“Exuberant Birds”, a site-specific artwork created by Lauren Evans and Margaret Lazarri for the Borderline Neighborhood as a part of the Longfellow Sustainable Street Project, has been installed along Longfellow Street at three intersections — Marine, Navy, and Ozone.
Planning for the public art project began in 2012 when residents identified including public art as a priority and $35,000 was set aside from the construction budget.
City staff collaborated with the Borderline Neighborhood Group, and their artwork subcommittee, to identify key elements that would reflect the unique character and scale of the neighborhood and harmonize with the nature of the project.
Artists Lauren Evans and Margaret Lazarri were selected through an open process based on their proposal “Exuberant Birds”.
“They visited the neighborhood several times and created artwork that responds to the various physical elements of the project and reflects the close community and creative character of the neighborhood,” said Cultural Affairs Supervisor Malina Moore.
The artwork consists of a series of three vibrant, hand-painted 16-foot high vertical “bird poles” with grasses at the base which feature cutout corrugated aluminum shapes of various birds grouped together by type.
The “Seabird Pole” features godwits, seagulls, a brown pelican and heron. The “Parrot Pole” features California wild parrots and the “Perching Bird Pole” features a scrub jay, hummingbird, house finch and a goldfinch.
Lauren Evans is a visual artist who works in a variety of techniques including sculpture and digital media and has been a teacher and visual artist in California since 1987.
She earned her MFA with an emphasis in sculpture at the University of Southern California.
She has shown her work nationally and has worked on several public art projects in Los Angeles and San Diego Counties.
Margaret Lazzari earned her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, and since then has exhibited at a number of galleries and museums.
Lazzari, author of two books, “The Practical Handbook for the Emerging Artist and Exploring Art: A Global Thematic Approach,” has received a USC Innovative Teaching Grant, a USC Zumberge Fellowship, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The City of Santa Monica has an extensive collection of public art. To view the collection online, visit http://www.publicartarchive.org/SantaMonica.