The city of Palmdale unveiled recently a new work of art titled “Facing the Sun” at a ceremony held at City Hall as part of the city’s public arts program.

“What we’re witnessing is a public arts renaissance in Palmdale,” said Palmdale City Manager James Purtee. ”This unveiling begins our vision to create a new Art & Science Center that will be a place where our rich aerospace heritage can be celebrated and promoted through innovative interactive exhibits, the arts and learning opportunities for students and people of all ages.”

Located on the courtyard outside the city’s Development Services building, “Facing the Sun” revolves around themes closely related to Palmdale, linking the natural phenomena of the immediate area, environmental elements and local history. It was created by artists Lauren Evans and Margaret Lazzari, known professionally as Lazzari+Evans,

For “Facing the Sun,” they focused on two key features: Palmdale’s spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and local wildflowers.

The wildflowers depicted on the panels are lupine, Indian paintbrush, coreopsis and desert globe mallow, with a Joshua tree bloom crowning the top as part of the city’s logo.

The center pole depicts several local growing wildflowers on painted aluminum panels that point in four directions like a weather vane. They are intricately shaped with cut out voids, which cast highly-patterned shadows on the other panels and the ground.

A sunrise/sunset diagram on a raised concrete circular platform forms the base of the sculpture. The concrete is etched and stained to show the location of sunrise and sunset in Palmdale on the summer and winter solstices and the spring and fall equinoxes. It also indicates both astronomic and magnetic north.

Visitors are encouraged to take photos at Facing the Sun  for their special events such as weddings, graduations and quinceañeras,  and share them on social media with the hashtag #palmdalepublicart.

The city of Palmdale is currently undertaking a year-long public art master planning process with consultants Gail M. Goldman Associates and Elwood & Associates. The Public Art Master Plan will provide a clear vision for the future of public art in Palmdale for the next decade. The plan will outline goals for the selection and placement of public art, programming opportunities, strategic partnerships and funding opportunities. It will include policy and procedure recommendations as well as direction for ongoing program development and management.

To learn more and to find out how you can support the local arts, visit www.cityofpalmdale.org/Visitors/PublicArt.