By Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste
Various forms and mediums of art expression exist throughout Santa Clarita. Some pieces give us a beautiful glimpse into our city’s rich history, while others inspire us with the use of colors, textures and interactive elements. A quick walk, bike ride or drive in our community will showcase the many public art pieces we have on display. Our very own City Hall has the First Floor Gallery, which houses multiple thrilling art exhibits every year for residents and visitors to peruse. Whichever forms of art intrigue you — you are sure to find it here in Santa Clarita.
Art opportunities are endless for both viewers and participants of all backgrounds and skill levels in our community. If you are interested in exhibiting your artwork for the public to enjoy, the best place to start is SantaClaritaArts.com/CallsForEntries. Currently, the city is seeking artist submissions for a tasty new gallery titled “Creative Comforts.” What is your favorite comfort food? That is the question inspiring the paintings, photography, prints, textiles and more that will be selected for this mouth-watering exhibit. Create a piece depicting your comfort food of choice for a chance to be displayed as a part of “Creative Comforts” in the First Floor Gallery of City Hall, along with an online virtual exhibit. Time is ticking to apply, so work up an appetite and submit your entry by Feb. 21! This is a wonderful opportunity to be a part of an exhibit with a theme that brings all of us fulfillment and joy.
Along with “Creative Comforts,” you can always monitor the Santa Clarita Arts website to stay abreast of upcoming gallery, music, performance opportunities and more to share your artistic talents.
As much as I love the art exhibits within our community, I must also express my fondness for public art pieces in Santa Clarita. From our sculpted art bears to our skate park’s mural, the IMAG_NE installation at the Valencia Library, sidewalk poetry and more, each piece adds to the beauty and textures of our city. In fact, if you have not done so already, I encourage you to view the poems of the most recent sidewalk poetry winners stamped into a rehabilitated sidewalk along Via Princessa. The 10 selected poets produced outstanding work focused on nature and inspirational features drawn from the Santa Clarita landscape. Another public art piece that I am greatly looking forward to is the reveal of our city’s “Communitree,” which will be displayed at the new Canyon Country Community Center. This exciting art addition was designed to be an iconic gateway for the new community center. The “Communitree” will be a colorful constructed oak tree that will symbolize our community’s strength.
Art is not exclusive to one medium, nor is there a “one size fits all” regarding style and theme. Luckily, in Santa Clarita, we have a diverse assortment of art that draws the attention of residents of all different backgrounds and interests. Our art opportunities also draw the interest of artists from all around the world. There are lots of opportunities for everyone and I am proud of all of our local artistic talents. Take time to explore the vast public art pieces, unique installations, virtual and in-person art exhibits and more that we have available to you in the city. As previously mentioned, artists of all skill levels and focuses are encouraged to take advantage of our extensive art opportunities and resources as well. The city is regularly seeking new artists and artwork to add to our community’s history and to showcase a wide range of artistic talents. I look forward to the day when we have our arts center open and all of our creative energy can be shared and taught there.
Stay healthy and be happy!
Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].