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Stolen plaques to be replaced at Roseville’s Sculpture Park

Boy Scout taking on project for Eagle Scout rank
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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On a recent afternoon in Roseville’s Sculpture Park, an art administrator rushed up to a young woman and child reading an informational kiosk.

The kiosk provides details on the bronze plaques mounted to four concrete sculptures in the park. But there’s a problem: the plaques are gone.

“Don’t be discouraged, we’re actually refashioning this park,” Judi Nicholson, with the City of Roseville, told the woman.

Through a joint partnership between the city and Roseville Arts, the nonprofit organization behind the Blue Line Gallery, students in Roseville can participate in a public arts contest intended to breathe life into the undecorated sculptures.

Fifth graders at any public, private or charter school or who are home schooled within city limits are asked to submit mosaic tile entries using construction paper to Roseville Arts. The theme is “Nature and Wildlife.” A panel of judges will select 96 winners and the tile installation will take place in spring 2012.

Between 1993 and 2003, children winners in a city-sponsored contest created bronze plaques that were installed in Sculpture Park at the base of the Cosmos Sculpture off Sunrise Avenue — the big red structure you can see from the freeway.

In the summer of 2010, the sculptures were vandalized and 33 bronze plaques stolen. The culprit was never found, nor were the plaques.

“We wanted, obviously, to protect the remaining plaques,” Nicholson said. “It’s kind of sad to think these kids thought it would be here forever.”

The plaques have been removed to be placed on public display in Roseville’s libraries, leaving space for a new public art display by local kids.

Nicholson and Roseville Arts CEO Julie Hirota happened upon just the person to oversee the project: 13-year-old Boy Scout Tyler Tate. The Buljan Middle School student was helping gallery volunteers move sand at the Westfield Galleria during an art installation in June.

Hirota talked with Tyler’s assistant scout master about possible service projects with the Boy Scouts, including the Sculpture Park art contest.

“That day Tyler said he was interested in doing that and he’s pretty much taken this on,” Hirota said.

Tyler joined Boy Scouts two and a half years ago, and is working on the project to earn his Eagle Scout rank.

“I really like art and I like helping out,” Tyler said. “And I wanted a challenge. (Kids) should try to take part because it’s helping the community and they get to see their art (in public), which is really cool.”

Hirota said partnering with the city and community groups such as the Boy Scouts is a valuable way to “beautify the entire city through public art.”

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.

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Sculpture Park public art contest
Who:
Open to all fifth grade Roseville residents
How: Create a mosaic tile design entry from construction paper. The theme is “Nature and Wildlife.”
Deadline: Submit design to Roseville Arts by 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15
Info: To request instructions, call Roseville Arts at (916) 783-4117, visit www.rosevillearts.org or “Sculpture Park Revitalization” on Facebook or stop by the Blue Line Gallery at 405 Vernon St. in Roseville.