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California Allocates $2.4 Million for Climate Change-Themed Public Art Program

Tomás Saraceno Biosphere 3, 2015, Collage (c) Tomás Saraceno, 2015. This image is a previous work by the artist relating to climate change. Artworks for the CARB projects will be unveiled in early 2020.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Dyson & Womack have commissioned six artists for the permanent public art collection at the new CARB Southern California Headquarters located in Riverside, California. The commissioned artists are Allora & CalzadillaRefik AnadolKameelah Janan RasheedNoé MontesAndrea Polli and Tomás Saraceno. The public art program will include the world’s largest permanent collection of artworks addressing air quality and the effects of climate change. The state-of-the-art, zero emissions building is slated to open in late 2021 and common areas with public art will be open to the public.

CARB is charged with protecting the public from the harmful effects of air pollution and developing programs and actions to fight climate change. In 2021 CARB will relocate to a 400,000-square-foot facility on a 19-acre campus in Riverside, CA. It will be the largest true zero net energy facility of its type and has the highest sustainability goals including Zero Net Energy, CALGreen Tier 2, and Zero Carbon.

On the decision to invest in the commissioned artists, CARB Chair Mary Nichols states: “Members of the public who enter CARB’s new Southern California headquarters, and even passers by, will have an opportunity to experience a selection of world-class art by artists whose work embraces environmental and equity themes. Riverside is already home to a thriving art community. We are proud that, thanks to the state’s visionary 1 percent set-aside for new construction, we are able to enhance the region’s growing reputation as a center of excellence in the arts.”

With a public art allowance of $2,421,200 the program exemplifies the dynamic capacity of public art. The project’s impact will reach beyond the Riverside campus offering continued engagement for the local community, CARB’s global audience and the public at large. The new facility will host a public art program comprised of six permanent artworks and a program of arts engagement supporting local partnerships and educational programs.

The chosen artists were selected from a pool of 600 applicants after an intensive application process focused on sustainability and equity. Resulting artist projects will adhere to the same level of environmental integrity as the CARB building which will be LEED (Leadership in Engineering and Design) platinum certified.     

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