The city of Benicia has been developing plans for a waterfront park at the foot of First Street that honors the site’s history, accommodates public use, and protects the environment. When Mark Brest van Kempen and Arts Benicia received a Creative Work Fund grant in 2013, they set out to develop plans for three temporary public art installations tailored to the waterfront site. Through these pieces, they wanted to ensure that artists’ voices and ideas became part of Benicia’s longer-term development plans. The first of their three pieces now has been approved by Benicia’s City Council. The artwork features a labyrinth design and will collect water from local creeks and runoff sites to purify it before it enters the Bay.
In the October 24, 2014 Benicia Herald, reporter Donna Beth Weilenman explains, “The maze-like labyrinth’s system of switchbacks would be planted, and those plants would purify the water, illustrating the importance they have in wilder settings. The water would be collected in a catchment tank and a covered container and recirculated using a solar-powered pump.”
Congratulations to Mark Brest van Kempen and to Larnie Fox of Arts Benicia for a strong presentation and the City Council’s enthusiastic response.