These widely diverse, site-specific outdoor art installations will continue to help transform the historic 100-acre former Naval Training Center site into a thriving arts and culture destination for the community. Artists were invited to submit proposals that use art to transform the monochromatic, rigid former military base into a creative place that reflects the historic and culture vibrancy of the San Diego-Baja border region.
The program is overseen by the NTC Foundation’s Art in Public Place Committee, dedicated to placing and commissioning significant and engaging visual art in the Arts District to attract visitors, engage artists, create a sense of place and provide insight into the historical and cultural essence.
Twenty-eight proposals were submitted to the committee and reviewed on criteria related to innovation, community engagement, whether the project showcased the history of San Diego, enhanced the dignity of the site and added to the creative hub of the Arts District. In addition, the panel looked at authenticity, creativity, budget and experience. The foundation set aside a budget of $60,000 to support this initiative.
Six projects were selected for final commissioning and will be on exhibit from a few weeks to many months, depending on the project. The works range from a sculptural tableau of painted skateboards that resemble rolling waves to a bench made entirely of rope that references the Kumeyaay, early Spanish explorers and the Navy. Installations are scheduled to begin this April.
“We were impressed and inspired by the thought, ingenuity and creativity represented in these winning proposals. All of the artists included their own unique voice in examining and thinking about our region’s history and culture, while incorporating innovative ways to engage the public,” said Vicki Reed, chair of the Art in Public Places Committee.
Artist: The AjA Project/Josemar Gonzalez, North Park/City Heights.
Description: The piece is a series of doors composed of a variety of layers placed strategically, juxtaposing the images and narrative of communities that have been historically silenced and or underrepresented by the media. The piece invites the viewer to question their perception and what factors come to influence and inform it. During the day, the doors will stand as a monument for these stories and communities, inviting the audience to question their perception as they walk through the doors. At night, they will glow and project colors, shapes and narrative into the surrounding landscape.
Location: Luce Court
“I love to collaborate with different creative minds. What excites me the most is the opportunity to work with the community AjA serves, and together create a collaborative, beautiful art installation that tells a collective story,” said Gonzalez.
Artists: Lissa Corona, Oceanside and Marina Grize, San Diego.
Description: This light installation relates to the U.S. Navy and its reverence for camaraderie, protection, love and support. Rest Easy is a phrase commonly used by the Navy as an assurance to those they protect. “Rest easy tonight, U.S. Navy has the watch” was tweeted by the Navy in 2012 and the artists are using the text to invoke a variety of emotions and interactions with the viewer.
LOCATION: Barracks 16 and 17.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to create a monument for others to share and enjoy when encountering the work in such a beautiful landmark of our region,” said Corona.
Artist: Hugo Crosthwaite, Tijuana, Mexico
Description: This mural project is about presenting muralism as performance. Crosthwaite will improvise a mural in public for 16 days. During that time, the public is invited to see him work and to ask questions. The project is a performance about the creative process and about the nature of art. It’s also a celebration of draftsmanship.
Location: Arcades Barracks 14.
“I look forward to creating an improvised mural performance in a public, communal place that will lead to a conversation about the nature and impermanence of art. At its core, the project is simply about a man, a ladder and a paint brush,” said Crosthwaite.
Artist: David Krimmel, North Park.
Description: This 30-foot by 8-foot installation on an arcade rooftop walkway will be created using 1,200 colored transparent tiles that will literally “flutter” in the wind. Inspired by the original tiles in Liberty Public Market, the piece will cast colorful shadows depending on the sun and season.
Location: Barracks 14 and 15.
“I spent many hours watching the shadows of the buildings and light interact with the surrounding surfaces. I created 3D models of the space to investigate the color shadows that will be created and will bring color, movement and constant change of light to the area. I’m excited that my art will spark happiness and a fresh outlook to those that walk by and the chance to find colored shadows in unexpected areas,” said Krimmel
Rolling It Forward
Artist: Jeremy Nuttall, Poway.
Description: This structure will represent a boat and rolling waves made entirely of community-painted skateboards. It builds on the concept of “Pay It Forward” and requires the support of the community to be completed through public painting events. The project references two important histories of San Diego, both the naval and the maritime histories, along with the influence San Diego has had on the progression of skateboarding and the communities they connect.
Location: Roof of Building 202, above the San Diego Watercolor Society.
“I’m motivated to encourage families, youth and adults to play an active role in the completion of the art installation to foster communication and involvement in their communities,” said Nuttall.
Artist: Karl Alex Roesch, Carlsbad.
Description: A braided robe bench that brings together cultures past and present with its design concept. The interwoven rope lines will reflect styles from the Kumeyaay native tribes to the Navy and modern-day sailing.
Location: North Promenade.
“As a trained architect, I’m very interested in the opportunity to create a more vibrant and interactive public space,” said Roesch.
“As these installations are placed, starting in the spring through the fall, we will share updates that include community engagement activities and walking tours,” said NTC Foundation executive director Alan Ziter. “We are thrilled to support these working artists, shine a spotlight on their talent and welcome this new phase of works to our collection.”
To Learn more about the foundation’s Installations at the Station program, visit ntcfoundation.org/art-in-public-places.