Downtown Long Beach is stepping away from the ordinary when it comes to crosswalks. Last week, five midway crosswalks on Pine Avenue between First and Seventh Streets were transformed into works of art.
Take a tour of all five crosswalks here.
Each crosswalk art piece displays two images: one consisting of marine life juxtaposed with a history of Long Beach’s innovation. For instance, the crossing between First Street and Broadway will display fish to viewers heading south toward the ocean, while images of trains will be revealed when traveling northbound. The crossing between Sixth Street and Seventh Street, one would see stingrays opposed with images of the Metro light rail.
Large stencils ranging from 7-12 feet were fabricated in order for a crew to efficiently paint the artwork on the crosswalks, and each one took about five hours to install.
“This creative crosswalk project serves as an example of how our public spaces can be more than just utilitarian in nature. It adds to DTLB’s vivid art scene, promotes urbanism, and will increase pedestrian activity Downtown,” said Sean Warner, DLBA Placemaking Manager. “Lighter, quicker and cost-effective approaches to change 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, the artist Hataya 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. Past projects have included East Village’s Second Saturday Art Walk and Sound Walk, 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.”
The crosswalks add life to the streets, increase pedestrian safety, encourage more walkability Downtown.