Santa Monica Hosts Pop-Up Art Event on Ocean Ave

The Santa Monica community is invited to a one-day pop-up art event to experience Ocean Avenue and Palisades Park in a new way on Saturday, December 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The temporary art installation component between Broadway and Colorado Avenue will remain on view through early 2022. 

The pop-up event is hosted through the City of Santa Monica's Ocean Avenue Artists in Residence Program, part of the Ocean Avenue Project. The project aims to revitalize and enhance public use of the streetscape. The first phase of the Ocean Avenue Project focused on roadway enhancements including a protected bike lane and expansion of the eastern sidewalk for additional outdoor dining. For the next phase, Here LA, the interdisciplinary design firm selected as the Ocean Avenue Artists in Residence, will lead an arts-based community engagement process to gather feedback about how the street could be improved to better utilize its public spaces, support local businesses, and connect to adjacent corridors.  

On Saturday, December 4, the interactive event will explore ways of improving the street for a more people-centered experience and will feature:  

  • A temporary large-scale art installation mounted atop the park's edge, between Broadway and Colorado Avenue. The installation features transparent wire letters that spell out the phrase, "WE ARE A DROP WE ARE THE OCEAN" (rendering pictured above), providing a moment of reflection as well as photo opportunities. The installation seeks to draw attention to the west side of the street and to create a unique visual that further complements the views. The installation will remain on view through early 2022. 
  • Prototypes of large play furniture in various colors and shapes that invite climbing and interacting. 
  • A colorful activity where participants show their feedback on how they think the street could be improved by throwing a powdered color ball on the ground in front of their favorite option. The activity will create a mural of color on the ground. 

The event and activities were informed by conversations with local stakeholders and over 500 survey responses from the Santa Monica community. Here LA found that what people valued most about the street is its natural setting, the unique location of the street and park atop the bluff, and of course, the view. Competing with this natural beauty however is the street itself, which is a key gateway to nearby destinations. Much of the corridor's physical space is dedicated to roadway and vehicles, which separates people from the park and views. To bridge this divide, Here LA is using urban planning and temporary artistic activations to explore ways of improving the street for a more pedestrian-friendly experience and to enliven the space and engage passersby. 

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