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Oceanside Harbor Announces Plans for Love Lock Sculpture

The tradition of “love lock” was made famous on the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris, France, and has been copied worldwide.

OCEANSIDE一 At their Jan. 26 meeting, the Oceanside City Council approved Love the O, an interactive sculpture proposal set to be placed between Oceanside Harbor and Harbor Beach.

The interactive sculpture will be 10 feet by 10 feet, fabricated from Corten steel and created by Randall Art Ranch.

The idea for the sculpture was sparked by Ted Schiafone, harbor division manager for Oceanside Harbor.

Schiafone was inspired to add an art installation after a parcel of land was landscaped to remove vegetation that could not withstand the salt environment.

After clearing the space and replacing the vegetation with a compacted decomposed granite walkway, it opened up a new space that Schiafone felt could use an art sculpture to fit Oceanside’s designation as a cultural district.

“We removed all the vegetation and placed compacted decomposed granite so that it allowed for an easier pedestrian pathway,” said Schiafone in a Feb. 7 email to the Log. “After a couple of months, I envisioned a large art sculpture as the City of Oceanside is one of California’s first designated cultural districts.”

However, the decision to create a love lock sculpture came from several places. The first is a popular tradition in Paris, France, on the Pont des Arts bridge where lovers add their names on a lock and then toss the key into the river (which is now illegal). The second, a copycat of that tradition, a creation by Randall Art Ranch in Vista, a large heart-shaped sculpture covered in locks that had become a popular destination for picture takers and lovers alike.

Schiafone reached out to his team and began the process of getting approved.

“I contacted Rick and Jaydon and began discussions regarding a large sculpture for Oceanside Harbor,” said Schiafone. “After a couple of design ideas, I began the process of getting City approval. Approval was granted January 26.”

Schiafone’s goal is that the sculpture will create a personal connection for visitors and residents.

“When they place their own lock on the sculpture with their personal message, they will come back again to visit and reconnect with the Harbor to see their lasting message,” said Schiafone.

The sculpture has a unique concept with an open “heart” center that will allow photographers to capture the sunset during most seasons.

“Oceanside Harbor is a municipal enterprise business; however, it acts more like a regional park,” said Schiafone. “Our goal is to create more “free” experiences for our community and visitors. This is just one example.”

            The project will cost $55,000, which will need to come entirely from donations. So far, the project has reached 20 percent of its goal, and Schiafone is hopeful of completing the project by summer.

            Visit Oceanside is handling the collection of all donations; parties interested in donating can visit Donations of any amount are welcome, and donations of $1000 or more will receive a special custom lock that will never be produced again.

Those donors will be invited to the grand opening and be the first to attach their lock with their message.

Schiafone hopes this will be the first project of many to fill Oceanside Harbor.

“My vision would be to create a nautical Art Walk with various artist contributions,” said Schiafone. “The Sea Center, one of our Commercial Sport Fishing Charter companies, just added a beautiful art sculpture at their dock landing. We would encourage other lessees to do the same.”

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