Solana Beach buys popular 'Yoga Tree' sculpture

By Kristina Houck

A treasured temporary art piece will now become a permanent fixture in Solana Beach.

In a 4-0 vote with Deputy Mayor Thomas Campbell absent, the Solana Beach City Council on Nov. 13 purchased the “Yoga Tree” sculpture that has been on display at the corner of Highland Drive and Sun Valley Road since February 2013.

The 12-foot piece was installed as part of the city’s Temporary Public Art Program, which is funded through a public art fee attached to qualifying development projects.

Created by artist Brennan Hubbell and inspired by a Yoga posture known as “Tree Pose,” the sculpture depicts a person standing on one foot and stretching toward the sky.

Council members and staff noted the city has received requests from the public to permanently display the statue. In May, the Public Arts Advisory Commission, which oversees the community’s art programs, recommended the city purchase the piece.

Priced at $8,000, Yoga Tree will be purchased with funds from the city’s reserve public art account. As of June 2013, there is nearly $140,000 in the account, and $111,820 is available to acquire public arts, among other projects.

Yoga Tree will remain at its current site for at least three years, with the option to relocate the piece in 2017.

Mayor Mike Nichols and Councilman David Zito, both PAAC standing committee members, reiterated that the funds used to purchase the piece did not come from the general fund but money intended to purchase art.

“It’s a very good price,” Zito said. “It’s a very well loved piece.”

Launched in 2008, the Temporary Public Art Program allows artists to donate their work for at least six months and up to two years to be on display in a public right-of-way in the city. Through the program, the city saves money while artists gain exposure. Installation costs about $500 for each piece, which comes from the city’s public art fund. The artists agree to pay for any needed upkeep or maintenance.

   
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