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Third of a five-part series exploring public art sculpture in the city of Santa Clarita.

In 2009 the Santa Clarita City Council demonstrated its commitment to public art when it founded the Santa Clarita Arts Commission.

In a further vote of commitment to the arts the Santa Clarita City Council approved the Arts Master Plan in 2016 which has become the Arts Commission’s guiding document to provide arts, entertainment and cultural development throughout the city.

As part of the plan the following vision statement was issued:

“The city of Santa Clarita will be recognized as a ‘city of the arts,’ where the lives of residents, artists and visitors are enriched through artistic and cultural experiences.”

The plan mandated that public art planning and selection utilize peer review and community input to ensure that public art pieces meet the goals of providing enjoyable and attractive public spaces that reflect the character of the community.

Susan Shapiro, a member of the Arts Commission, said the implementation of an Arts Master Plan was a milestone for the commission.
“The Master Plan made it possible to show the city’s commitment to public art,” she said. “In addition, the Arts Master Plan is an important way to show support for artists in the community.”

Focusing on Sculpture

This five-part series will mostly focus on public art sculptures which reside within the city limits of Santa Clarita. Many of the sculptures are located in city parks.

Public art sculpture in Santa Clarita includes 46 installations, some include more than one sculpture piece, listed on the city of Santa Clarita Public Art Tour, of which five are temporary sculpture installations.

To see the full tour visit https://scpublicart.goodbarber.app/art-pieces/c/4.

Simi Dabah Sculpture Collecton

College of the Canyons has the largest collection of Simi Dabah sculptures in the world. Installed at both the Valencia and Canyon Country campuses, the unique welded-steel sculptures are created from industrial scrap metal by Dabah, a prolific artist who believes that transforming scrap metal into works of art is not just friendly to the environment, but inspirational for the viewer.

College of the Canyons has 44 sculptures on permanent display at the college’s two main campuses. The first sculptures were installed beginning in the summer of 2014, with the official dedication of the Simi Dabah Sculpture Collection occurring at the Performing Arts Center on Nov. 6, 2014.

Dabah attended the Sculpture Collection dedication to be honored for his generous donation, representing the largest collection of permanently installed Dabah sculptures anywhere. He offered some personal insights into his craft and inspiration and witnessed the unveiling of the sculpture the college has named “Phoenix,” located just outside the building’s lobby.

“This particular placement at this college has been one of the most exciting that I can think of,” he said. “I’m privileged to have been asked to do it, and I’m more privileged to see the results of the work that was done so spectacularly.”

COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook personally selected each sculpture and determined where they would be installed as part of a campus-beautification project for the college’s 45th anniversary.

A self-taught artist/welder Dabah has been creating welded-steel sculptures from industrial scrap for more than 50 years.

His sculptures include a wide spectrum of non-representational designs, ranging from table-top size to more than 30 feet high. The pieces are left in their natural state, rusting to a warm patina.

Dabah’s sculptures have been installed at some 250 locations over the past four decades.

Dabah has created just over 2,000 sculptures since 1970. He officially retired from sculpture making in 2018.

The Simi Dabah Sculpture Garden in Joshua Tree is open on most Saturdays for people to view the 8.5 acres of sculptures.

To meet Dabah and watch the dedication ceremony at College of the Canyons of the Simi Dabah Sculpture Collection view this video from SCVTV:
https://scvtv.com/2014/11/08/simi-dabah-sculpture-collection.

This third exploration of public art sculptures in Santa Clarita will start at College of the Canyons, explore sculpture at City Hall and other Valencia locations before ending at the Canyon Country campus of College of the Canyons.

To begin the third public art tour visit:

Simi Dabah Sculpture Collection – Valencia

26455 Rockwell Canyon Road,

Valencia, CA 91355

Artist: Simi Dabah

Date: 2014

Type: Sculpture

Placement: College of the Canyons, Valencia Campus

To view a pdf map of where each sculpture is placed on campus and the name of each sculpture visit https://www.canyons.edu/_resources/documents/administration/pio/2023-Dabah-Sculptures-Brochure-508.pdf

Nexus

26455 Rockwell Canyon Road,

Valencia, CA 91355

Artist: Idelle Okman Tyzbir

Date: 2015

Material: Stainless steel

Location: College of the Canyons campus

This stainless steel sculpture was designed for a metal sculpturing course the artist taught at College of the Canyons. She was asked to create the course with the idea that it would end with a completed sculpture on campus.

The artist designed it, and the students fabricated at her direction. The original design was presented to and chosen by the school’s Chancellor, Dr. Dianne Van Hook. The concept: Reaching the nexus of your dreams through education, hard work, teamwork and by developing communication and networking skills.

Student Fabricators:

Gina Bogna, Glenn Bogna, Don Borsotti, Victor Luster, Matthew Macphee, William R. Mouton Sr. (class assistant), Mark Nowicki, Matt Rhoads, Tyler B. Sikkema, Anita Simich, Mark Simich, Brian Thrasher, and Brandon Wingate.

