Malibu Arts Commission approves the Calls for Artist for the Solstice Canyon Creek Beautification Project

The proposed public art location would be underneath the Solstice Creek pathway of PCH. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

After a heated meeting with multiple opinions, the Malibu Arts Commission approved the open Call for Artists for the Solstice Canyon Creek Beautification project.

To start off the meeting, Vice Chair Fireball Tim Lawrence provided an update on the Exhibition Schedule for the fiscal year 2022-23. Lawrence said the ad hoc committee has six scheduled exhibitions, including two single shows, two community shows, a student show, and a surf art exhibit. 

During the last meeting on July 26, the commission received a presentation from Caltrans for the Solstice Canyon Creek Beautification Project proposal.

The commission had additional questions, such as the purpose of the bridge, to which Caltrans said was to allow movement of endangered Steelhead Trout as well as implementing 11 lights at 12 feet apart. 

The commission then approved the Call for Artists with a preference to Malibu artists. The opening will be open from September to October. The commission will then review and provide an artist recommendation at the Oct. 25 regular meeting and have councils and Caltrans approval and agreement by November. 

Community Service Director Jesse Bobbett provided additional information on the artist eligibility requirements and the process for selecting artists.

“I know there were additional questions such as: Do we only allow Malibu artists? Is it Malibu in surrounding areas in Southern California? Is it national? We’ll need the commission to discuss and let us know,” Bobbett said. 

Bobbett said the budget for the project is $225,000 as well as an additional $30,000 — totalling $255,000. Bobbett said the additional costs will specifically be used for administrative costs related to the project, such as temporary display and storage of the artwork before it is permanently installed at the culvert in 2026.

The art will be displayed from June 2023 to 2026 before the work is permanently installed. The commission also agreed to include the budget to the application. The submission deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 4 p.m.; early submissions will have priority. The selected artist will be notified by or before January 2023. The selected artist must fully complete the artwork by June 2023.

The selected artist will receive an advance of up to 50 percent of the project cost once it is approved by the City of Malibu to cover the costs of materials, supplies, and other direct costs. The remaining 50 percent of the project cost will be paid to the artist upon completion.

Artwork will be selected based on the quality of the design. The artist’s design must include elements related to the themes listed in the project description on the arts commission website. Artwork designs must be original and cannot contain text.

The commissioners will review the artist’s qualifications, project approach, project proposals, and image references. Finalists may be interviewed by one or more Malibu Arts Commissioners.

To view the full qualifications and submission requirements, visit

Bobbett provided the fiscal year 2022-23 budget. According to the presentation, $55,000 was not approved for publicists, art center research, and the Arts in Business Program.

Bobbett emphasized the importance of attending City Council meetings and voicing their requests and concerns.

For business and community outreach update, Barry Halderman reported connecting with the Malibu Chamber of Commerce and their events. Halderman also reminded the commission of the Malibu Film Society and their ongoing efforts to find a venue in Malibu.

“I would strongly suggest that all of us either write to them or show up and say you’ve got to lighten up on the Temporary Use Permit requirements,” Halderman said. “Not just for the film society but for other works that we want to accomplish, whether it’s music or venues.”

The next Malibu Arts Commission is scheduled for Sept. 27.

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After a heated meeting with multiple opinions, the Malibu Arts Commission approved the open Call for Artists for the Solstice Canyon Creek Beautification project. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.