Artist Chosen For Fire Station Project

Posted by on Feb 25, 2013 in News | No Comments

Schulz to work with designers for new Fire Station No. 3

By Phil Diehl for UT San Diego

A San Diego artist known for her colorful mosaic murals has been selected to create the art element of Carlsbad’s new Fire Station No. 3.

Betsy Schulz was chosen last week by the Carlsbad Arts Commission to work with the architects and designers of the station to be built along Cannon Road just east of El Camino Real.

“We brought in six artists that we thought any of them would be great,” said city Arts Manager Peter Gordon.

Each of the artists made a 30-minute presentation Dec. 12 to a selection committee that recommended Schulz, and she was approved by the commission at a meeting the next day.

“It worked exactly as it’s supposed to work,” Gordon said, adding that Schulz’s community-oriented approach to public art seemed to win over the selection committee and the commission.

Carlsbad requires a small percentage of construction costs for any large public building be designated to include an artistic element in the project. An example is the bronze busts of a police officer and a firefighter outside the public safety training center on Orion Way. The art element budget for the fire station is $48,000.

Schulz’s creations include the “donor wall” at the new Fallbrook Public Library, which won an Orchid award last year from the San Diego Architectural Foundation.

She said last week that she’s eager to start the fire station project.

“I’m going to take clues from the Carlsbad community and from the firemen themselves,” Schulz said.

“The first step is just to see what they are proposing and … what they are trying to accomplish or achieve,” she said.

“Most of my work is mural work with three-dimensional, sculpted tiles. A lot of what I do tells a story. It often includes words or other meaningful information.”

Her projects often include workshops with local schools or other community groups, she said, adding that the community participation gives residents a sense of ownership and encourages stewardship.

The new station will replace the existing Fire Station No. 3, which is a converted house at Chesnut Avenue and Catalina Drive. The two-acre site in Robertson Ranch is expected to provide better access and improved response times to that part of the city.

City officials for a time considered building the station at the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and Glasgow Drive in the Calavera Hills area, before the larger site was acquired in Robertson Ranch.

Construction is expected to begin in July or August, city officials have said, and the station should be ready to occupy by Sept. 1, 2014.