CircumSolar, Migration 2, 2013; public art, fire retardant canvas and ink; 132 feet long x 25 feet high, ~1,250 square feet approximately. Installation view at the Pico Rivera Public Library.
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission commissioned me to make a site-specific civic artwork for the public library in Pico Rivera. The work considers the library’s role as a vehicle for exploration and discovery that lead to a journey into knowledge. I focused on bird migration as a metaphor to represent the spirit of a wide open world available for all to explore and experience. I was inspired by Pico Rivera’s Rio Hondo Coastal Basin Spreading Grounds, which offer a resting spot for a diverse range of migratory birds passing through, returning season after season. Tundra swans from the High Arctic have been spotted in January, Bald Eagles in February. On the north wall of the library a photographic mural depicts our planet from the 90° North Pole to the 90° South Pole. The artwork is dedicated to the voyage of the arctic tern, the world champion in long-distance migration. It is my intent for these artworks to inspire the Pico Rivera community to learn and to imagine through exploration and discovery; to see that the world of knowledge is infinite with no boundaries; to feel connected to this community and to the planet as a whole.
Invited as prequalified artist by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission to respond to a request for qualifications, Rebeca Méndez was selected by a Civic Art committee of stakeholders, that included the Los Angeles County Library, the City of Pico Rivera and the County Supervisor for the First District. The Los Angeles County Arts Commission acted as the intermediary between the artist, the contractor and the civic institutions. The artist was awarded a project fee of $166,000, as which the greatest part was spent on an outdoor sculpture. CircumSolar, Migration 2 was printed on archival canvas by Olson Visual, and adhered to the wall with clay, a process managed by Olson’s creative director Eder Cetina.
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