At a Regular West Hollywood City Council Meeting on Monday, February 5, the City Council will consider approving Agenda Item 2.M., an agreement with Janet Zweig for a temporary public art exhibition titled “A Poetry Generator for WeHo” for installation on the traffic median at Santa Monica Blvd and Doheny Drive. The exhibition will run from January 2025 to January 2027.
According to the City Staff report, in September 2022, Art on the Outside Subcommittee (AOTO) of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC) discussed exhibition opportunities for the Santa Monica Boulevard at Doheny art site and directed staff to release a request for qualifications for artists and curators to provide a public art exhibition.
The RFQ was approved by ACAC in November 2022. On December 7, 2022, a request for qualifications was announced for professional artists, independent curators, and curators representing non-profit arts organizations to curate and install an engaging temporary public art exhibition for the City’s primary outdoor exhibition space at the Santa Monica Boulevard at Doheny Drive median. The objectives of the public art exhibition at this location are to provide visual enjoyment, innovation/risk in concept and technical approach, and prospective social interaction.
The city received 50 submittals for the open call to artists and curators. On February 23,
2023, ACAC selected three finalists to generate a proposal for consideration. Each of the
three finalists received an honorarium of $5,000 to develop and present a proposal for
the public art exhibition. The three finalists were: Janet Zweig, Matthew Mazzotta, and
Dyson + Womack with artist April Banks.
On July 27, 2023, the AOTO Subcommittee reviewed the project proposals and
interviewed the three artist finalists. Each proposal was evaluated with the Art on the
Outside Review and Evaluation Criteria. Criteria categories included Artistic
Qualifications and Experience; Aesthetics; Diversity; Proposed Budget; Public Safety,
Materials, Maintenance, and Structural Integrity.
On July 27, 2023, the Arts and Cultural Affairs Committee approved the subcommittee’s recommendation of Janet Zweig’s public art exhibition proposal titled A Poetry Generator for WeHo (Attachment A). The total budget for the public art exhibition is $200,000 including all artist fees, administrative costs for the project, fabrication, installation, and deinstallation of the artwork at the location. The exhibition will be installed in January 2025, as part of the city’s 40th anniversary of Cityhood celebrations. The exhibition is expected to conclude in January 2027.
The Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission in the City of West Hollywood is set to unveil a new public art exhibition titled “A Poetry Generator for WeHo” as part of the city’s upcoming 40th-anniversary celebrations.
The commission, dedicated to providing accessible arts and cultural programming for all residents, approved the exhibition’s proposal by artist Janet Zweig. The project, expected to be installed in January 2025 and conclude in January 2027, will feature five painted aluminum signs with a unique interactive element: a mechanical crank allowing pedestrians to participate by advancing the displayed words.
Zweig’s proposal, selected from a pool of 50 submittals, aims to create a poetic experience for passersby on Santa Monica Boulevard at Doheny Drive. The exhibition, with a total budget of $200,000 covering all associated costs, including fabrication and installation, will incorporate up to 50 words on each sign, totaling 250 words, to generate a poetic text readable by both pedestrians and drivers.
Collaborating with the City Poet Laureate, Zweig will curate the word selection, ensuring an engaging and diverse experience for viewers. The final placement of the signs, designed to be visible to drivers while closer to the median’s pedestrian path, will be determined in consultation with the Engineering and Building and Safety Divisions.
The project underscores West Hollywood’s commitment to promoting arts and cultural activities while enhancing public spaces for community engagement. “A Poetry Generator for WeHo” promises to offer visual enjoyment, innovation, and prospective social interaction, enriching the city’s vibrant cultural landscape.