There are several ways to improve the environment of a community. One popular way is to make it easier for residents and visitors to walk and bike. Another is to beautify public spaces with art.
North Park is doing both with an exciting new project that enlivens the 400-spot Ace Parking structure located at the corner of 29th Street and North Park Way.
Local artists Kris Hodson Moore and Don Masse were selected to create 16 artworks that will adorn the parking structure for the next several years. These will replace the current artwork featuring artist Blair Thorney who graciously donated her talent to North Park in 2008. Both Moore and Massey say they are honored to continue Blair’s legacy.
“North Park residents and visitors adore Thorney’s whimsical renderings so it was important that the selection committee choose the right artists for the project,” said Angela Landsberg in a statement, CEO of North Park Main Street, which is managing the project funded by Civic San Diego.
The artists were selected from a pool of 20 proposals. The North Park Garage Selection Committee evaluated the artists’ proposals based on their ability to: creatively use the space; complement the style of the building and the physical space; symbolize and/or reflect the history, character or essence of the neighborhood or the community at-large; demonstrate professional ability and quality of artwork.
The committee chose to have each selected artist create pieces that reflect their own styles rather than asking them to collaborate on one approach.
Masse chose to feature elements of North Park set against a background of vibrant and colorful pixels. “I envisioned this series of images as a reflection of the past, present, and future of North Park coming together,” said Masse in a press release.
Moore said she also included images of North Park. “I chose the soft-focus technique for its dream-like quality and abstract result. The design samples colors and shapes of nearby buildings, sidewalk crossings, and homes I photographed. This ethereal style helps alleviate the sensory assault of a busy neighborhood, while providing a delightful visual array of colors,” said the artist.
Not only will the new garage art contribute to North Park’s vibe as a hip and edgy artistic hub, it will promote walking and biking. “Research has shown us that when communities make aggregate parking more accessible and attractive, people will park their cars once and spend the rest of their time on foot or riding bicycles in a community,” says Jake Romero, assistant director of North Park Main Street. “Our goal is to reduce our collective carbon footprint while adding to the artistic vibrancy of the community.”
The North Park Garage Selection Committee, Civic San Diego, and Ace Parking invite the community to the official unveiling of the project at a rooftop celebration on Sept. 29 from 5-7 p.m. Guests will meet the artists and community leaders working to enhance the quality of life in North Park.