Newport Beach sculpture garden to get a refresh with 10 new works


Ten new sculptures, mostly from California artists, will go on display this summer at Civic Center Park in Newport Beach.

The City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved the following sculptures for the fifth phase of the park’s rotating exhibit, following city Arts Commission recommendations:

“Fractured Peace”
Nancy Mooslin, Los Angeles
10 by 21 feet

Colorful wooden arches appear to emerge from the ground.

“Window to the Sea”
Andra Broekelschen, Corona del Mar
66.5 by 22.5 inches

This mixed-media ring combines steel, tile, local sea glass, stained glass, handmade seashells and other found materials to frame whatever view it’s pointed toward.


Roger Heitzman, Scotts Valley
14.5 by 5 feet

A kinetic wind sculpture featuring stainless-steel hemispheres tilting on several independent axes. It has been exhibited at the Burning Man festival.

“The Unbearable Lightness of Being”
Patricia Vader, Martinez
63 by 63 by 63 inches

Dozens of stripped-down bicycle wheels, painted red and balanced in stacked rings. This will be Vader’s third piece at the Civic Center sculpture garden. All have included repurposed bike wheels.

“I’m Listening”
Monica Wyatt, Studio City
48 by 31.5 by 35.25 inches

This bronze work depicts parents bent over a child, listening to the little one speak. “Or maybe they’re telling the child to listen to them,” said Rick Stein, president of the city’s arts consultant, Arts OC.

“Dude Ascending”
Joe Forrest Sackett, Albuquerque, N.M.
11 by 5 by 5 feet

Abstract steel human figures in gradient shades of blue climb a curved staircase in allusion to the Modernist classic “Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2” by Marcel Duchamp.

“Individuality n. 1”
Dominic Panziera and Daniela Garofalo (Arteclettica), Truckee
12 by 14 by 4 feet

This mixed-media installation with a dangling human figure has been shown at Burning Man.

“Link of Humanity”
Danette Landry, Napa
7 by 2 by 2 feet

A vertical bronze stack of chain links.

“Seated Diana”
Curt Brill, Tucson, Ariz.
94 by 112 by 73 inches

A bronze abstract figure of the mythical Diana, Roman goddess of war and the moon, appears as though wrought in molten lava.

“Marble Shooter”
Ron Whitacre, Laguna Beach
35 by 21 by 19 inches

A giant steel hand and wrist are about to shoot a glinting marble.

Artists from around the world submitted more than 60 works for consideration in the upcoming phase. The Arts Commission, outside jurors and the public, via an online poll, collaborated on the selections before they went to the council for final approval.

The works will be installed in May and officially revealed with a grand opening in June. They will be on display for two years.

Phase 5 has a $141,000 budget, which will be covered by a state parks and recreation grant. The grant also will cover the exhibition’s sixth phase next year.

“We are a city of culture. We are a city of creative people,” said Mayor Pro Tem Brad Avery. “We share our beaches, we share our restaurants, we share art.”

Amendments to ‘granny flat’ rules

In other action Tuesday, the council decided to realign local rules on accessory dwelling units after more changes in state law.

The latest state regulations took the city’s control over minimum lot size — state law now requires no minimum lot size for ADUs, also known as “granny flats” — but Newport Beach will maintain discretion over aesthetics, unit size and barring their use as short-term rentals. Newport had required a minimum lot size of 5,000 square feet for an accessory unit.

The city also has to suspend until 2025 its requirement for owners to occupy one of the units, also to comply with state law.

Newport will cap one-bedroom units at 850 square feet and two bedrooms at 1,000 square feet. The state allows both to be up to 1,200 square feet if cities don’t opt to go lower. City planner Jaime Murillo said Newport set a lower maximum to keep the homes small enough to be considered “accessory.”

The council unanimously approved the changes, which need one more vote March 24 to be official.

The state has been overriding cities’ controls on ADUs since 2017 to help increase housing stock with units such as backyard cottages or apartments built in basements or above garages. Until the recent state reforms, Newport generally banned the residential additions except for people 55 and older.

The city has approved 11 ADU applications over the past three years, according to a staff report.

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