Many communities are using placemaking techniques to enhance their streets and build their communities. Art can enhance the connection that residents and tourists alike might have to a particular place, to communicate community values, foster creativeness, and build strong communities.
While not every community has the capacity for developing large murals, there are other smaller opportunities to support placemaking. This might include planters of colorful flowers, graceful fountains, benches, signage, and more. Indoors this might include displays of art, collections, cultural displays, music, and more. The wide variety of opportunities can provide something appealing to everyone.
Recently there was an unveiling of a large redwood driftwood sculpture at the Great American Smokehouse (15657 U.S. Hwy 101, Brookings). The unfinished sculpture had sat in storage for several years after Manuel Lopez passed away in 2010. Judy May-Lopez (Manuel’s wife) reached out to Mark Gautreaux, owner of Forecastle Books, about if and how this piece might be completed.
Manuel was an accomplished artist that sculpted in wood, stone, and bronze. He took inspiration from his years working as a commercial fisher and from driftwood he found on the beach. He would bring home the raw, weathered wood, and sculpt it based on his vision of the graceful movement of sea creatures.
Gautreaux reached out to local artist Jean-Luc Thornton who agreed to finish the piece. This was a challenging task. He would need to determine how to maintain the original design elements and ‘feel’ without changing the personality of the piece. The second phase was finishing the work so that it would fit in with other pieces by Lopez and preserve the wood.
The sculpture was unveiled in an informal ceremony at the Great American Smokehouse with descriptions of how the piece was crafted, the critical decisions Thornton had to make, and the plans for improving the display and lighting the piece.
This example supports the idea of placemaking helping to create distinctive opportunities to linger, imagine, and enjoy. It creates a place you will remember, a quality of living you seek, and a community you will want to come back to, over and over again.
To Be Honored: Lopez sculpture unveiling Saturday, Curry Coastal Pilot, 10/16/19
Using Art to Create a Sense of Place (https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/spaces-to-places/using-art-to-create-a-sense-of-place)
Related Blogs: Beautification impacts to local communities
The South Coast Development Council focuses on activities that involve business retention/ recruitment, and expansion. Outdoor recreation activities, such as biking, can help diversify and support businesses all along the coast. Let's get out and ride!