Maiz

1996, Barbara McCarren. Under construction 1999-2000, Cesar E. Chavez Park. From the artist's description (courtesy of Barbara McCarren):

Commissioning Body: City of Long Beach, Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine.

Date of Commission: 1996; under construction 1999-2000

Collaborative team members: RJM Design Group - San Juan Capistrano, CA

Project Description:

Design of 14- acre urban park in a neglected neighborhood. Artists' contributions include: collaborative design and layout of color gardens, commemorative orchard, amphitheater, paving imagery, gate design, community center floor, and entry fountain. Individual artwork is a text maze inscribed with quotations relating to the dignity of agrarian labor and life, the integrity of earthly flora, and the importance of the coastal farm. Those poets and activists quoted include Ernesto Galarza, Theodore Roethke, Joy Harjo, Pablo Neruda and Booker T. Washington. The center of the maze is a seating area that contains an olive tree, an important food crop in Mediterranean climates and an enduring symbol of peace.

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