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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator, (510) 981-7533


Berkeley, California (Sunday, October 29, 2006) - The City of Berkeley is pleased to announce that the Public Art Selection Panel has chosen Eric Powell as the artist to design and build the access gates along the Bancroft Way frontage for the City owned Corporation Yard at 1326 Allston Way, Berkeley. This public art project is intended to lessen the visual impact of activities of the Corporation Yard for the neighborhood and passersby. Powell has created numerous beautifully designed and crafted large-scale metal works throughout the Bay Area with commissions including Golden Gate Park’s Conservatory of Flowers. 

The Selection Panel, composed of a professional metal artist, a Civic Arts Commissioner, two community members, a staff person from the Corporation Yard, and the City of Berkeley Disability Coordinator convened on September 12, 2006. The panel thoroughly engaged the artists in their presentations and posed a range of comments from the functionality of their proposal to the strength of the visual elements in transforming the site.


Eric Powell’s proposal incorporates symbols, such as railroad and farming tools, tying the narrative of the design to the history of the Strawberry Creek Neighborhood. Powell speaks of gates as “the focal point of the front of a building or grounds.” In addressing the goals of this public art project, he clearly intends the Corporation Yard Gates to be a positive “buffer, not a barrier” to the activities in the yard and to focus the design to inspire interest in the diversity and history of the neighborhood and community. The proposed gates are deeply representative of the site, complementing and enhancing its environment, and uses rich, tactile surfaces to invite interaction and examination from all who pass by.


For more information on this public project, the artists and their works, and the selection process, please see the Civic Arts web page http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/civicarts/publicart.htm or contact Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator, (510) 981-7533.


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