Brentwood endorses modern style public art sculpture

A public art project that some Brentwood residents called “too modernist” when it was first proposed in January has been approved – but for a different venue.

After listening to Motivated Metal artist Seth Emerson Palmiter explain his vision, the city council agreed that the sculpture could be mounted in a more open location on Sand Creek Road near The Streets of Brentwood shopping centre. In the works for two years, Palmiter’s “Radiant Convergence” was originally planned for a location on Balfour Road, near Brentwood Golf Club. But following public criticism in January of the sculpture’s modernist style and location near an elderly community, the arts committee gave it another look.

City recreation director Kris Farro said the $192,500 sculpture “links the city’s history to our vision for the future,” noting it will be paid for with an interim development fee intended to public art projects. Maine-based artist Palmiter said the sculpture, which an ad hoc committee chose after a nationwide search, required hundreds of hours of design and research and represents an investment in the future of the city.

“I worked two years to create a piece of historic public art that confirms the livability and cultural vibrancy of Brentwood,” Palmiter said. “…There were many important Brentwood themes to be incorporated into the overall composition of the median sculpture.”

The proposed artwork is a 20-foot-tall, 57-foot-long perforated stainless steel structure in a sunset color palette meant to reflect Mount Diablo’s vibrant sunsets, he said. declared. Arts Commissioner Cindy Lee explained the committee’s reasoning behind the choice.

“We hear what people are saying,” she said. “We didn’t want to be an ordinary town. We saw Brentwood as up and coming and cool. We didn’t just want a cement block monument that said “Brentwood”. ”

Farro added that the sculpture, with shapes representing Mount Diablo, is “fully consistent” with other public artwork and signs in the town of Brentwood.

“While modern in its overall look, the design is rooted in our agricultural history, and it’s really the convergence of our past and our future,” she said.

And because Palmiter is a nationally recognized artist, Farro suggested his sculpture could make Brentwood a “public art destination.”

“It puts us on the national stage,” she said. “This iconic piece would be recognized not only by local residents, but also regionally and perhaps nationally.”

Councilwoman Claudette Stanton called the proposed sculpture a “stunning work of art.”

“I love the colors,” she said, while suggesting that the Sand Creek Road location near the streets of Brentwood would offer better views.

Councilman Johnny Rodriguez agreed, saying it would be in a “less crowded” location on Sand Creek.

Unlike the last council discussion in January, residents who spoke this time were all supportive of the artwork, especially if it is built at the new location. Councilor Karen Rarey, however, suggested the committee reassess the sites chosen for public art – including the original Balfour Road – as two more art projects will be in the pipeline.

Mildred D. Field