Client: Victoria Gardens, Forest City Realty Trust
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA, United States
Completion date: 2016
Artwork budget: $330,000
Dave Hunt & Associates, LLC
Native, 2016 is a commission to create a signature monument for Rancho Cucamonga, California. The sculpture is a bronze, overturned California Fan Palm – the only native palm tree to Southern California. Paint work by Jason Williams (REVOK)
I selected the Desert Fan Palm as a symbol of the region and the people who inhabit this harsh landscape. This palm is the only native Southern California palm. It is extremely hardy and has been used by people since the area was first inhabited. The native Cahuilla people ate the fruit and used the leaves to make sandals, roofs and baskets. Despite the palm tree’s contemporary image as a symbol of relaxation and ease, the palm survives extreme dry, heat and cold; it is as tough as those people who chose to settle and remain in the region. This varied demographic of resident is best described by Joan Didion who is also from the Inland Empire: “Here is where the hot wind blows and the old ways do not seem relevant. Here is the last stop for all those who come from somewhere else, for all those who drifted away from the cold and the past and the old ways.” The Inland Empire has produced many punk and alternative bands including Frank Zappa. A monument to this community necessarily needed to be at least a little irreverent.
Dave Hunt at DG Hunt and Assoc. was the art consultant on the project. He was the liaison between the artist (me) and Forest City Realty Trust (owner). The proposal was developed through a number of site visits and went through a couple variations with client feedback. IA did all design development, engineering, fabrication, clay modeling and mold making. Molds were sent to Sincerus who made the waxes and cast the bronze parts. IA did the structural steel and all bronze fitting, metal work and chasing. Pre-cast concrete panels used at the base were cast at Precast Solutions. Paint design and application was a collaboration with the artist Jason Williams (REVOK). The rigging and installation of the sculpture was performed by SCW Contracting Corp.