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$300,000 Art Piece, Originally Approved at $275,000, Unveiled at Cerritos Sculpture Garden


The $300,000 art piece at the Cerritos Sculpture Garden entitled, “Infinity”


By Brian Hews

Officials at Cerritos City Hall have rolled out the latest piece of public art this past week with at the Cerritos Sculpture Garden.
With a price tag of $300,000, the quirky, twisted medal artwork sits dramatically at the north entry point of the Sculpture Garden located at the Cerritos Civic Center at the corner of 183rd Street and Bloomfield Avenue.
Cliff Garten, the artist and creator of the work that was given the formal name of “Infinity,” was in the works for almost two years, and was originally slated to be completed this past July 4th to be unveiled as part of the city’s annual “Let Freedom Ring” Celebration.
But a complex fabrication process was cited for the delay.
It was July 9, 2012 when the Cerritos City Council approved the concept for a “well illuminated art piece,” but it seemed city officials, along with the Fine Arts Commission, did not investigate what it would take to install the piece.
Assistant City Manager Kathy Matsumoto cited publicly during the past several months that a “complex fabrication process” was being cited as the main reason why the art piece was several months behind schedule.
Matsumoto told city council members that after the original engineering and “foundation design process” was completed, she along with Garten and city engineers determined that the piece needed to have a durable, “solid base” installed in order to “keep the art piece intact for the next 50 years.”
The cost of the artwork was first approved at $275,000.
Annie Hylton, the Public Information Officer for the City of Cerritos, told Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper this week that the final price of the work was $300,000.
In the past, Matsumoto stressed publicly that is was “important that the lights be strategically positioned far enough from the art piece so as to highlight the various curves of the sculpture, while creating ways to protect the lights from water, vandalism and damage and the city from potential liability and additional costs.”
Hylton said the final touches on the lighting should be completed with a week.
“We are very pleased on how it turned out, and so far the comments we have gotten from the community has been very positive,” Hylton said in a phone interview.
Hylton also confirmed that the lighting will be on a timer and that different colors will be used to highlight the unusual art piece.
Hylton said that there are no formal plans for a public dedication or unveiling ceremony, but did say that members of the Cerritos

City Council and members if the Fine Arts and Historical Commission gathered this past week at the site of the art work and poised for a photo.

A Lynwood resident who was visiting the Cerritos Library on Wednesday paused and looked at the artwork and remarked, “It sort of looks like a Mexican pastry, a Banuelo.”

Another Cerritos resident, Lei Pham instantly “loved it.”

“It’s beautiful, and dramatic,” Pham said.

A third on looker said, “It looks like a slinky to me. It is very provocative.”

  • M C M A H O N ' S ..... FAMILY says:

    ***Ominous Cloud | Cerritos Sculpture Garden ***


    Please open this site, look at Cliff’s awesome work, and then enjoy the tranquil garden settings for all of Cliff’s master pieces…. Hmmm, Cerritos Sculpture Garden appears to look like forgotten Cemetery Fields, in Iowa Cornfields back in early 1900’s.

    1. A+ in sculpture choice and placement. Entryway to Cerritos garden showcases the newest purchase. Placement is framed just awesome for the public viewing! Ouch, ouch and shame on one piece for $300K, plus all of the staff billable hrs, which boost the total cost to over >$.5M.

    2. MPO: Garden is rated F-, deferred maintenance, weeds, and dead horticulture, and trash, filthy NYC style concrete stains on the pavers, homeless campers, love nest hide-way and hundreds of breached electrical lights. Garden needs wild GOOSE to eat all of the snails and slugs; PLUS Condom Dispensary for Lovebirds.

    3. Please read the following comments. FAC is short circuiting our Sculpture Budget to Zero Dollars. Current FAC budget expenditures are red ink to the Cerritos General Budget. Bottom line, we are loosing programs, NO street tree maintenance of the city’s Tree Crop, while these FAC is draining our general funds. Public conflict of interest, one FAC commissioner has her son on CP&RC, talk about pillow talk in Cerritos brothels, plus chief editor for the Republican News rag.

    Ominous Cloud Purchase Contract:

    • Spring 2012, 42K Cerritos Residents, & or 15,000 Cer. Dwellings, failed to participate in Cliff’s on site Field survey for overall garden critique. Garden Tour was held in Garden, afternoon, and no one joined us, except FAC and myself. No: CPW-C Park Administration staff failed to join too.

    • CCC directed FAC to choose local sculpture from Long Beach, Ca. Well, learned piece was manufactured in Utah. Contract was breached and CCC should have terminated the contract and asked for refund.

    • Contract was amended several times during the 2 yrs construction. Hmmm, more wiggle room for poss. termination of the contract. CCC did nothing. Lame in MPO, what are the elected CEO’s doing?

    • Contract failed to draft a base for attachment, so more money was spent. FAC did not do their homework, which cost the tax payers funds from our general funds, another $25K.

