to the interactive map shown here: 
Map is copyright © Open Street Map

A complete list of works, artist, sponsor and location is also available.  


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