State of disrepair

A rundown of Chico’s public artworks that most need attention

The John Muir Luminary Art Bench, which sits outside Christian Michaels Ristorante on Wall Street, could be beyond help.

The John Muir Luminary Art Bench, which sits outside Christian Michaels Ristorante on Wall Street, could be beyond help.

Photo by Meredith J. Cooper

Earlier this year, the Chico Arts & Culture Foundation visited most of the city’s public art pieces to update inventory and determine their current status. The majority of the works were listed in “routine” condition. But several fell into the “urgent” or “serious” categories.

If you ask Arts Commission Chair Todd Hall, he’ll say The Silver Plow—a controversial (at the time of its installation) art piece on South Park Avenue—should be dismantled. “It was the wrong material from the beginning,” he said. The John Muir Luminary Bench on Wall Street downtown faces similar demise. Large chunks of the border have fallen off, leaving the concrete underneath exposed. “If we can’t repair it properly, we might just de-assess it,” said Mary Gardner of the Arts & Culture Foundation. Below are the pieces of public art that are most in need of some TLC, with the first three labeled as “urgent” and the rest “serious.” (Source: A&C Foundation report.)

Diamond Alley Arches, Salem Street parking structure

Repair concrete cornice, replace tiles, regrout where needed to alleviate concern regarding further water damage

The Silver Plow, Park Avenue and Meyers Street

Consult with stone expert on best course of action

John Muir Luminary Bench, Wall Street by Christian Michaels

Redwood texture side tiles are broken, leaving cement exposed. If repair not possible, removal or replacement recommended

The Century of Flight, Chico Municipal Airport

Clean surfaces, replace missing tiles, repair cracks

Annie’s Glen Tunnel, Annie’s Glen

Replace cracked and missing tiles, remove graffiti and stickers

Chess Tables, City Plaza

Replace mosaic tiles on one of the six tables

Franz Cilensek Santa Claus Luminary Art Bench, West Second Street, between Main and Broadway

Replace broken tiles

Jackson Pollock Luminary Art Bench, West Second Street near El Rey Theatre

Repair tiles

Raymond Carver Luminary Art Bench, corner of Third and Broadway

Strip and reseal, add additional skate guards

Susan B. Anthony Luminary Art Bench, East Seventh Street, between Broadway and Main

Restain, re-adhere letter, additional skate guards

Bicycle Barricades, Eaton and Cohassett roads

Replace eight missing or loose pieces

Mechoopda Baskets, 2446 Marigold Ave.

Replace chipped and missing tiles, repair cracked stucco, needs attention to prevent worsening