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Rebeca Méndez
Artwork Type
Media & Support
Cor-Ten steel on concrete
Public Library
Pico Rivera Library
9001 Mines Avenue
Pico Rivera, CA
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Latitude: -118.089244 - Longitude: 33.992021

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The City of Pico Rivera and Los Angeles County partnered to fund the Pico Rivera Library with a site-specific civic artwork. The building is a focal point for the community, an architectural beacon for the City and a destination in the San Gabriel Valley. Similarly ambitious, the artwork, titled Journey into Knowledge, celebrates the role of the Library as a vehicle for exploration and discovery that leads to a journey into knowledge.

Commissioned artist, Rebeca Méndez, created two original site-specific artworks at the Pico Rivera Library. These companion pieces place the city within a global context while honoring its distinct character. The two artworks remind us that through books, we can explore and experience what is beyond the physical.

ABOUT OBSERVATION POST 1 (Outdoor sculpture)

The site-specific sculpture, titled Observation Post 1, invites the public to frame their view of Pico Rivera. Evoking the seasonal changes as well as the maturation of the landscape, the sculpture will change over time.

To construct Observation Post 1, the artist used Corten steel or “weathering” steel. It is known as “weathering” steel because the weather causes a protective rust layer that forms during cycles of wet and dry weather. This intentional patina will evolve over time and go from a light orange color to a deeper orange brown. Instead of having to paint the metal, the rust layer naturally protects the base metal from corrosion.

The sculpture contains a quotation by the French author Marcel Proust, with the sky as a backdrop: “The only true voyage of discovery would not be to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others–to behold a hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is!”

About the Artist

Rebeca Méndez is a Los Angeles-based artist, graphic designer and professor with the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts. At the beginning of her career, she moved from her native Mexico City to southern California and received her MFA from Art Center College of Design. Méndez has exhibited and held residencies internationally and is the recipient of several awards, most recently the 2012 National Design Award for Communication Design from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. In addition to other public art commissions, Méndez completed an artwork for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder County Clerk Election Operations Center in 2008.