Berkeley residents are being asked to weigh in on two major public art projects — a sculpture and mural — slated for installation in Aquatic Park. You can share what you think of the proposals through Aug. 4.

The projects are expected to be completed in about a year and a half. Most of the projects’ $520,000 cost is coming from the city’s public art fund, which is receiving $1.5 million in required art fees from the new research and development center being built near the park on Bolivar Drive.

Berkeley’s Civic Arts Commission, which is leading the selection process, wants the selected artwork to beautify Aquatic Park and honor its “multi-layered history” and “ecological importance.”

A selection panel consisting of two arts professionals, a community representative, and members of the Civic Arts and Parks, Recreation and Waterfront commissions have already narrowed down the pool to four sculpture proposals and three wall-based artwork proposals. Survey responses will be considered, but will not be the final determining factor for the decision. 

The budget for the sculpture, including artist fee, design, fabrication, transportation and installation, is $450,000, coming entirely from the public art fund.

A curved, 3.5-by-42.5-foot mural will be located at the park’s northern entrance. The wall project, which will sit along the San Francisco Bay Trail, is receiving half of its $70,000 funding from the Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department.

Take a look at the proposals below. Renderings are courtesy of the city of Berkeley.

Sculpture proposals

Rendering of wavy metal sculpture perched on poles. Title: A Song of Wind and Sea
Rendering of wavy metal sculpture connecting two points alongside the lake. Title: This was the Shore
Rendering of metal pinwheel sculpture. Title: A new sun rises
Renndering of a box-shaped sculpture covered in text. Title: By the Table of the Land First Touched.

Pageant of Land and Sea, a four-part series of abstract stainless steel sculptures by Forma Studios (Sixto Cordero and Karen Kitayama) inspired by the park’s history. 

Rendering of a covered little mini-theater by the lake with the screen replaced by open space through which you can see the water, similar to in a James Turrell skyspace
Rendering of a smaller cinema-like scultpture
Rendering of a close-up view out the cinema-like structure's screen, with a person standing

Walter Kitundu’s Depth of Field, a series of two to three cinema-like structures meant to encourage people to look out at the water as if it were a piece of artwork. 

Rendering of a slim curved metal device to suggest a reflected apparition or mirage of a ship mysteriously oriented at the edge of the lagoon
Backside of sculpture showing it's a 2-d cutout
Night view in which sculpture glows

John Roloff’s Reflection Ship, a glowing, minimalist steel structure meant to “suggest a reflected apparition or mirage of a ship.” 

Painted, cast-aluminum sculpture shaped like a shard of an Abalone shell with words "...Running Breathlessly..." on it
View of concave side of shell where words aren't visible
Close-up of "Running Breathlessly" text

Jean Shin’s Shell Songs, which consists of three giant abalone shells made of painted recycled aluminum with excerpts from historical protest songs inscribed on them. 

Mural proposals

Rendering of people looking at impressionistic floral mural
Close-up of muralized bench with words "The Flowers Will Keep Blooming"

Liz Hernández’s Eyes in Bloom, a vibrant mosaic that celebrates California wildflowers with the phrase “the flowers will keep blooming” superimposed in all-caps.

Rendering of digitally drawn birds on low-slung mural, the lagoon in the background
Close-up view of the mural. The birds are made of circles of different colors and sizes and stock lines are in the background

Phillip Hua’s Uncharted Territory, a tiled mural that places the birds that frequent Aquatic Park over a background of stock market charts meant to imitate a landscape.

A blue patterned mural of many cats, birds and other animals against a black backdrop, set in the park with the pedestrian bridge to the marina visible behind
A close-up of the mural

Masako Miki’s Contemplating the Universe, an aquamarine and indigo tile mural that celebrates diversity by merging elements of Japanese and Ohlone folklore.

Iris Kwok covers the environment for Berkeleyside through a partnership with Report for America. A former music journalist, her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, San Francisco Examiner...