It’s iron, it’s art, it’s for the public

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SAN BERNARDINO – Public art continues to pop up throughout the city as local artists – backed by philanthropists and city leaders – seek to enhance the landscape with their works.

The latest is an installation of ironwork art in Chancellor’s Park at the corner of Kendall Drive and Campus Parkway. Dozens of residents, artists and community leaders came together Wednesday morning to dedicate the park and the public art, which was produced by students and faculty from Cal State San Bernardino’s Art Department.

Fifth Ward Councilman Chas Kelley said the installation – which features artwork resembling area wildlife – is a way to “lay out the welcome mat” to new residents. The project includes ceramic tile murals on pylons along Campus Parkway.

Developer James Watson and his wife, Judy Rodriquez Watson, longtime supporters of the arts in this city, backed the project financially. Watson, in joining a chorus of support for Cal State and its art department, said the school is the city’s jewel. “We need to recognize that and support it,” he said. Art along an entryway into the school is a great way to do that, officials said. The art in the park is titled “Fauna Inlandia” and includes a large deer, red-tailed hawks and a young black bear. Anna Delgado, a 22-year-old studio art major at Cal State, worked with professor Alison Petty Ragguette and other students on a pylon mural titled “Desert Life Water”. Delgado, who is graduating this year, believes the partnership between artists and the city could bode well for the arts here.

“I think it was cool that the artists and the city were there, and it seems that everybody was on the same page,” she said. Kelley said it’s good to see folks using the walkable park. “It gives me a lot of joy and pride,” he said.

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