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Community Identifier Projects

Alameda County Arts Commission is working on three Community Identifier Projects in Alameda County’s unincorporated communities: Ashland/Cherryland, Castro Valley and San Lorenzo. The Community Identifier Projects involve designing and painting the name of the community along with other design elements on freeway overpasses. The overall goal is to create community gateway markers that help support a positive and welcoming environment for both the community and visitors. Practicing, professional artists will be hired through an open competitive selection process to design and paint the Community Identifiers. It is anticipated that the projects will be completed in the Fall of 2018.

The Community Identifier Project concept was developed through community interest and support. It was designated as an official project of the Alameda County Arts Commission by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in August 2016. The freeway overpasses identified for the Community Identifier Projects are under the control of the CA State Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Caltrans allows text and limited design elements as part of their Community Identification Program. A proposal must be submitted to and approved by Caltrans. Completion of all projects is contingent on Caltrans approval.

Project Update

The Alameda County Arts Commission is pleased to announce that three Bay Area artists have been selected to create Community Identifiers: Nico Berry for Ashland/Cherryland, Robert Minervini for Castro Valley, and John Wehrle for San Lorenzo. The artists and their designs were chosen by three separate selection committees comprised of local community members.

Each Community Identifier will feature the name of the community along with other design elements. Nico Berry’s design celebrates Ashland and Cherryland with vibrant images of leaves from the Oregon Ash tree and blossoms of the Cherry tree. Rob Minervini’s design honors Castro Valley through a panoramic landscape that features Lake Chabot and the Bay. John Wehrle’s design celebrates San Lorenzo through images of the San Lorenzo Creek including the depiction of water, Sycamore tree leaves, and other natural elements such as a dragonfly, turtle, duck, and butterfly.

The artist selection committees chose the three final artists through an open, competitive process with multiple steps. In September 2017, each selection committee interviewed five semi-finalist artists who created proposals for each project site. Each committee also reviewed and discussed the comments submitted by community members when the proposals were available for public comment. The selected artists live throughout the Bay Area: Nico Berry resides in San Francisco; Robert Minervini resides in Oakland; and John Wehrle resides in Richmond.

In October, the recommendation of each selected artist and their proposal design will be presented to local community groups. Then the recommendations will be forwarded to the Members of the Alameda County Arts Commission for review and approval at the regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 4:00pm, located at 1401 Lakeside Drive, Oakland. The artists’ contracts will be presented to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors for approval in late 2017; contact the Arts Commission office at 510-208-9646 for the exact date. All meetings are open to the public. Upon approval by the Board of Supervisors, a proposal for all project sites will be submitted to Caltrans for review and approval. Completion of all projects is contingent on Caltrans approval.

Read the latest update about the Community Identifier Projects (PDF updated October 2017).

Read the Press Release: Three Artists Selected to Create the Community Identifiers in Ashland/Cherryland, Castro Valley, and San Lorenzo.

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