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Huntington Beach Art and Sculpture

    Poet's Table  Public Art at Pier Plaza  was dedicated on  June 5, 1998

    Two Southern California artists, Lloyd Hamrol and Terry Schoonhoven, were commissioned to develop art works for Pier Plaza. They worked intensively with the master planning form of Purkiss Rose ' RSI Studio Seven to incorporate their concepts into design and construction documents. Schoonhoven developed the shape of the wall to compliment his hand glazed ceramic tile images and Hamrol addressed the overall objectives of a functional amphitheater site. Both artists worked in response to a prospective outlining the requirements of the site and an artist contract with management oversight with Ann Thorne, a public art management consultant. The Public Works and Community Services Departments have worked together to implement this first artist designed site for the City of Huntington Beach. After two and a half years their project is complete.

    The City of Huntington Beach can be proud of a special and unique place. The amphitheater, a functional artistic site, is also poetic and expressive. The wall of the 70' by 165' long amphitheater appear to undulate the ocean waves and the edges of the stone seem to spill upon the plaza. Even the cheekwalls which provide a substructure for containment of the amphitheater itself are streamlined like an oceanliner's smokestack and underscore the original design of the piling supporting the pier.  The amphitheater also provides a transition from the man-made environment of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway to the natural beach, bluff and ocean environment.  The amphitheater is constructed of Rocky Mountain Quartzite, a stone of varied coloration and extreme durability. The stone includes both flagstone for the flat work and the vertical ledger stone for vertical faces of the amphitheater. The stone slabs are laid meticulously in place by skilled stone masons. Lloyd Hamrol worked with his stone mason, Barry Regimal since 1983 when they worked together on their first project in Anaheim. The amphitheater provides seating for over 300 people.

    Terry Schoonhoven worked to create a memory of place. His themes and metaphors for the city are communities explored through time and space. The 40' mural which abuts the amphitheater and can easily be viewed from the pier, provides a counterpoint to the functional design of the seating space. This public art element was approved by City Council in 1994 upon recommendation by Allied Arts Board and the Cultural and Event Series Division.

    Other works created by Terry Schoonhoven include the wall mural, "Traveler", in Union Station at Alameda St. near Cesar Chavez Ave. A painter and printmaker, Terry Schoonhoven became a well-known muralist when he and Victor Henderson co-founded the Los Angeles Fine Arts Squad in 1969 to paint large outdoor murals. Schoonhoven worked independently after the squad disbanded in 1974. He painted over 40 murals during his career, usually as corporate commissions and public art projects under civic percent-for-art programs.

    Born in Freeport, Illinois in 1945, Schoonhoven received a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin (1967), then did two years of graduate work and taught lithography at the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to local projects, he completed murals in Minneapolis, San Antonio, St. Louis and Texas. Schoonhoven died of cancer at home in Larchmont Village on December 21, 2001. He was 56.

    Pier Plaza, Huntington Beach, California

    Erected and opened in June of 1998, Pier Plaza is an outdoor amphitheater with a grassy knoll and cement steps reminiscent of those seen along the rivers and waterways in Europe and in cities such as New Orleans. Seating faces the Pacific Ocean so that a beautiful pier and waves are within view. And,  when free concerts are featured, open space allows for getting up and tapping your toes if the music moves you.

    The City's artist designed Pier Plaza, located at the entrance to the HB Pier, comes to life as free concerts attract beach-goers and locals who come out to hear some excellent musicians. Informal by nature, people come and go, children romp and play during performances featuring a variety of musical groups playing jazz, rock, big band, swing and blues to ethnic festivals which include dance performances, as well.

    An ATM machine is located at Pier Plaza, Farmer's Market and Art Fair are held there most Fridays and a variety of restaurants, including the world famous Dukes and Chimayo's are just a few feet away.  Don't miss the glazed tile, mural wall depicting scenes from Huntington Beach history. It provides a fantastic spot to take a souvenir photo.