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Editorial: Santa Clarita Mayor Discusses Community Art Impact

By Bob Kellar

The Santa Clarita City Council and Arts Commission believe public art enriches the community, inspires conversation, and encourages creativity among residents of all ages. Over the last several years, we’ve made tremendous strides in bringing new art in many forms to Santa Clarita.  Allow me to share with you some of our more recent additions.

The city’s Common Spaces: Art in Public Places campaign has included the installation of three new art pieces, including “The Western Tiger Swallowtail” outside Central Park; the innovative STROLL featuring audio art, and “The Finish,” located along the South Fork Trail.


“The Western Tiger Swallowtail” is featured outside Central Park on Bouquet Canyon. The piece is constructed entirely from steel recycled parts, with the body consisting of a motorcycle tank welded to an automotive spring and pipe to reinforce the overall piece.  Custom “Yerba Santa flowers” made from steel extend up and include lavender, green and metallic highlights.  The sculpture is an artistic compliment to the area foliage and nearby park setting and was selected because the Western tiger swallowtail butterfly and plants are indigenous to the Santa Clarita Valley.

The city of Santa Clarita and California Institute of the Arts teamed up on an interactive art exhibit along the South Fork Trail arroyo between the Valencia and McBean Bridges.  STROLL consists of six sound-art modules that take the form of interactive playback devices.   Similar to music boxes, the sound-art modules are suspended from six poles along the path and play sounds produced by 14 artists, which included students from CalArts’ Center for Integrated Media, faculty and visiting artists.  The digitally sampled and mixed sounds were generated from field recordings, electronic sounds, spoken word and performed music and include influences from Nepal, India, Brazil, and even right here in Santa Clarita.

“The Finish” is situated along the South Fork Trail and pays tribute to the men, women and children who use Santa Clarita’s trail system to stay active and healthy. Artist Scott Bruckner donated the wood art piece to the city and describes his creation as representing a runner’s excitement as he or she passes the finish line in a race.  The piece was constructed from Douglas fir with steel support brackets and steel cables.  It is approximately 14 feet high from the base with a wingspan of seven feet.

The City Council and Arts Commission plan to add several new public art installations throughout the community in the coming years so keep an eye out for one in your neighborhood.  For more information about the city’s endeavors in the arts, visit www.Common-Spaces.org.