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Huntington Beach art group scraps proposed mural design for downtown building and seeks public opinion for a new one

Huntington Beach art group scraps proposed mural design for downtown building and seeks public opinion for a new one
The Huntington Beach Public Art Alliance decided to scrap its proposed mural design, pictured, and seek public input for a new image for the Frontier Communications building at 604 Main St. (File Illustration)

About a week after a city board declined to endorse the Huntington Beach Public Art Alliance’s proposal to paint the city’s largest mural on private property, the group has scrapped its original illustration and will seek public input for a new design.

“The Frontier mural project is on hold and we have permanently scrapped the initial proposed design,” according to a statement on the Art Alliance’s website. “We will be forming a committee of Huntington Beach residents, including those who dislike the art, to develop a new concept and a new process. We will announce the new process and a series of community meetings in the near future.”

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The initial design — proposed last year by Kim Kramer of the Art Alliance — includes images of Ruby’s Diner, the pier, a lifeguard tower, surfboards, the ocean and a surfer riding a wave.

The privately funded image would have decorated two walls on the Frontier Communications building downtown at 604 Main St., where Main transitions into a residential area near the Huntington Beach Art Center and Triangle Park. The mural would cover about 6,000 square feet.

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The Huntington Beach Design Review Board threw a wrench in the group’s plan May 9 when it voted 3-0 not to recommend the design to the city Planning Commission, which would have made the final decision on the mural unless it was appealed to the City Council.

The board took issue with the illustration’s “bright, exuberant” colors and said the image needed to be “innovative.” Members also didn’t like that the Art Alliance didn’t collect public input on the design or invite other local artists to pitch their ideas — an argument also raised by critics.

Asked if the board’s vote played a part in the project’s new direction, Kramer on Friday referred to the Art Alliance’s website statement and said it is “very enthusiastic about doing this.”

To get involved in the process, visit hbpublicart.org.

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