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Solana Beach Sun

Solana Beach School District to add art installation at Skyline

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Solana Beach School District is looking for artists to enhance Skyline School’s exterior.
Karen Billing

The Solana Beach School District is looking for local artists to help enhance the exterior of Skyline School on Lomas Santa Fe Drive.

At the May 23 meeting, the board approved issuing a request for qualifications for artists with a deadline of June 28. Areas of possible public art installation could include the exterior alcove at the kindergarten classroom building, columns in front of the administration and theater, the bike lockers at west end of campus driveway, the front picket fencing along Lomas Santa Fe Drive and the Skyline sign monument at the east of end of campus driveway.

In April, the board discussed potential landscaping and signage improvements for Skyline, a result of recommendations from a community group called “Growing into our New School Building.”

Board member Richard Leib said many community members were disappointed with the way the school looked when it was completed last fall and the group of local residents, district staff and representatives from Spurlock Landscape Architects worked to identify enhancements that would soften the look of Skyline including the landscaping and public art opportunity.

At the May meeting, the board approved a $1,608 contract with J.M.D. Landscape, Inc. for planting creeping fig vines on the brick walls and red trumpet vines on the courtyard walls in front.

“This is the centerpiece of the Solana Beach community and I think it’s important that we make this a really attractive site so that people will drive by and look at the school and be proud of it,” Leib said. “We’re already proud of the inside of the school and now we just have to be proud of the outside of the school. I think this is going a long way toward doing that.”

Following the qualification submittal deadline, a Project Arts Committee composed of members from the district, community and City of Solana Beach will select up to three artists per opportunity to create scaled art proposals. The committee will review all proposals and select three semi-finalists by July 12 who will be offered a stipend of $500 to prepare initial concepts. Artist submissions will be reviewed and a final artist will be selected by Aug. 9 to complete the project.

The anticipated budget for the work is $25,000 but final budgets will be determined during final contract negotiation. As Leib noted, the funds will not be taxpayer money rather the district will fundraise to support the art installations as well as the replacement of the existing Skyline signage.

Per the district’s request for qualifications, submissions should include a one-page resume and up to three examples of previous work. Applicants are asked to include in two page or less: their interest in the project, a description of experience with community engagement and a description of experience engaging others in the art community to participate in installations.

Submission documents are due before 4 p.m. on June 28 to carolinebrown@sbsd.net.