July 14 2014 12:00 AM

San Diego Museum of Art's ambitious 'Open Spaces' project faces challenges

openspaceslincolnpark
A rendering of the light installation at Imperial and Euclid by Roberto Salas

Details are slim, but I just got back from a meeting between the San Diego Museum of Art's "Open Spaces" team and residents of Lemon Grove. At the meeting, Open Spaces project coordinator Irma Esquivias mentioned that the city of San Diego's Commission for Arts and Culture recently shot down the Lincoln Park community's proposal for a public-art piece, a new light sculpture, at the intersection of Euclid and Imperial avenues.---


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Locals call the intersection "the four corners of death" because of the high level of gang activity and violence there. The idea was to reclaim the space, in part, through the public-art piece, which would've involved suspending LED lighting on stainless steel cables and connecting the four corners with beams of light.

I was attending tonight's meeting as a Lemon Grove resident interested in getting a rad piece of public-art for our neighborhood, not as a reporter, so, again, I'll have to get the details in a follow-up post, but Esquivias said the commission considered the lights too distracting for drivers.

Esquivias was upbeat and said SDMA's Open Spaces team would return to Lincoln Park to look into possibly submitting one of the other two top proposals for public art generated by the Lincoln Park community.

Lincoln Park was the first of four communities to be engaged in creating a public-art piece thanks to a two-year, $530,000 grant from the James Irvine Foundation awarded to SDMA. Next on the list was Logan Heights and its concept for a new hyperlocal radio station, which is still in the process of being realized. Lemon Grove just hosted its first Open Spaces meeting tonight, and National City is next. The neighborhoods are all low-income and considered lacking in public art. In part, Open Spaces seeks to build a relationship between the communities and SDMA while creating permanent, iconic works of public art that reflect the character of each neighborhood.

Calendar

  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • The first in a new series of spoken word showcases that aim to give voices to writers of color. Speakers include Carlos Kelly, Lizz Huerta, Paul Lopez, and more. Takes place at 2186 Logan Ave. in Barrio...
  • A food festival and fundraiser highlighting over a dozen restaurants, breweries and distilleries located exclusively in Oceanside and benefitting local non-profit organizations
  • A new treehouse-inspired installation from local artist Wes Sam-Bruce. The interactive piece features many rooms and passageways, and is accompanied by an original soundscape by composer Joel P. West
See all events on Wednesday, Jul 27