Public Art

Art in Public Places

Our Art in Public Places (APP) Coalition helps implement countywide policies for public art. Our mission is to advocate for art in public places, both public and private, for the cultural enrichment of San Luis Obispo County.
A few of the projects that ARTS Obispo’s APP Coalition has directly assisted with are the permanent installations in the new County Government Center, Avila Beach, SLO Promenade, Old Town Arroyo Grande, Higuera St. Plaza and Tolosa Housing Development.

Interested in public art?

The Art in Public Places Coalition meets on the 3rd Tuesday of every other month at 2 pm at the ARTS Obispo office.

A Monument to Theodore Roosevelt in San Luis Obispo

The Theodore Roosevelt Monument will mark the transformative 1903 visit of this founding father of environmentalism to the American West. San Luis Obispo is situated at about the halfway point on his 14,000 “Grand Loop” tour, and Mitchell Park in San Luis Obispo is the site where he gave a speech focused uniquely on sustainable agriculture and forestry and on promoting “the permanent interests of the country” through conservation of the land. This speech attracted half the county population at the time. Roosevelt’s journey through the Central Coast and the Sierra Nevada would result in the creation of Los Padres National Forest and Yosemite National Park, yet no monument on the West Coast acknowledges his significance to the protection of our nation’s natural resources. San Luis Obispo, with its strong tradition of environmentalism, is the ideal place for this commemoration. The monument will allow residents and visitors, adults and children to interact with the 26th U.S. President and his ideas.

About the Artist

The artist for this project is Paula Zima, a sculptor with deep roots in San Luis Obispo County, having studied at Cal Poly and Cuesta College and created numerous several public sculptures in San Luis and Los Osos, including Mission Plaza’s iconic “Tuquski’ wa Suwa” (Bear and Child). Now based in New Mexico, Paula has been working on preliminary concepts for the monument for over a year and will further refine the proposal based on the sketch shown here. The life-size bronze sculpture will be cast locally in Paso Robles.

Paula’s Vision Statement for the TR Monument can be found here. Paula describes her artistic process for this project on this web page. Her Facebook page for Paula Zima Studios features current updates and photographs of her sculpture.

ARTS Obispo is providing fiscal sponsorship for the project as a privately funded community art project for the City of San Luis Obispo. The project will be reviewed by a public art jury appointed by the city and other advisory bodies, with ultimate approval by the city council.