Artwork brightens 5 street corners in San Clemente

Five San Clemente street corners have a fresh splash of color, thanks to the city’s 2013 public-art program.

On Sunday, artists selected by a jury from the city and the San Clemente Art Association put finishing touches on traffic-signal controller boxes. The public artworks are in addition to five boxes dressed up a year ago in the city’s inaugural effort to brighten up the otherwise drab utilities.

We asked this year’s artists (by location of the boxes) about what inspired their artwork:

• Camino de los Mares (entrance to San Clemente Villas): “In Flight,” by Regina Hurley. “I watch the birds a lot. And then we went on a whale-watching trip and saw a lot of dolphins and we did see a whale. I began sketching with the birds … then went into the idea of them transitioning from dolphins into birds. They are abstract forms, so it leads to the imagination, as well as the spirit of it.”

• Calle del Cerro (lower intersection with Avenida Vista Montana): “Sunset at Trestles,” by Ashley Keene. “I’ve lived around here my whole life and I go down to walks at the pier and the beach. I just love painting at the beach. It just seemed like the perfect sketch to do … it’s just that peacefulness. It’s Trestles, or the Cotton’s Point area.”

• Avenida Pico (at Calle del Cerro): “Sunset Dinner,” by Mike Ravetti. “The city wanted to have something that is unique about San Clemente. When I thought about the sunset and the pier and bright color and just kind of that relaxed feel, the pelican that I thought would be a great idea with the sunset and the pier in the background.

• Avenida Palizada (at Avenida de la Estrella): “SC Classic View,” by Meghann Nelsen. “The Classic Car Show is one of my favorite events in San Clemente. The pier and the sunset is another classic scene from San Clemente. So I just combined some of my favorite scenes.”

• El Camino Real (at Avenida Mariposa): “Buried in Nature,” by Josh Barnes. “I’ve just grown up in San Clemente. Growing up as a kid, I remember seeing VW bugs with the surfboards on top and I just loved it.”

NEXT YEAR?

It will be up to the City Council to decide whether to fund another round of the street-art program next year. This year’s was budgeted at $5,500.

“I sure hope we do more next year,” Councilwoman Lori Donchak said. “It’s gotten a really great reaction. I cannot see why we would not do another round.”

Donchak was out interviewing the artists Sunday for an episode of “Around Town,” the city’s TV show. It could begin showing in three to four weeks on Cox cable Channel 3 and the city’s website

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