Funky Sculpture or Prankster Bait at Gateway to Los Altos?

Funky Sculpture at Gateway to Los Altos,- Rock, Scissors, Paper
Funky Sculpture approved for Main Street at the Gateway to Los Altos,- Rock, Scissors, Paper
Written by lalahpolitico

On July 12 Los City Council discussed 3 pieces of public art. Cetrella Restaurant’s doorstep will soon have the funky sculpture, the  Conversation Peace – a 7-foot sculptural respresentation of the child’s game, rock, scissors, paper. Lincoln Park gets a 7-foot long sculpture of “Shlama,” the Aramaic word for Peace. A wall mural downtown was put on hold by Council over concerns for artist’s unclear property rights and unclear maintenance responsibilities. City Staff will research…

This Main Street sculpture will be quite visible from Foothill Expressway

This Main Street “Gateway to Downtown” funky sculpture will be quite visible
from Foothill Expressway, especially for drivers stopped at the light at Main Street. It will be visible to pedestrians in Lincoln park.

But lets focus on the Conversation Peace. Like virtually all our public art, it is a donation or sometimes a loan. The City does the installation. The sculpture itself is 7 feet tall and probably will be put on a 2 ft. tall concrete pedestal.  On the pedestal,  it will be 9 ft. tall, almost as tall as our “antique” downtown street lights. Existing bike parking racks will be redone. The young street tree next to the benches will be kept properly trimmed as it grows in over they years.

The funky sculpture was unanimously approved, but council members had sensible questions. Size?  Answer: 7 or 9 feet.

Jean Mordo asked it was true that the City could rescind the agreement with the artist at any time? Answer: Yes.  Although Mordo personally liked the sculpture, he worried that some members of the public might complain about it. If there is a fuss, the City will be able to change its mind.

“Is it sharp?” wondered Jan Pepper. “Children might try to climb on it.”

City Clerk Jon Maginot replied he didn’t see how it could be sharp. Artists who make “public art” understand the issues.

Funky Sculpture "Conversation Peace" imagined with watermelon skewered by a prankster.

Funky Sculpture “Conversation Peace” imagined with watermelon skewered by a prankster.

Losaltospolitico: Like the council members, I too like the sculpture.  And I can definitely see that this funky sculpture  has “family-oriented” appeal.  Who hasn’t played rock, scissors, paper with kids? And I am sure it will be the subject of “conversations.”

But the “sales” photo sent to the City showed the sculpture in what appears to be someone’s private backyard, not in a well-traveled public setting. We all have an inner child, but surely some of us also have an inner juvenile delinquent. That blade looks like prankster bait to me.  “Let’s skewer a nice watermelon  on it.”  Or come Halloween, how about a nice fat pumpkin?  And is it going to be a pokemon monster attractor?! Argh, not out-of-towners, please no.

But let’s wait and see. If anyone gets caught in an innocent prank – even those “juvies” over 16 years of age – Mr. Younis  (Los Altos Chief of Police), please let them off easy. OK?

About the author


Norma Schroder is an economics & market researcher by trade and ardent independent journalist, photographer and videographer by avocation. Enthralled by the growth of the tech industry over the decades, she became fascinated with the business of local politics only in the past several years.

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