Glendale sculpture flows with drought message

A spiraling labyrinth has emerged outside 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, which relies on using found materials to create interactive displays.

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

Stranger, a furniture maker based 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 one walks toward the center, they will find what appears to be a fountain filled with gravel. The entire display is dry, except for the center of the fountain where there’s a small blue dome meant to represent water.

“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.”

While the installation is a reminder of California’s water crisis, a final purpose it serves is to help remember 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. on Sept. 27. The free event will feature water-conservation demonstrations, artist talk and a tour of the exhibit.

For more information about the event, visit glendalewaterandpower.com.

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

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