Members of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority do not have plans to take the easy way out when it comes to their required public-art project for the transportation center at Hollywood Burbank Airport.
Authority members told airport staff during a meeting on Aug. 19 to continue finding a way to have artwork placed on the panels installed on the exterior of the transportation center, which is the site for car rentals, along with other modes of transportation for the airport, at the corner of Hollywood Way and Empire Avenue.
Scott Kimball, director of business and properties, safety and procurement, told authority members that staff members had recommended going with an alternative solution, which would be to install a bronze statue in a secluded section of the transportation center where buses and shuttles pick up and drop off passengers.
Kimball added that officials from the Burbank Art in Public Places Commission were leaning toward having a bronze statue to fulfill the art requirement tied to the development of the center.
However, Terry Tornek, a commissioner representing Pasadena, said he was disappointed that airport staff members were willing to abandon the art panels for a statue, saying that the transportation center was not an aesthetically pleasing building and that the plan was to have some kind of artwork decorating it.
“To abandon the fundamental concept of the building with the art panels, that would be visible not only to rental-car customers but to people passing by, is really a misdirection,” Tornek said. “My feeling is that it’s a big mistake.”
If a large development is built within Burbank, the developers are required by city code to have a public art piece — a sculpture, painting or mural, among other artistic projects.
Some recent public-art installments, such as a public art garden at Lincoln Park next to the Buena Vista Branch Library, have received some positive reviews from the community.
Then there are other pieces, such as the “Bobble” sculpture outside of the Ikea store on San Fernando Road, that have left some members of the public scratching their heads.
In Hollywood Burbank’s case, there was a proposal last year that involved Arizona-based artist Fausto Fernandez, who has created several public-art projects.
However, authority members decided to part ways with Fernandez last September because they did not like the direction he was heading with the artwork.
Fernandez was proposing to have graffiti-like murals on each of the six panels on the transportation center, with panels representing Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena.
Tornek said that just because they couldn’t agree with Fernandez doesn’t mean they should abandon the art panels altogether, especially because the airport has paid about $114,000, so far, on the project, which includes purchasing and installing the panels and paying Fernandez for part of his contract, which they have since terminated.