PALMDALE – The City of Palmdale on Wednesday unveiled a new piece of public art at the entrance of the Palmdale Transportation Center, located at 39000 Clock Tower Plaza Drive.
The work, titled “Back Home” by native Argentinian artist Sol Mesz, features two Joshua trees that stand 7.5 feet high and 5 feet high. Mesz created the piece from recycled and repurposed materials that were donated by Vision Engineering, U.S. Pole, Strategic Materials and the Allan Company—all Palmdale businesses.
She said she created the art in two and a half months, after around nine months of planning.
“The city left it up to me to decide what it was going to be and I chose nature-related pieces,” Mesz said. “I wanted it to blend in with the landscape that’s already here, that’s why I chose Joshua trees.”
The City, as part of its public arts program, contracted with Mesz to create art for display at the Palmdale Transportation Center and at the City’s Community Garden at Neighborhood House #1, located at 515 East Avenue Q-3. It’s part of an effort to promote recycling through the arts.
“Cities all across the nation are recognizing the many benefits of public art and are aggressively exploring new ways to integrate it into new development,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “The arts are a highly cost-effective way of driving economic revitalization in urban areas. And where we’re standing is going to be the future of Palmdale and the Antelope Valley, as we pursue more Transit Orientated Development around the Transportation Center and the intermodal hub it is destined to become.”
Ledford also expressed thanks to City Manager Dave Childs, the City’s Art Committee and Maintenance team of Tony Colombo, John Karavidas, Steve Montenegro, Joel Kefuss, and Mark Etherton for “going above and beyond” in participation in the project.
Plaques were also presented to representatives from Vision Engineering, U.S. Pole, Strategic Materials and the Allan Company.
“I’m excited about this art,” said Palmdale City Councilmember Fred Thompson. “We have signs that say ‘Welcome to Palmdale,’ but art says it all because it defines us in a different way. It says that we have an appreciation for creativity, we have an appreciation for environmental concerns… so we have another definition of who we are, where we’re going and what we’re about.”
For more information about the City’s public arts program, call 661-267-5115.
About the Artist
Sol Mesz has received extensive training in the arts in areas such as glass working techniques, ceramic glaze theory, and silversmithing, along with courses of study in public art and gallery technology & management.
She was trained by renowned Argentine glass and vitraux artist Carlos Herzberg in different glass working techniques, including pâte de verre, vitraux, slumped and fused glass. Incorporating techniques from other disciplines, such as pottery, metal and silversmithing, she specializes in turning transparent sheets of glass into unique pieces of decorative and functional art, contemporary in style, which are also environmentally friendly.
Perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of most of her work is that she practices the ancient technique of making stains and glazes for glass, which allows her to achieve a unique palette of textures and colors. As a result, Mesz does not use any industrially colored glass (she used recycled beverage bottles for the City pieces, therefore, those were already colorized), and since she also creates her own molds, each one is unique in shape. In addition she uses a wide variety of techniques to add texture. The combination of creativity, technique and materials is what makes each piece unique.
Mesz is a member of the Glass Art Society, Buenaventura Arts Association, American Craft Council, Southern California Artists and Ventura Artists’ Union.