South Coast Plaza Art Tour


One of Southern California’s best kept secrets is a self-guided art tour in Costa Mesa featuring contemporary and modern works by renowned sculptors. The sculptures are part of the vision of the late Henry T. Segerstrom and the Segerstrom family, founders of South Coast Plaza, of creating a cosmopolitan center in Orange County where the arts and commerce come together and flourish. All but one of the sculptures were either commissioned or purchased by Henry T. Segerstrom of the Segerstrom family. Come and spend a morning or afternoon exploring this incomparable public art collection adjacent to South Coast Plaza.

 

Parking

The closest parking structure to the beginning of the art walk is the Plaza Tower Parking structure located on Anton Boulevard and Park Center Drive. Enter via Park Center Drive, across from The Westin South Coast Plaza.

The closest parking to the end of the art walk is the parking lot right outside of Macy’s or the South Parking Structure at South Coast Plaza. Parking in either of these locations is free.

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1. California Scenario

Commissioned by Henry Segerstrom in 1979 and completed in 1982, this 1.6-acre park created by Japanese American sculptor, Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988), evokes California’s diverse landscape.

 

2. Sun Ribbon

Stained glass creation by American artist Claire Falkenstein (1908–1997). Its sunset hues radiate warmth with a functional design.

3. Utsurohi 91

A series of 12 ten-foot columns set in an elliptical configuration with relief images of Chinese zodiac animals. Created by Japanese artist Aiko Miyawaki (1929–2014) and commissioned by Henry Segerstrom in 1991.

4. Connector

The latest addition to the collection, this towering work by American minimalist sculptor Richard Serra was commissioned by Elizabeth and Henry Segerstrom in 2006. This 65-foot-tall, 360-ton steel sculpture serves as the focal point for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and is the tallest of Serra’s works to date.

5. Firebird

This gold, red and silver aluminum and stainless steel sculpture was created by American sculptor, Richard Lippold (1915–2002) and commissioned by Henry Segerstrom in 1985. The 60-foot-tall sculpture was designed to be architecturally integrated into the exterior and interior of Segerstrom Hall. It was named by Renée Segerstrom after Igor Stravinsky’s famous ballet and is one of Costa Mesa’s most iconic sculptures.

6. Reclining Figure

This iconic example of the oeuvre of British sculptor Henry Moore (1898–1986) is based on the female figure in repose and is made from stone. Gifted by the Angels of the Arts to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in 1984.

7. Jonah and the Whale

This bronze sculpture by Carl Millies is a re-enactment of the biblical story of the same name. Jonah and the Whale was acquired by C.J. Segerstrom & Sons in 1985. Millies was considered Sweden’s most celebrated sculptor.

8. Oiseau

Created by Spanish artist Joan Miró (1893–1983), this cast bronze sculpture was completed shortly before his death. The sculpture features rounded sides and conical shapes and suggests a hybrid of human and avian. Commissioned by Henry Segerstrom in 1981.

9. Fermi

A carrara marble sculpture by American artist Tony Smith (1912–1980) and acquired by Henry Segerstrom in 1975, five years before Smith’s death. The “presence,” as Smith likes to call it, pays homage to Enrico Fermi, the Nobel Prize-winning Italian physicist, representing magnified atomic particles.

10. Four Lines Oblique Gyratory-Square IV

This ever-changing figure has moved with the wind since its creation in 1973. The 24-foot-high kinetic work was created by American sculptor George Rickey (1907–2002), and commissioned by Henry Segerstrom.

11. Night Shift

Created by American sculptor Jim Huntington and commissioned by Henry Segerstrom in 1981, the rugged granite boulder, divided by stainless steel, weighs approximately 30 tons.

12. The Ram

Created by American sculptor Charles O. Perry (1929–2011), and commissioned by Henry Segerstrom in 1979, The Ram was made in Rome and shipped to Costa Mesa in four pieces. The 20-foot-tall, seven-ton, bright yellow, steel abstract piece was assembled in one day. The form suggests animalistic inspiration.

13. Tour Aux Jambes

A sculpture depicting entwined elements was created from epoxy and polyurethane by French artist Jean Dubuffet (1901 – 1985) in 1973 and acquired by the Segerstrom family for Town Center Park in 1980. The title of this work loosely translates to “Encirclement of Limbs” or “Tower of Legs.”

14. Stained Glass Dome

This beautiful stained glass dome at South Coast Plaza was commissioned by Henry Segerstrom and designed by American artist and graphic designer Marion Sampler of Gruen Associates, the company which designed the shopping center. Judson Studios in Los Angeles built the kaleidoscope-like dome, which was completed in 1974. The colorful skylight measures 30-feet in diameter and 15-feet-tall and is made of 7,200 pieces of glass. The area beneath the dome is aptly named Jewel Court.