This Huge New City Art Installation Could Greet Pasadena Freeway Travelers

Published : Tuesday, March 13, 2018 | 5:47 AM


By late spring 2019, a huge art installation that’s been years in the making should be up over one of the buildings at the Glenarm Power Plant, casting a neon glow at night over the terminus of the 110 Arroyo Seco freeway at the “gateway to the City of Pasadena,” as the City’s Cultural Affairs Division refers to that area.

The art installation – or the Glenarm Power Plant Public Art Project – has been designated as a high priority Capital Public Art Program project in the City’s Public Art Master Plan.

On Tuesday, the Cultural Affairs Division will present details of the project before a meeting of the City Council’s Municipal Services Committee, prior to the project’s approval by the full City Council possibly next week.

With the contract award, artist Alice Aycock would be required to develop a Final Art Plan for approval by the Arts Commission.

Aycock intends to do further research and holding at least one Community meeting to receive input for the Final Art Plan design of the project, a city official said.

A draft of the presentation shows the art installation at Glenarm will cost a total of $774,000. The draft also shows a total of $868,935 was generated from two Pasadena Water and Power turbine projects for the City’s Capital Public Art Program which will fund the installation.

Through an artist selection process outlined in the Capital Public Art Program’s guidelines, 89 artist proposals were received as of the deadline in March 2017, out of which four finalists were selected.

Of the four, a selection panel decided to recommend New York-based sculptor and installation artist Alice Aycock’s design to be chosen as the final design.

One of Aycock’s latest installations is the Park Avenue Paper Chase, currently sitting atop the median on Park Avenue from 52nd Street to 66th Street in New York City.

Last month, the City’s Arts and Culture Commission unanimously recommended that the City Council approve Aycock’s proposed concept for the Glenarm Capital Public Art Project. The City Council’s review for approval is scheduled for March 19.

The draft presentation for Tuesday’s Municipal Services Committee meeting shows that most of the installation will be made of powder-coated aluminum, some welded aluminum tube mesh with fiber optic lighting, and flexible LED tubing on aluminum armature.

The project was recommended for approval with no light pollution as a criteron—as was outlined the review process. Only a portion of the proposed project is intended to be lit at night with LED lighting—again, with the stipulation that there will be no light pollution, a city official said.

The Cultural Affairs Division said a stakeholder group has created a vision statement for the art project which says:

“Public art at the Glenarm Power Plant is envisioned to be an iconic and innovative gateway for Pasadena. The project should be experiential, dynamic and inspiring, making a strong visible statement about the City’s role as a leader in art, science and technology. It will be seen day and night and may explore themes of energy, water and sustainability.”

The Division’s draft also said the City’s Department of Transportation has reviewed the proposed project which is closed to the intersection of Glenarm Street and Arroyo Parkway and has stated no objections to the project. The California Department of Transportation has also determined that the project does not require permit approval as it does not contain signage or advertising, according to the draft presentation.

After expected approval by the City Council next week, the artist will be contracted to develop final designs, schematics, working drawings, a community engagement plan, and oversight of fabrication and installation.

The Glenarm Public Art Project has no relationship with Art Center College of Design’s proposed digital billboard.

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