Debated modern-art sculptures join concrete bunnies in Civic Center Park
Ten modern art sculptures that were blasted by some residents during City Council meetings this year will be installed near the Newport Beach Civic Center during the next several weeks.
The sculptures will remain in Civic Center Park for two years. After that, new artwork will be rotated in its place.
A committee made up of local art experts and members of the city’s arts commission chose the finalists from 260 submitted entries.
The first piece of art, which was installed Tuesday, is an 11-foot statue made of multi-colored recycled steel that the artist dubbed “Pretty Boy.”
“It’s items of junk put together into a statue,” said Newport Beach resident Barry Allen.
Wednesday, crews returned to the park to set up the second sculpture titled “The Odyssey” near Avocado Avenue.
The Odyssey is made of white steel and extends 22 feet into the air.
Aside from athletic fields, the park, which is situated between Avocado Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard next to the Civic Center, is one of the most frequently used recreational areas in the city, said Councilman Ed Selich.
The park is also home to the dozen-plus controversial concrete bunnies installed for children to climb and play.
Selich believes the artwork will add a cultural element to the park that will attract more people.
“It also advances our desire to be more dominant in promoting arts and culture in the city,” he said.
Still, those living in the homes on the hill above the park have their reservations about the artwork.
“We don’t care for them at all,” said neighbor Jim Warren. “A couple of them are the size of trucks. No one wants to see that outside their window for the next two years.”
— Hannah Fry