Superstar

Cliff Garten's Sea Spires Embody the Relationship Between Art and Transit

By: Meghan Young - Published: Jul 23, 2011 • References: cliffgartenstudio and contemporist
The Sea Spires design looks like futuristic totem poles. Light and airy, they actually serve as iconic transit markers that encourage passersby, pedestrians, drivers and transit riders alike to reflect on the beauty of their surroundings as well as the power that art has to improve urban communities.

Commissioned by Long Beach Transit, the Sea Spires were created by celebrated artist Cliff Garten. They have been installed across from the Long Beach Harbor at the corner of East 2nd Street and East Marina Drive. Elegant and ethereal, the stainless steel Sea Spires reach 16 feet high, hovering protectively over their area like some kind of alien guardian. Yet more than anything, the design encompasses the relationship between art and transit as well as redevelopment and cultural planning.