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Calling Artists for Guard HQ

Artists from ocean environments are invited to compete for a $100,000 public art commission for installation next year in one of the town’s most visible locations, Main Beach’s lifeguard headquarters.

The project includes a sculpture and a mural involving an ocean theme and the role of lifeguards. It is budgeted at $103,000 with $40,000 for the mural, $60,000 for the sculpture and $3,000 for miscellaneous expenses, said city arts manager Sîan Poeschl. Submissions are due March 4.

About one-third of the funds come from the city’s own art in public places fund, while another $60,000 accumulated from art in lieu fees, paid by developers who sidestepped public art requirements for their projects by contributing to the fund.

Located at 175 N. Coast Hwy, the site is at the west end of Main Beach, where sea and cliffs meet. So as not to obstruct views of the sand or water by the building’s vigilant occupants, the sculpture must not be taller than three feet and no longer than 25 feet.

The mural will occupy the entire wall of the building and may involve the staircase extending beyond the building.

Artists must guarantee their work for at least five years, and all work has to be original, meaning done by the artist or an artist team.

Artists should submit evidence of their previous public art works, and teams are required to prove that they have worked together on public art projects before.

The Arts Commission will review artists qualifications including resumés, images of work, references and related materials to recommend three finalists for each project. Selected finalists will receive $400 toward meeting expenses related to presentation of their final project proposals.

Final recommendations need City Council approval.

Due to the project’s high-profile location, selected artists will also meet on site with a special projects manager, a marine safety chief and the project’s landscape architect and be given specific plans of the site, said Poeschl.

A final presentation is expected to the Arts Commission on April 8 and to the City Council on May 7.

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