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Time for art: City considers public display

by By Michelle Durand / San Mateo Daily Journal
08-02-2011

The time for public art in San Carlos may be now — literally.

A piece entitled “Laurel Wreath,” a clock encircled by leaves, could find its home in Laurel Street Park if the design meets the final approval of city officials. The Arts and Culture Commission has already given the artwork the green light; next up is the Parks and Recreation Commission Wednesday night followed by the City Council.

The piece by Bay Area artist Adrian Litman was chosen by a subcommittee of the Arts and Culture Commission from a pool of six possibilities. The commission dismissed a first round of applicants completely before choosing Litman’s work from the second set of submissions.

The City Council set aside $12,500 in its current fiscal year capital improvement project budget specifically to buy public art. The first $3,500 was left over from the 75th anniversary events and the remainder from a private donation, said Assistant City Manager Brian Moura.

Although the Arts and Culture Commission looked at the aesthetics of the piece, the Parks and Recreation Commission will judge it based on safety, scale and other non-visual considerations, said Parks and Recreation Director Doug Long.

“Laurel Wreath” is actually a clock that will sit atop the kiosk in the downtown park. The metal leaves curl up and around the clock, holding it to a base that will crown the existing structure.

However, Long points out, the piece still needs two more sets of approval before becoming a San Carlos fixture.

Litman, a Romanian-born artist who owns Adrian Litman Architectural Art & Design Studio in Fremont, works in several mediums including murals, mosaics, sculptures, fountains and wall treatments which “facilitate the harmonious integration of art with architecture,” according to his website.

His work includes corporate and private projects and public art pieces like “Laurel Wreath.” Other area public installations include the “Chinook Resurrection” sculpture on the Napa River promenade, the “Thriving Legacy” fresco in Milpitas, animal-shaped copper pieces for the Palo Alto Humane Society and a fresco and several paintings for the lobby and offices of DIAP architectural office in San Mateo.

“Laurel Wreath,” or whatever piece is ultimately selected by officials, will be the city’s first piece of public art outside a fine art collection of paintings on the second floor of City Hall.

The San Carlos Parks and Recreation Commission meets 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3 at City Hall, 600 Elm St., San Carlos.

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