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Travel Costa Mesa Blog

Costa Mesa Public Art

Posted on October 23, 2012 | 2:27pm | Travel Costa Mesa

With the arrival of fall and cooler temperatures in Orange County, now is an ideal time to take an art walk through the City of the Arts – Costa Mesa.  The public visual arts that adorn the Segerstrom City of the Arts and Town Center Park offer a wide variety of shapes and sizes from the flowing yellow steel of the Ram to the 60-foot-high structure, Fire Bird, that is integrated into the interior and exterior of  Segerstrom Hall.

Fire Bird

Segerstrom Center isn’t the only place with public art.  Located across Anton Boulevard, behind Mastro’s Steakhouse, is the 1.6 acre California Scenario, or Noguchi Garden, where visitors can stroll around the representations of California’s various geographical regions.

All of the public visual arts are located within easy walking distance, about two blocks, of each other.  Each piece is distinct, but together they create a free, public arts collective for everyone to enjoy.

The Ram, by Charles O. Perry was commissioned by Henry T. Segerstrom in 1979.  Although the name and shape would suggest that the piece was inspired by animal horns, the abstract lines allow for the viewer’s own interpretation.

The Ram

Loosely translated as “Tower of Legs” or “Encirclement of Limbs,” Jean Dubuffet’s Tour Aux Jambes is a cast epoxy structure that resembles a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle.

In stark contrast with the gentle green slope it rests on, Night Shift is a 30-ton granite and steel fusion with sharp edges and irregular lines.  The large piece, created by Jim Huntington, provides viewers with a visualization of the relationship between the natural and man-made world.

Night Shift

Air currents move the perfectly balanced Four Lines Oblique Gyratory – Square IV.  The piece constantly changes forms, as it is shaped by even the slightest breeze, but sturdy enough to withstand the strongest gusts.

Spanish surrealist Joan Miró drew inspiration from his dreams and intuition.  With his vivid imagination, Miró created the cast bronze sculpture Oiseau.  Located in the lobby of the Center Tower, the abstract piece is brooding, yet upbeat.

A gift to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Reclining Figure closely resembles the female human form.  British sculptor Henry Moore, who has other works in notable museums like the Guggenheim, created this piece.

Reclining Figure

Fermi is artist Tony Smith’s homage to Enrico Fermi, the Nobel Prize winning Italian physicist who investigated quantum theory and atomic structures.  This elegant sculpture was created from marble.

The 65-foot-high, 360-ton twisted steel structure, known as Connector, surges into the sky in the plaza at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.  Connector is highly visible and as the names implies, serves to unify the arts campus.

One of Japan’s leading artists, Aiko Miyawki, created a series of 12 ten-foot columns, connected by steel threads, known as Utsurohi 91.  Each one of the columns contains an image of one of the twelve animals represented on the Chinese zodiac.

Utsurohi 91

Named by Renée Segerstrom in homage to Igor Stravinsky’s ballet of the same name, Fire Bird is an impressive sculpture that seems to be soaring through Segerstrom Hall. The structure was a gift to the entire Segerstrom family and is one of the most iconic images in Costa Mesa.

Commissioned by Henry Segerstrom in 1979 and completed in 1982 California Scenario, also known as Noguchi Garden, is one of the country’s preeminent sculpture gardens.  The garden is a peaceful, quiet oasis in the bustling South Coast Metro area of Costa Mesa.

Noguchi Garden

The public sculptures in Costa Mesa present a fun, thought-provoking activity, while enjoying great autumn weather in Southern California.  If the walk awakens your appetite, South Coast Plaza, located across Bristol Street, is home to dozens of great dining options.  South Coast Plaza is accessible by the Unity Bridge, a pedestrian only walkway, that connects the shopping center with Town Center Park.