Art in a park!

“Wishing Tree Park”

Torrance/West Carson, Los Angeles County, CA

In Spring of 2023, Kim and Dennis completed a large public art mosaic for the newly constructed 8.5 acre park located in unincorporated Torrance/West Carson, in Los Angeles County, California, called Wishing Tree Park.”

If there was ever a “higher calling” for Kim’s work as a public art artist it would be to help bring some healing and resolve to a wounded community! For the duration of the project, our client was the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (LANLT), a nonprofit with the mission to build new parks in the urban areas of Los Angeles County where there is a desperate need for open green spaces. Several decades ago, this particular site was a toxic chemical dump, then homes were built over, and then sickness came to the residents who later lived in those homes. The Del Amo Action Committee (DAAC) was founded, a class-action lawsuit ensued, the land sat vacant for many years waiting for serious cleanup, and now it is a beautiful 8.5 acre park. Currently, the park is owned and managed by the Los Angeles County, Department of Parks and Recreation.

Our mosaic designs were created with high-fired ceramic tile made by the Quarry Tile Company, located in Spokane, WA. For the artwork, the community requested a tree, wishes written in positive words, 184 community members’ names written on tiles, a donor recognition, and colorful flora and fauna of the surrounding nature, or what was there in nature before the land was developed. The community wanted beauty, hope, and something positive for all generations to dream upon after so much loss.

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Here below are images of the completed mosaic artwork for the memorial plaza area which is situated close to the center of the park. Here, the mosaic artwork is 125 linear feet long by 18″ high, and recessed into the concrete structure of the seatwalls, which are also designed to be a planter for trees and greenery. The total dimensions of the seatwall structure is 60′ long by 40′ wide. In addition to the inside seatwall mosaic artwork, the outsides of the seatwall structure has 24 positive words or inspirational “wishes” in mosaic recessed into the concrete.

Below here is the donor recognition mosaic artwork located in front of the community center at “Wishing Tree Park“. The donor recognition mosaic is recessed into the cement paving or sidewalk. Special hand-etched tiles of the names of the park donors are featured in this work. All of the names of donors, non-profit organizations and their logos, and the essential California initiative descriptions that support public parks were etched by Tara Tarant of La Jolla Stone Etching, who is located in the San Diego area, and later incorporated into the overall mosaic design.