RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – Victoria Gardens has unveiled a special 32-foot commissioned sculpture for guests to enjoy on its popular Monet Avenue. Entitled “Native,” the piece by renowned Indianapolis artist Brian McCutcheon was installed on Tuesday and has already garnered positive attention from guests, according to Director of Marketing for Victoria Gardens, Melina Ferraez.
“This vision for the sculpture is to provide our guests with one-of-a-kind artwork that contributes to ongoing engagement at the center,” says Ferraez.
The sculpture is a bronze casting of a California Fan Palm – one of the only palm trees native to California. “Native” traveled more than 2,000 miles by truck from Indiana before being hoisted by a crane into its new home at Victoria Gardens.
“As the leading shopping destination in the Inland Empire, it has always been our mission to keep Victoria Gardens visually appealing and engaging,” explains Ferraez. “In addition to housing the latest fashion retailers and restaurants, modern artistic elements make our center a standout in the region and throughout the retail industry.”
Artist Brian McCutcheon is known for producing one-of-a-kind, monumental pieces of art. Previous creations for Indianapolis were placed at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and at the public library in Monument Circle.
A conceptual artist, Brian McCutcheon has been the recipient of a number of artist grants, awards and residencies – including a 2010-11 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant and a summer 2009 residency at Sculpture Space in Utica, New York. Over the past decade, his work has been featured in a wide range of exhibitions on a national and international scale. His portfolio made him a standout candidate for Victoria Gardens’ newest addition.
“Brian and I have worked together on multiple occasions over the years,” says Dave Hunt, Consultant and Project Manager of the Victoria Gardens Art Program on behalf of Forest City. “In addition to being a master fabricator, Brian has the unique ability to produce very site-specific work. He creates art that responds to its location and we knew that his creation would reflect the Inland Empire in a very genuine way.”
In preparation for the creation of this art piece specifically for Victoria Gardens, McCutcheon flew out to the Inland Empire and spent time learning about the area. He read about the city’s history, visited nature parks and immersed himself in surrounding communities in order to truly understand the local culture.
“Because of the native ties to the area, the California Fan Palm emerged as an appropriate symbol for both the immediate location and for the community and residents surrounding Victoria Gardens,” notes McCutcheon.
The California Fan Palm is a hearty yet durable tree. It can endure extreme temperatures and the artist says this is reflective of the hardworking surrounding community.
“The Inland Empire was a booming suburban area in the 1950s and Route 66 goes right through it. Today, it’s such a diverse and compelling area and this piece needed to mirror that,” he says.
In addition, his observance of the street art in surrounding communities inspired him to incorporate a graffiti element into the piece. McCutcheon connected with artist Jason Williams (aka REVOK), who painted the sculpture.
“Many people are surprised when they come across a bronze sculpture that has been painted because it’s a semi-precious metal. But the fact is, the Greeks painted their bronzes centuries ago,” adds McCutcheon. “It’s an ancient practice that gives quite a bit of history to this new piece.”
The entire execution of this sculpture took exactly seven months. The piece was created and completed in Indiana, and was shipped to California by truck when it was ready for installation. The City of Rancho Cucamonga initially asked for this piece to be “something recognizable” and “reflective of the community.”
“The final sculpture certainly demonstrates the heart of both the Inland Empire and Victoria Gardens in art form,” Ferraez notes. “We are so proud to be able to share this important new work of art with the community.”
About Victoria Gardens
Victoria Gardens is a 1.5 million square-foot, open-air, regional town center located in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., at the intersection of I-15 and Foothill Boulevard. The shopping center is anchored by Macy’s, JC Penney, AMC Theatres 12, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, and features more than 170 premier shops and restaurants. In addition, the center features the unique Rancho Victoria Food Hall, as well as 40,000 square feet of Class-A office space. For hours of operation, directions or other information, visit www.VictoriaGardensIE.com.