On October 13, the Escondido City Council authorized a payment from the City’s public art fund to allow an art project to be constructed in the California Center for the Arts Escondido Museum courtyard.
According to Susan Pollack, a public-art consultant for the Community Services Department, the project will cost $22,000 and serve as a connector between the museum, the center's adjacent arts-education studios, and Grape Day Park. Internationally recognized artist Roman de Salvo, who’s been hired for the job, plans to incorporate water conservation into the work.
The metal roof of the museum collects dew during the night. Pollack said the water collects in the rain gutters and drips down the downspout. De Salvo proposes installing a "Grape Maze," which will put the water to use. Concrete from the downspout area would be removed, the exposed soil cultivated and planted with a grape vine. The water would then nourish the vine as it grows and is trained to a maze. Pollack said the maze will become an attractive mural in relief and will encourage visual and tactile engagement. Private events such as weddings will still have room to be held in the area.
After the unanimous vote, Pollack was asked how much time is needed to complete the project. "Now that we have the money," she said, "we don't want to take more than a year to get it implemented." She added that about $300,000 will remain in the art fund after the project is paid for.