About a year ago, a mural by Zio Ziegler was proposed by Tilly's, Vans, and Laguna Beach-based gallery Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow. If you've driven along the 405 through Irvine in the last year, you're sure to have seen it.
I have to admit: at first, I was skeptical. But, then the temporary nature of this art convinced me that it might be a great experiment in the progress we're making as a city.
Tilly's had been, and continues to be, a tremendous partner and corporate citizen in Irvine. So, we gave it a try. Zio Ziegler came out to Irvine and poured his heart and soul into a 15,000 square foot "canvas" for four days. As he was painting, I had the opportunity to spend some time with him while he took a break.
The results of Zio sharing his talents with Irvine (and the tens of thousands of people who drive the 405 every day), were nothing short of astounding. And, in my opinion, that "great experiment," was a huge success.
Matt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times wrote today: "Patrons Vans, Tilly’s and the Artists Republic gallery of Laguna Beach have declined to pursue another extension — content, it seems, to have made their point about what they see as a need for more public art in the area. Artists Republic owner Torrey Cook said she will continue to lobby in Irvine for some sort of 'arts task force.'"
Torrey and her colleagues from Tilly's and Vans have become friends of mine. I've visited with Zio and his girlfriend Velia De Iuliis (also a tremendous artist in her own right) again recently, and had conversations with all of them about bringing more art to Irvine.
I'm looking forward to more conversations about how we can enhance the quality of life in Irvine. It's projects and conversations like these that make serving our community so rewarding.
Click here to read the full text of today's article from Matt Morrison in the Los Angeles Times.