Fifth & C St. Parking Structure Re-Design & Art Project
If you haven't walked or driven by the downtown San Rafael corner of Fifth & C Street recently, you must! And prepare to be delighted! In November, the City’s Parking Division completed a rehabilitation of the parking structure there, including local public art, a new creative succulent garden & a new modern paint job designed by Fox & Kit business owners, Kyoko & Devin Westberg. As part of the project, Parking Services staff teamed up with the Downtown San Rafael Arts District (DSRAD) to display artwork from six local artists/groups through a Call for Artists competition. Artwork will rotate temporarily every six months on either side of the up-cycled parking sign on the corner of Fifth & C St. Check out the Fifth & C Street Public Art Project page here!
This City corner has a fresh new look, a new vibe.
This project was a unique opportunity for the Parking Division to help beautify the C St. block for our local businesses, and since the Public Safety Center is near completion across the street. Parking & City staff wanted to do something to engender public trust by transforming an old, drab public space into a happier, alluring, more stylish one.
The first stage of the beautification was done in collaboration with City Parks Supervisor, Aaron Tubbs & Greg Kelly of the Parking Division, who created a water-wise succulent garden to complement the modern, paint design envisioned by Kyoko & Devin Westberg. Succulents were meticulously selected & placed by Greg & Aaron around a labyrinth type pattern of new & re-used stones. Careful thought was given to how much & how big these young plants would grow in the planter space. We hope it's enjoyed for years to come.
Art is democratic...one style isn’t pervasive.
Many months into the creative process for the exterior (re)design, Devin Westberg asked if he & his wife, Kyoko could share their ideas of how they would paint the parking facility. Naturally, City staff did not know what to expect. The couple made a professional, organized presentation that surprised. The bold yet simple, careful expression of how to beautify the parking facility made it so that none of the previous paint concepts could compare. As expected, the Westberg's classy, minimal design has been very well-received. This was much more than just a paint job. Their time was 100% donated to the City project, the icing on the proverbial cake. We thank them again & again for their contribution to Downtown San Rafael! Check out Fox & Kit's IG post about the project.
Art Works Downtown got involved as representatives from the DSRAD. The Parking Division was lucky to collaborate with Art Works' Stan Gibbs & Elisabeth Setten about how to approach the Cultural Arts District signage and the Public Art Project on the old parking sign. The parking structure paint design concept was shared with and approved by merchants nearby, the SR Chamber, BID, City Manager & Asst City Manager.
This project was a community-based effort to "bring art to unexpected places." The hope is that it helps the momentum of bringing awareness to more creative expression opportunities Downtown.
Check out photos from the Project & Public Art Celebration in January 2020, a very special gathering.
The 2017 designation of Downtown San Rafael as a California Cultural Arts District, prompted the creation of this project. The inclusion of Downtown San Rafael as 1 of 14 designated California Arts Districts, was done so “on the basis of its cultural and artistic resources and activities being available in a concentrated area as well as the community’s cultural allure among locals, visitors and entrepreneurs.” The Downtown Arts District (DSRAD), located along the spine of Fourth Street, serves as the hub of local business and community life. It features numerous arts-related organizations and a vibrant events schedule, including the 2nd Friday Art Walk.