More than a year after not approving Shepard Fairey to create an art piece for the under-construction West Hollywood Library, the West Hollywood City Council has approved Shepard Fairey to create an art piece for the under-construction West Hollywood Library. (And thank WeHo, Mr. F, for getting us to talk about you again.) At last Monday night's meeting, the Council also approved artist David Wiseman for a separate piece in the library's interior stairway and the airspace above. No location has been decided yet for Fairey's piece, but concepts show it on an exterior wall. A staff report says that the art selection team felt Wiseman's piece was "primarily decorative," and "that Fairey's piece would provide content, incorporating the history and community of the city."
West Hollywood Cultural Affairs Administrator Andrew Campbell tells Curbed that approvals were held up last year because the city wanted to create a formal process for reviewing public art. Once that was in place, the selection process for the library started again, with several artists submitting concepts and budgets. With budgets in hand, the city realized it could commission two pieces. The concepts submitted are just concepts, not final plans, but here are the current descriptions of the works:
Wiseman, from the staff report: "Utilizing plaster, bronze, and porcelain, a series of branches will emerge from the walls and arch into the air space above the stairway, providing a link between the park that surrounds it and the library itself. With the movement of the sun through the skylight, the bronze branches and porcelain flowers will create ever-shifting and subtle patterns on the walls and staircase throughout the day."
Fairey, from his concept submission: "The artist would present a variety of positive images from his existing library mixed with new images he would create to celebrate West Hollywood and the mission of the library itself. Fairey's mission in the library would be to address West Hollywood and the library filtered through his aesthetic, while also addressing imagery and themes that are personal to him." The staff report notes that "The artist will also seek community input on images and architecture of significance to the City."
Campbell tells us the city is hoping the art will debut with the library's opening next fall.
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