An artist asks Tiburon to support a public sculpture project

An artist from Tiburon hopes to establish a public art collection along a cycle route from Blackie’s Pasture to Belvedere.

Todji Kurtzman, 52, of Portland, Oregon, hopes to sell the project to private funders through the city’s Public Art Selection Committee, a committee of the Heritage and Arts Commission.

Richard Rozen, Tiburon’s winning artist, presented Kurtzman’s proposal to the jury in April. Kurtzman said he plans to present the idea in person to the panel on June 14 to gauge interest and develop a fundraising package.

“I want to be there and make personal contact with the public art board first,” Kurtzman said. “They say good ideas just float around, but I want to know what’s come up in the meantime.”

Kurtzman’s idea calls for a sculpture garden at Blackie’s Pasture, which he says could hold around 15 monumental pieces depending on size and scope. He imagines 15 additional sculptures, mosaics or murals along the bike path, from Elephant Rock through the yacht clubs and San Rafael Avenue, and back to Tiburon Boulevard.

He said the size of the rooms could match the plants and landscaping so as not to obscure the views. The backing can be bronze or stainless steel, which are resistant to sea air corrosion.

Themes for the plays could be around nature, ecology, education, celebration, healing, grief, compassion and love, depending on her proposal.

Kurtzman said the city has a public art vacancy that could provide a spectacular setting for public art. He said the natural beauty of the bay views and rolling hills provide a perfect backdrop for a potential monumental sculpture.

Rozen said he supports the idea as a method to bring more public art to Tiburon residents.

“It’s going to benefit Tiburon generally to help the environment and community values ​​there,” Rozen said.

Kurtzman said he plans to fundraise and advertise for sculptures to be purchased privately and donated to the city. Each donor would receive a plaque commemorating the contribution.

He said Tiburon had no public art provision that could immediately provide funding for the project. He said the new public art could be a “value-added opportunity” to increase property values ​​and generate more tourist dollars in the city.

“For some reason, Tiburon doesn’t have that. For this reason, it should be privately funded,” he said. “It’s really about public interest and the momentum that would fuel that.”

Kurtzman said he was considering a system where he could be paid through a city program to execute and administer the plan on behalf of the city. An initial cost estimate would average $150,000 per monumental sculpture with the purchase of the sculpture, concrete base, plaque, installation, administration, commissioning and advertising, he said. declared.

Kurtzman is hoping for an initial fundraiser to raise $1.5 million to install 10 sculptures at Blackie’s Pasture. If the round is successful, a second fundraising round would be developed.

His proposal says one of his pieces, a bronze monument called “Right Feet Major,” was purchased by a private couple for $70,000 and donated for a public art project in Orlando.

Kurtzman grew up in Tiburon. He attended Reed, Bel Aire and Del Mar schools before attending Redwood High School in Larkspur.

Kurtzman earned an art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and creates animation in the entertainment industry as well as monumental sculptures all over the world.

The town has three works of public art: the Blackie Horse Sculpture, the Town Center Sculpture Fountain, and an anchor centered on a town roundabout.

“We really appreciate the art commission looking into carving and other arts to further beautify Tiburon,” council member Holli Their said.

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