"And Then..." sculpture downtown
“And Then…” by Ingram Ober, Marisol Rendón-Ober and Chuck Moffit is in the city’s collection.
Photo by Philipp Scholz Ritterman via the city’s website

As part of the San Diego’s efforts to provide economic relief during the pandemic, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced $1 million in funding to expand the Civic Art Collection and commission temporary public art in neighborhood parks.

This funding, announced late last week, is available through private donations and the fees developers pay into the city’s Public Art Fund.

“As we continue to slowly reopen our economy, we’re looking for ways to help folks get through this difficult period and begin to recover,” Faulconer said. “That’s why we’re launching two new initiatives that will provide work for many struggling artists and create beautiful, thought-provoking public art for everyone to enjoy.”

The first arts initiative, SD Practice, will support artists through the direct purchase of existing artwork, providing income to working artists. This effort is made possible through a $500,000 gift from the late Thomas O. Rasmussen, an avid contemporary art collector.

Artwork purchased through the SD Practice initiative will diversify the city’s collection with paintings, sculptures and mixed-media works. Artists can apply online at sandiego.gov/SDPractice.

With the second initiative, Park Social, the city will commission local artists to develop site-specific temporary projects that create moments of reflection in park settings.

The $500,000 initiative is made possible thanks to a family bequest and developer fees paid to the Public Art Fund. It is anticipated that Park Social will launch this summer.

“This is an investment in San Diego artists at work to bolster the artistic infrastructure of our city and a key ingredient for the wellbeing, prosperity and joy of everyone in the city,” said Jonathon Glus, executive director of the Commission for Arts and Culture.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.