Artists' labyrinth in Glendale reminds people there's a water shortage

A spiraling labyrinth has emerged outside Glendale City Hall, creating a contemplative scene for visitors and government employees, but one that also serves as a stark reminder of the drought.

"Water Finds a Way" is the latest installation in Glendale courtesy of Art from the Ashes' "You Are Here" series, in which artists use found materials to create interactive displays.

From the minds of the nonprofit's founder, Joy Feuer, and artists Chris Ghantous and William Stranger, the installation at Perkins Plaza invites passersby to walk through a spiral path lined with mesh coil stuffed with rocks.

Stranger, a furniture maker in Pasadena, used mahogany to craft the many posts that stick out of the coil along the way. He says he's always enjoyed pacing through labyrinths because it's a meditative experience.

"That's what attracted me to this project, our goal is to experience the surrounding mindfully," Stranger said.

As the spiral gets smaller as visitors walk toward the center, they will find what appears to be a fountain filled with gravel. The entire display is dry; at the center of the fountain there's a small blue dome meant to represent water.

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"We started to move the appearance of the labyrinth symbolically in the direction of water in an arid climate," he said. "So when you look at the materials we used in the layout … it evokes the dry climate that we live in."

Although the installation is a reminder of California's water crisis, it also serves to encourage people to conserve whenever they can, Stranger said.

"It's also an attempt to help us understand our relationship with the arid climate we live in and hopefully get us to use water more responsibly," he said.

"Water Finds a Way" will be on display through Nov. 18 with a community event from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The free event will feature water-conservation demonstrations, artist talk and a tour of the exhibit.

More information: glendalewaterandpower.com.

The display is supported by the city's Arts and Culture Commission with funding from the Urban Art Plan.

arin.mikailian@latimes.com

Twitter: @arinmikailian

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