    • Prior to this contract, past 3 yrs, suppose to be Open Call for Temporary art pieces on loan, by Calif sculptures masters. These temp pieces program, were modeled after temporary loan pieces in Palm Desert Esplanade. Well 3 yrs have past, post recession; pads are constructed in Sculpture Garden, but still no temporary Art Pieces. (3) CCC have been seated and still no Temporary Pieces, but CCC have run unlimited times to Sacramento and DC junket trips and receiving PPO Ins for life!

    • FAC has burned over $30K for wasted trip to Florida; Xmas 2014, Sculpture Convention, and today, still messy, non cared sculpture Garden. MYO: Farmers maintain crops or the crops die; our Sculpture Garden is dying, as crops are not budgeted for maintenance.

    • Past decades, staff and CCC member have spent over 6 figure digits budgets and buying junket trips to Loveland, Colorado sculpture shows. We still have semi completed garden of materials and maintenance. Every August, Loveland is home to national sculpture shows.

    • Adj to the exterior of the garden, home to Cerritos Drop boxes and staging of Sheriff Mobile RV Bus. Well both are filthy and not maintained and are visual eye sore, to adj. million dollar garden. Sheriff Department employs between 50-75 cops, 24/7. Most part, they are over weight, pot bellies and spend hrs and hrs staging BW cars around the gardens. Why can’t these top paid sheriff personnel , perform some Physical Therapy and clean the Sheriffs RV Bus or bend over and pull weeds around the garden. Dir of Sheriff earns $300K/Yr and look at the shape of the garden-wares, right under their noses!!!!

    • ABCUSD is advertising state of the art, STEM Classes, this art piece sure could be educational learning tool for STEM, if the students will pull away from books, mama womb and tour our $$$ gardens. Hellooooo China & Whitney Compounds, horticulture is part of STEM!

    • October is national arts months, so fitting to unveil Cliff masterpiece during Oct 2014; California Arts Month.


    Native Socal Resident- Roots from Europe too!

  • Slinky Garden Sculpture says:


    Tonight Tues PM, (9/9/2014) I received Personal garden tour by the A.C.M.: Kathy Matsumoto, Palos Verdes Peninsula. BETTER THEN E RATED RIDE AT DISNEYLAND PARK……….

    Unveiling the new rainbow colored lights illuminating the new Slinky sculpture were fascinating & really gave it the Hollywood- Epcot Center Theme. Truly one of the best sculptures in the Garden.

    Slinky sculpture took center stage, as the rotating revolving colored lights were fantastic shades of the RAINBOW.

    This is the first time in many years, toured the garden, and the majority of the outdoor garden lights were working. HURRAY!!! Not all were working, but the majority. Outdoor Garden LED Lights really made Kathy Matsumoto Diamond Collections on her hands/arms come alive, like Liz Taylor’s White Diamonds!!!

    Garden Lights really make a landscape come alive, and create a moonlit garden. Still have hopes, one day the gardening portion of the horticultural sculpture garden will be at industry landscape standards. It still has a long ways to go. Listen Cerritos Residents, gardens all over Cerritos, need LED Lighting for security and special custom look the hood street take on.

    Like one Cer. Fine Arts Commissioner stated: “Sculpture Garden needs color color color.” Colors make the greens pop!

    Anyway, this sculpture is A+rating in my book, plus looks like the quality of the gardening service is improving by Dir. Todd Kuh of Irvine and his talented crew.

    Footnote: Handicappers-disabled, car bound looky-lous, can park by the Northern most entry and see this work of art, from their car windows, no need to get out and walk the garden.

    Garden was paid for not by public money, but from priv. business generated tax from new business construction in the city.

    Thanks a lot for the tour given by Kathy Matsumoto…………

  • Stan Klecha reply says:

    Be sure to file petition of protest, to stop increase of 70% for Cerritos water rate increases. Due in Sept-Nov 13, 2014. Vote No increase.

    Link to website for instructions of protest forms. Ignoring this, translates to yes vote. This is very very poor judgment call on CCC, while the council increased travel budget for 2014-15, eating and dining at national 5 star retreats, while we are being taxed to death and CCC will not allow for Artificial Turfgrass, in statewide drought. Cerritos is the only city which has banned Artificial Turf. City has reclaimed water, has not extended reclaimed water to residents, as many SFR lots overage from 6500-10,000Sq Ft.

    1. Post recession,
    2. Under water home loans;
    3. Loan Modifications;
    4. 47% City is seniors.


    This is the same CCC which has almost done nothing to the following Public Work Photos, nor help to maintain our crop of street trees, but feel the urge to travel on the Cerritos Tax Payers expense:
    · Sacramento.
    · Florida.
    · Wash DC
    · New York City.


    Vote Note on ABC Mello Roos, Nov 2014.