Creative City

The City of Long Beach has long recognized the importance of public art in creating neighborhoods and building a sense of community. The City’s commitment to the arts has been visualized in public art installations made possible through the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency as well as the City’s mural program, administered through the Department of Parks, Recreation & Marine, which has resulted in the creation of more than 100 murals throughout the City, just a few of which are featured within this collection. In addition, the City has funded various other public art installations including utility boxes, banners, and sculptures.

It has been over 30 years since the initial Art in Public Places Program was established in 1981 for Downtown Long Beach. When the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA) took that first bold step to support an emerging field of public art, it began to set the stage for a program and funding mechanism that has since permeated the very fabric of the entire City. In 1989, the RDA went a step further and established the Percent for Public Art Program in cooperation with the City of Long Beach and the Public Corporation for the Arts (now known as the Arts Council for Long Beach) throughout the RDA’s seven redevelopment project areas. In developing Long Beach, particularly its Downtown, the RDA sought to recast Long Beach as a world-class City, one whose vitality was strengthened by its commitment to arts and culture. Since the formation of this partnership, the RDA’s Percent for Public Art Program has led to the completion of a wide array of private-sector and public-sector funded public art projects throughout the City.

But it didn’t stop there. The RDA worked closely with developers, businesses and community groups to facilitate unique projects of all sizes. Projects have included permanent and temporary light-works, sculptures, streetscape enhancements, murals, architectural restoration and cultural facilities. This integration of the arts into the community allowed the RDA to make artists and the primary resources in the revitalization of the City and to provide physical, social, cultural and economic benefits that will strengthen and sustain neighborhoods over time.

The historic California Supreme Court decision to uphold the elimination of redevelopment agencies statewide on February 1, 2012, will have dramatic and far-reaching implications for the future of the arts. However, the myriad of public art installations that the RDA collaborated on, or directly funded, will live on for decades. Whether beautiful, thought provoking, or in memoriam, small or large, indoors or outside, public art provides a means for people to relate to one another, to celebrate our collective commitment to the arts and honor the artists who made these works possible.

Public Art

Silhouettes

Silhouettes

Primary Artist: Scott Blumenthal

SPIN

SPIN

Primary Artist: Various Artists

Strata

Strata

Primary Artist: Noah Thomas

Street Park Parable

Street Park Parable

Primary Artist: Robin Brailsford

Location: Los Altos Market Center

Ta Da!

Ta Da!

Primary Artist: John Clement

The Atlantic Garden

The Atlantic Garden

Primary Artist: Various Artists

The Cape, the Bay and the Clouds of Magellan

The Cape, the Bay and the Clouds of Magellan

Primary Artist: Patrick Mohr

The Collaborative

The Collaborative

Primary Artist: Various Artists

Location: The Collaborative

The Discovery of Long Beach and Founding of the City of Long Beach and…

The Discovery of Long Beach and Founding of the City of Long Beach and…

Primary Artist: Sandow Birk

Location: CityPlace Shopping Center

The Dream of Simultaneous Connection

The Dream of Simultaneous Connection

Primary Artist: Ned Smyth

Location: Harbor Place Tower, Victory Park

The Found Theatre

The Found Theatre

Primary Artist: The Found Theatre

Location: The Found Theatre

The Found Theatre

The Found Theatre

Primary Artist: Dwight Bennett

Location: The Found Theatre