New Look for Copper Curtain Approved

The City Council has agreed to add signs to the freeway side of the Civic Arts Plaza and spend up to $100,000 to give the maligned copper curtain sculpture a new look.

On a 3-2 vote Tuesday night, Thousand Oaks council members endorsed adding a second sculpture of gnarled oak branches in verdigris copper above the curtain to give it a more appealing look. Councilwomen Linda Parks and Elois Zeanah dissented, saying no more tax dollars should be spent on the sculpture.

The dull brown curtain hanging from a freeway-facing wall of the Civic Arts Plaza is easily the county's most scorned public artwork.

As originally designed, the curtain was to flow freely along the building wall and radiate bright colors when hit by sunlight. Instead, the sculpture was tacked down so its copper pieces could not break free and be carried by the wind toward cars on the Ventura Freeway below. It was also truncated, apparently in an effort to contain costs for the $200,000 sculpture.

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