Art has the power to transform our perception, attitude and behavior, but what good is it if it’s not accessible to most people?
Bringing art into the public realm helps break down barriers and transforms public spaces into thriving, family-friendly gathering spots that help foster the exchange of ideas and build community.
That’s what inspired Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. and the City of Santa Monica to work together to bring you ROAM Santa Monica, a rotating public art program in Downtown featuring some of the most exciting and ground-breaking contemporary artists known for creating enthralling installations across the U.S.
ROAM will feature public art in the newly created Triangle Square, the 9,000-square-foot grassy triangle on the Colorado Esplanade and Third Street (adjacent to the Sears building and Santa Monica Place), as well as various locations along the Third Street Promenade, including the corner of Third Street and Wilshire Boulevard.
The art program begins late August and will run for at least one year, with new art installations filtering through every three to four months.
The goal is to activate public spaces, foster a greater appreciation of the arts, and encourage people to explore Downtown Santa Monica on foot.
The project is funded by DTSM, Inc. and the City of Santa Monica for a total cost of $225,000, with $150,000 coming from DTSM. A panel comprised of representatives from DTSM's Board of Directors and the city’s Arts Commission, along with expertise from art consultant LeBasse Projects, have selected the artists.
Kicking off ROAM is HOTTEA, aka Emmy-Award winner Eric Rieger.
HOTTEA, a.k.a. Eric Rieger, began his work with typography on fences turning an ordinary everyday object into something designers and artists use every day — the grid. The foundation behind the work is to use the existing infrastructure and create an artwork or idea that is in harmony within the given space. In addition to adapting to the physical qualities of a space or surface, Rieger pays close attention to the movement and life in and around the space.
Rieger is an Emmy Award winner with clients big and small, from private home installations to entities like Google, the Sydney Opera House and Sesame Street. Rieger earned a degree in graphic design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Rieger primarily works with yarn, aerosol-spray and stencils.
Above: Promiscuous, an installation at the Long Beach Museum of Art.
Above: Migration, an installation along a pedestrian bridge over Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica.