Byline: The Log Staff
SAN DIEGO — The Port of San Diego is celebrating the opening of its 18th waterfront park Sept. 20, with a dedication ceremony at Ruocco Park on San Diego Bay.
The 3.3-acre park is located just north of Seaport Village and includes open space for public use, waterfront views and a large-scale art piece 45 feet high and 70 feet wide.
The park opening ceremony includes the unveiling of nationally acclaimed artist Roman del Salvo’s art installation, “The Riparium.”
The large-scale artwork is designed to serve as a sculptural gateway to Ruocco Park, at the corner of Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway. The design allows park goers to pass through the sculpture, where they can view Ruocco Park’s landscape with San Diego Bay as a backdrop.
Overhead, the artwork will include an abstract network of large eucalyptus tree branches. The artist milled the branches with a chainsaw and spliced them together to form a sculptural puzzle. Each section was planed, sanded and treated, and was installed with the planed surface facing downward.
The natural side of the tree branches will be exposed to the elements and allowed to weather. The artwork has been suspended by cables anchored to three towering masts, emulating sailboats on the bay.
The park is being funded by $3.8 million from the Port of San Diego’s Capital Improvement Program and a $3.5 million grant administered by the San Diego Foundation on behalf of the Lloyd and Ilse Ruocco Fund. Lloyd was a noted San Diego architect credited with starting San Diego’s modernist architecture movement.
His wife, Ilse, was a prominent interior designer and professor of art at San Diego State University. The couple started a trust more than 25 years ago to create a park in San Diego that would feature outstanding urban design.
The park is designed by ONA and Associates, Inc. and is being constructed by Ledcor Construction.