Client: City of San Francisco Civic Arts Collection
Location: San Francisco, CA, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $25,000
Public Art Agent
San Francisco Art Commission
Interpretive portrait of famed 95 year old San Francisco ‘Beat’ Poet Laureate, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, for the San Francisco Civic Art Collection. Installed in the North Beach Library near Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Book Store.
Design parameters defined the location in the library for bronze bust during construction of building. A large reading room was dedicated to Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the City Librarian also wanted to commemorate the poet with a visual interpretation of him. Some of the goals and constraints were to not to have the sculpture be too large, that the color compliment the color palette of the interior, that it be obviously identified as the poet, and that the material be permanent and elegant.
The client is the City of San Francisco Civic Art Collection. They defined some of the criteria. Other input came from the Chief of Library Branches, the city librarian, the branch librarian, the architects, the project architect and the on-site construction supervisor. Basic criteria defined the material as bronze and some of the Art Commissioners especially liked Dina Angel-Wing's classic patinas. They also like her interpretation of other civic leaders in bronze bust portraits. The project architect was open for different solutions and was concerned that the piece visually worked well with the interior design.
Installation involved designing and constructing a special stand that would incorporate a vandalism resistant pedestal for the piece and determined the location to facilitate mounting.
The artist worked with the actual subject using photographs, live sketching, and historical and personal mementoes to interpret a lively but not literal portrait of the poet.