Santa Rosa set to pick public art for Old Courthouse Square

9 September 2020

Five artists with vastly different ideas for capturing the essence of Santa Rosa in a sculpture have been named as finalists in the city’s competition to create a prominent piece of public art downtown in Old Courthouse Square.

Santa Rosa’s plan to install public art on the north side of the square at Mendocino Avenue has been percolating for months, after the city received more than 140 submissions in January.

A selection panel comprised of eight people in the arts and downtown communities is on track to choose one of the five finalists by Oct.5, when that recommendation is set to go before the city’s Art in Public Places Committee for approval, said Tara Thompson, the city’s arts and culture manager.

The goal of the project is to create “a prominent artistic symbol that reflects the uniquely Santa Rosa values of innovation and cultural inclusivity,” the city said. “This art installation should inspire people living in, and visiting, our city to reflect on what is special about our community and encourage them to gather downtown to experience it firsthand.”

The project, which will be funded by the city’s Public Art Fund, is budgeted for $280,000. Here’s a look at the five pieces, submitted by artists from the North Bay, Los Angeles, Seattle and Tuscon:

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