2012-08-30 / Front Page
Arts plaza parking garage a blank canvas?
And for Selvin, an ardent supporter of arts in the Conejo Valley for the past three decades, that experience should begin as soon as theatergoers step out of their cars in the plaza’s parking garage.
This month Selvin and his fellow commissioners began a search for artists to design and create murals for eight walls within the garage.
“Our parking structure is pretty blah,” Selvin said. “It has grey, concrete walls right now. Anything would enhance them.”
Seven years ago Selvin commissioned world-renowned artist Hakob Jambazian to paint one of the structure’s stairwells. It was then and remains today the only artwork inside the parking garage.
“It was sort of a pilot project,” Selvin said of Jambazian’s music themed mural, for which he paid $50,000 of his own money. “It shows musicians, conductors . . . it’s really beautiful.”
Depending on the size and location of their murals, artists will receive funds ranging from $1,250 to $6,250 to cover design, material and labor costs.
The cost of hiring the painters will be shouldered by the Alliance for the Arts, the fundraising arm of the Civic Arts Plaza.
“They’ve raised mega-millions (in the past),” Selvin said of the Alliance. “Times are a little tough, but I think we’ll be fine.
“It’s a win-win-win for everybody,” he continued. “The artists get paid, the structure gets beautified and our guests will have something gorgeous to look at—at no cost to the city.”
The leader of a 17-piece swing band, Selvin said it’s important to support local artists.
“It’s hard to make a living in the arts,” he said. “Gauguin, Michelangelo . . . any artist that’s gone down in history has always had patrons. . . . This is an incredible way to recognize visual artists, have them put their names on the wall and have other people enjoy their work.”
Gary Mintz, the technical facilities manager for the city’s cultural affairs department, said the murals will give the parking structure much-needed color.
“I think that the general perception of our parking structure is that it is relatively drab and uninteresting,” Mintz said.
“Allowing artists to create original works of art will help welcome city hall and theater visitors.”
The cultural affairs commission will announce its artist selections on Jan. 16.
Interested artists can submit materials by mail or by hand to the Cultural Affairs Department, Attn: Gary Mintz, City of Thousand Oaks, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362.
All submissions must be received by 4 p.m. Mon., Oct. 15. Submission materials will not be returned.
For full guidelines and information, call Mintz at (805) 449-2706 or email email@example.com.