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Ventura County Focus | East County / THOUSAND OAKS

City Council to Mold Fate of Sculpture

April 21, 1998|KATE FOLMAR

It's green. It glows. And it could be coming to an old city hall near you.

The Thousand Oaks City Council will decide tonight whether to accept the donation of an incandescent, 30-foot tower of recycled computer parts called "Component" for display in front of the former city hall at 401 W. Hillcrest Drive.

"The sculpture is a powerful metaphor for safe and efficient use of natural energy derived from the sun to create a self-sufficient beacon," wrote city arts commissioners in support of the piece.

Although Encino artist Steven Simon originally hoped his avant-garde sculpture would beckon commuters from the top of the Civic Arts Plaza, city officials did not warm to the idea and arts commissioners did not consider it.

Instead, it was proposed that the sculpture--which Simon has volunteered to donate and install--could stand tall at either the old city hall, the teen center off Janss Road or the east side of the Civic Arts Plaza, where a children's museum and retail complex are envisioned.

Simon selected the so-called "eyebrows on the hill," the old city hall complex, which is being renovated for the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area headquarters. That prominent site halfway up a hill would allow the solar-powered sculpture to be viewed from afar, as Simon intended.

At the council meeting, members will decide whether to take the sculpture permanently at the old city hall, accept it as a loan or decline the donation outright.

Although she loves the sculpture itself and wants to take her children to see it, Councilwoman Linda Parks said she was troubled by its proposed placement.

"I think our hills are kind of sacred," she said.

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