City of Santa Clarita City Hall. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Light-up steel tree sculpture proposed for community center

The new Canyon Country Community Center is still being developed, but the city of Santa Clarita is already looking into public art installation possibilities for the locale.

On Thursday, the Santa Clarita Arts Commission is set to discuss the Artist Selection Committee’s proposed artist CJR Designs and the suggested art project, titled “Communitree,” for the incoming community center, located near the intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway.  

The sculpture is a more than 25-feet-tall, stainless steel oak tree designed to be an “iconic ‘Gateway’ for Santa Clarita’s new community center that will light up at night. This unique, colorful oak tree will symbolize the strength of the community,” according to a description in artist C.J. Rench’s project proposal.

The tree’s steel and acrylic plexiglass leaves are said to have a kinetic effect, called “flutter,” to recreate the movement of leaves blowing in the wind, as well as its branches. Historical text included with the roots of the tree by laser cut printing is also included in the concept.

CJR Design’s concept design of proposed project ‘Communitree’ for the new Canyon Country Community Center. Screenshot of the city of Santa Clarita agenda

The overall sculpture would use up to 30% recycled stainless and mild steel.  

Rench, whose artwork spans from public to private collections around the world, said in his proposal that “‘Communitree’ will enhance the intersection and visually complement the new community center with literally hundreds of colorful leaves in the daylight and creating beautiful views … at night all without distracting drivers or creating any obstruction of view.”

The proposed budget for the art project is $121,500, according to the city staff report. The committee selected Rench’s project out of four finalists in a pool of 145 applications.

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