By Thomas Bunn
This week, Gerard McCallum, project manager with Wilson Meany, invited Inglewood Parks and Recreation Director Sabrina Barnes and Inglewood’s Public Art Consultant Helen Lessick to participate in the installation of Matt Wedel’s 6-foot sculpture at the front entrance of the brand new Hollywood Park Casino.
Wilson-Meany is the development company responsible for the fantastic renovations happening at the Hollywood Park Tomorrow site, which houses the casino.
“The ceramic artwork at the entrance of the new Hollywood Park Casino is by Matt
Wedel. He is represented by LA Louvre gallery. This artwork, and many other works to be installed at the facility, were part of the Private Percent for Art plan proposed by the developer through their fine art consultant Lendrum Fine Arts,” Lessick said.
With the help of a 30-foot crane and a team of nearly 10 men and women, the installation process was roughly 3 ½ hours of major logistical and incremental maneuvers to ensure the safe delivery of the piece to the custom built base of a concrete top over foam. The top had to be reinforced to support the weight of the sculpture. The receiving structure was also designed to withstand impacts from earthquakes and possible bumps. A series of custom, overhead lighting fixtures were put in place, and will be adjusted over the next week.
The sculpture installation is part of the Inglewood Growing Artists Project, which supports original artistic projects that provide a cultural benefit to the community.
Each cycle, the city receives proposals from visual artists around the country. Inglewood visual and performing artists are especially encouraged to apply.
It is uncertain if the city plans to unveil the piece in a formal ceremony after the development at Hollywood Park is complete. However, Inglewood is home to a variety of public art sites throughout the community, aimed at providing reference and educational tools for visitors, educators, and community groups using civic space as venues for learning.
The City of Inglewood has a One Percent for the Arts in Private Development policy, adopted in 2004. When applying for a construction permit, developers must choose how to comply with the City requirement. They may either propose an art plan and install public art on site (totaling or exceeding the percent for art valuation) or contribute an i n-lieu fee based on a calculation performed by the Planning Department. The one percent for art is based on specific above-ground project costs, and does not include the price of land, infrastructure (like underground water, sewer and electrical) or parking.
The Hollywood Park Casino submitted their art plan to the City last autumn. It was reviewed by the Arts Commission and recommended to the Inglewood City Council.
For more information on public art in Inglewood, contact the Inglewood Arts Commission at (310) 412-8750.