After many artists vied for a chance to turn crosswalks along Pine Avenue in DTLB into pieces of art, the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) is excited to work with artist Hataya Tubtim to create works of art out of six mid-block crosswalks on Pine Avenue.
Studies have shown beautification and walkability improvements near local businesses increase foot traffic, which in turn is associated with increased economic activity.
“This creative crosswalk project serve as a perfect example of how public art can benefit the community. It not only adds to DTLB’s vivid art scene, it promotes urbanism and will increase pedestrian activity Downtown.” said Sean Warner, Placemaking Manager for the DLBA. “‘Lighter, quicker, cheaper’ approaches to changing the urban landscape like this can make a big difference in improving the livability of DTLB.”
A long-time participant in the Long Beach arts community, Tubtim has a background in both design and public art. She was awarded a fellowship by the Edwin Austen Abbey Mural program at the New York Academy of Design and Past projects have included a 45-foot long interior, interactive wall mural, which was used as an educational tool for local school children’s gallery field trips and crosswalks for the Pasadena Playhouse District.
“I understand that good design can transform and/or anchor the identity of a place to its public, and can influence how a public interacts with the site,” said Tubtim. “The theme of the crosswalks in DTLB is Long Beach’s place as an oceanfront metropolis with a long history of innovation.”
Each crosswalk will have images of marine life juxtaposed with a history of Long Beach’s innovation. For instance, at the crossing between First Street and Broadway, the piece will display fish if you’re heading South, toward the ocean, and if you’re heading north you’ll see images of trains. While at the crossing between 5th and 6th streets, you’ll see stingrays juxtaposed with images of the Metro.
The crosswalks will be installed throughout Pine in mid-March.