The use of artwork with buildings and in public places is hardly new; cities of the Classic Greco-Roman era were awash in paintings and sculptures, ornamental to monumental.
This has been the case in many eras since--sometimes more, sometimes less. In the last decade or so, their use has been revived from an earlier decline, to the point that they have been mandated by law in some instances.
IDM Corp. of Long Beach, though, feels it is one of the first companies in this area, if not the first, to include a monumental sculpture in the central plaza of a major building voluntarily, without any compulsion or even nudging from outside authority.
Furthermore, both the company and the Long Beach Public Corporation for the Arts are sure that it is the first collaboration of the arts and downtown development in Long Beach.
The 100 Broadway Office Building will be a $35-million, 200,000-square-foot structure consisting of two six-story towers. It will rise at the intersection of Broadway and Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach on the site of the former Buffums department store, that chain's original location.
In cooperation with the arts corporation, a competition is being held to select the artist who will produce the monumental artwork. Five finalists have been selected; they are now preparing detailed scale models for presentation Nov. 15 and the final winner will be announced shortly after that.
"IDM felt that the magnitude and quality of this development warranted a significant piece of sculpture," Lindsay Shields, executive director of the arts corporation, said "and we were only too happy to help them find it."
Vicki Stowe, IDM's vice president of marketing, elaborated: "The courtyard plaza is really a pedestrian plaza designed specifically for foot travel to and from the building. The sculpture will be a central part of that area."
More than 70 entries were submitted by 64 different entrants. The five finalists, each of whom has a distinguished list of exhibitions to his credit, are:
George Baker of Altadena, educated at Occidental College and USC and now an associate professor at Occidental.
Tony Delap of Corona del Mar, educated at Menlo Junior College, Menlo Park, and Clairmont Graduate School, Clairmont, presently professor of art at UC Irvine.
Guy Dill, who lives and works in Venice, Calif., educated at Chouinard Institute of Art.
Lloyd Hamrol, a native of San Francisco educated at UCLA.
Patrick Mohr of Long Beach, educated at California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, and Maryland Institute College of Art, Rinehart School of Sculpture, Baltimore.
Clearance of the building site has been completed and preparation is under way. The architect is Leason Pomeroy Associates and the landscape architect is the Runa Group Inc. Completion of the building is scheduled for summer, 1986.
"This is the first corporately funded major sculpture to be commissioned by a developer in Long Beach," Shields said. "We want similar partnerships of business and the arts to flourish in our city."