Archways

24533 Valencia Blvd.,

Valencia, CA 91355

Artists: Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector

Date: 2013

Type: Sculpture

Material: Steel

Placement: McBean Regional Transit Center

Made of steel hoops, Archways, is a large composition of intersecting planes. Archways, is designed to enhance life’s daily rhythms and to enhance and beautify a community hub. It is an artwork giving the viewer a visual ride while going through the day’s activities.

With an open-ended interpretation, as the viewer changes through time, the piece changes through time. The goal of the work is to harmonize the transportation hub with the environment by creating a conceptual intersection.

Going on a Picnic

On the Move

23920 Valencia Blvd.,

Valencia, CA 91355

Artist: Shuko Nielsen

Date: 2000

Material: Metal

Placement: City Hall

These two sculptures, “Going on a Picnic” (three-figure piece) and “On the Move” were created by Tokyo-born artist Shuko Nielsen.
In 2000, Shuko was working as an interpreter in the creative department at Tokyo Disney, where she was exposed to art and design on a daily basis.

In 2002, Shuko came to the United States and in 2009 became a resident of Santa Clarita.

“Life is traveling. So, why not on a bicycle? We can enjoy the sun and air. Let’s have fun.” – Shuko Nielsen.

Bronco Buster (replica)

23920 Valencia Blvd.,

Valencia, CA 91355

Artist: Frederic Remington

Date: Unknown installation date at City Hall

Material: Bronze

Placement: City Hall

Originally created in 1895, the iconic bronze “Bronco Buster” was the first, and remains the most popular, of all of Remington’s sculptures. This is a replica of that sculpture, which portrays a rugged Western frontier cowboy character fighting to stay aboard a rearing, plunging bronco, with a stirrup swinging free, a quirt in one hand and a fistful of mane and reins in the other.

IMAG_NE

23743 W. Valencia Blvd.,

Valencia, CA 91355

Artist: Emma Anna

Date: 2019

Material: Fiberglass

Placement: At the West Valencia Boulevard entrance to the Valencia Library

The “Imag_ne” sculpture resembles large oversized Scrabble tiles assembled side-by-side to spell out the word “Imagine” – except the “I” of the word is missing.

The blank space invites people to stand in place of the missing “I” to help complete the word. The sculpture also encourages those viewing the sculpture to allow a space in their day for imagination, an objective that the Valencia Library aspires to achieve every day with their free and educational community resources and programs.

“The capacity to imagine is an inherently human characteristic, shared by all. Its power inspires us to imagine new possibilities, and different ways of looking at the world and each other,” said Anna, an Australian-born visual artist.

The concept for “Imag_ne” was originally conceived as a major project to support her work towards a Master’s in Public Art, at RMIT University in Melbourne. What began as a university project, became an internationally acclaimed public sculpture that traveled around the world to places such as Florida, Australia and Denmark.

Meet the artist and learn more about public art in Santa Clarita in this video from SCVTV:
https://scvtv.com/2020/01/01/imag_ne/

Climbing Tree Bear

24201 Valencia Blvd.,

Artist: Corey Stein

Date: 2009

Type: Sculpture

Material: Fiberglass

Placement: Westfield Valencia Town Center (The Patios)

One of six “art bears” that grace sites around Santa Clarita. Each life-sized replica is more than 10 feet in length and more than 5 feet tall.

The artist, Corey Stein, has describes her art as “environmental observations and connections.” Most of the concepts for her projects come from things she has seen on the street and in nature. She hopes that her art is both educational and funny.

Growing Wings

23551 Magic Mountain Parkway,

Valencia, CA 91355

Artist: Hilde DeBruyne

Date: 2021

Type: Sculpture

Material: Painted Steel

Placement: South Fork Trailhead

Growing Wings is a contemporary, organic, metal sculpture in a warm Ferrari Red. Two wings are opening up and emerge into a gracious uplifting movement, referring to the metamorphosis of a butterfly.

DeBruyne was born in Belgium to a family of artists. She studied Art History and Archeology at the University of Ghent. Her rather abstract organic work reflects the nature and the authenticity of the cycle of life.

Meet DeBruyne and learn about her sculpture in this video from SCVTV:

https://scvtv.com/2021/10/07/finding-art-growing-wings-at-south-fork-trailhead/

Simi Dabah Sculpture Collection – Canyon Country

17200 Sierra Highway,

Canyon Country, CA 91351

Artist: Simi Dabah

Date: 2014

Material: Welded Steel

Placement: College of the Canyons, Canyon Country Campus

To view a pdf map of where each sculpture is placed on campus and the name of each sculpture visit https://www.canyons.edu/_resources/documents/administration/pio/2023-Dabah-Sculptures-Brochure-508.pdf

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