The long-covered public art piece and plaza at the corner of the NEMA building at 10th and Market can finally be enjoyed by the public. The piece by artist Topher Delaney, titled Promised Land, includes two large granite slabs rising out of the ground, some pretty bonsai trees, and two criss-crossing paths that show the flow of water from the Sacramento River Delta into the Bay, using lines like a topographical map.
The plaza also includes planters and ledges for lounging, Delaney is also responsible for a concrete piece that rises up the side of the building itself.
Delaney tells the Chronicle that, since this was supposed to be a public art piece on a corner, she only assume that she'd be able to extend it all the way to the curb. But no. "There was no debate. We were told emphatically that they (the Planning Department) would not allow art out onto the sidewalk, and we were dismayed."
Delaney went to the trouble of sourcing the granite for the paths from the same quarry in the Sierra foothills where the city's granite curb stones were sourced, trying to find a matching shade of gray.
The whole piece cost $1.7 million, which is the equivalent of 1 percent of the budget of the building itself.
There'll be a public event celebrating the opening of Promised Land on Sunday, February 15, from noon to 4 p.m.