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


Berkeley, California (Thursday, June 30, 2011) - The public is invited to join in a celebration ceremony for the Open Circle public art project in the Berkeley Marina, and honor Foundation founder Dorothy Weicker.

WHAT: Celebration of Open Circle public art project
WHO: Everyone is invited to join Open Circle Foundation founder Dorothy Weicker, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and Golden Gate Aububon Society Executive Director Mark Welther
WHEN: Thursday, July 14, 2011, 3-5p.m.
WHERE: northeast corner of Cesar Chavez Park

This public art project was made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Open Circle Foundation to the City of Berkeley Public Art Program to construct an environmentally relevant earth works project in the Berkeley Marina. An artists' Open Call was issued and the team of Madden and Reed won the commission.

The ceremony will honor the founder of the Open Circle Foundation, Dorothy Weicker, with welcoming remarks from Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and a special presentation to Ms. Weicker from the Executive Director of the Golden Gate Aububon Society, Mark Welther.

The site is still in process with signage, a plaque and finishing construction due to be complete in the fall of 2011. The Celebration is being held in July to accommodate the funder's schedule since she will be flying into the Bay Area from her home in Maine.

The unique site is the part-time home of the burrowing owl and this earth art public art project protects the territory of the owls during their winter stay in the Berkeley Marina. The artists, Jeffery Reed and Jennifer Madden, built a low, textured, concrete wall segments and fencing along with two public seating turnouts. This earth art protects and defines the owls' territory in the winter months when the owls migrate to the Marina. And after the owls leave, part of the fencing is removed so that the park visitors can enjoy the area.

The artists also built two turnouts with public seating that can be used for educational meetings or simply to sit and enjoy the setting with unobstructed views of the San Francisco Bay. One of the seating areas is ADA compliant and allows citizens in wheelchairs access to the table and bench areas in the turnouts. The City of Berkeley ADA program supplied additional funding to make this possible.

To find out more about this public art project please see the Civic Arts web site:   http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=34170

This project is part of the City of Berkeley Public Art Program of the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission, funded by the Open Circle Foundation and in cooperation with the Golden Gate Audubon Society.


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