Architect and professor Jeanine Centuori, FAIA and Russell Rock of UrbanRock Design have created a new public art piece for Downtown Santa Monica. Dubbed “Site Lines,” the work features a series of drawing-inspired metal plates along the Third Street Promenade that are overlaid onto elements seen along the pedestrian mall. The plates are color-coded and attached to light poles at various locations long the Promenade. From dinosaur topiaries and building fragments to storefront displays, different subjects are brought into focus as viewers look through the sight lines.
The public art addition is the latest installment for Downtown Santa Monica and the City of Santa Monica Art Commission’s public art initiative ROAM Santa Monica, created to activate the public realm and expand cultural offerings in Downtown. As Centuori said, “Our inspiration is one of trying to make something aesthetically appealing and surprising, something that will make you pause and look at your environment more carefully. There is so much activity and vibrancy on the Promenade that you can miss something. We wanted to call attention to aspects of the Promenade that are a little quieter, but are beautiful remnants of the past. The message is to slow down a bit and take it all in.”
In addition, a second piece called “Site Lines Past,” is located at Triangle Square on Colorado Avenue across from Santa Monica Place. It features three large view cones clustered together in the center of Triangle Square’s lawn. The brightly colored view cones invite people to peer into the oculus located at each end of the cones. Inside of each cone are three views of erased local histories. Centuori touched on the importance of art and slowing down in a recent feature by Santa Monica Centric, saying that, “We are constantly bombarded with photographic images and I think art needs to go beyond that and make visceral connections that you experience. We like to make projects that are more than the photograph of their likeness, so there is a richer experience by being there, and to connect the site to its past or something that is invisible or not easily understood. I think those experiences enable us to think about why we are in a particular place together, about society and civility.”