Canada Geese might be a nuisance for golfers and a headache for staff at Shoreline Park, but the City Council put that aside Tuesday when it chose some goose-inspired artwork for the new Shoreline fire station.
The council selected a proposal from artist Vadim Goretsky over 20 others for art to be installed outside the soon-to-be-rebuilt Fire Station Five across the street from Shoreline Amphitheatre. Goretsky's submission is an eight-foot-tall bronze sculpture of several geese in flight, which will be commissioned at a cost of $50,000 to $60,000. Another $8,000 to $12,000 would go to a wind vane to go on top of the fire station, which features two more flying geese.
"As a golfer I have to admit a strong bias against the geese," said council member Tom Means, who eventually approved the geese sculpture. There are more than 800 geese at Shoreline Park, which has caused the city to try all sorts of measures to ward them off.
Council member Margaret Abe-Koga said the piece reminded her of another art installation of birds in flight which the council approved in 2008 for Shoreline Park.
The council nearly chose a second favorite picked by the Visual Arts Committee, a bronze statue of a kneeling firefighter and a boy wearing a firefighter hat, designed by artists Adam Reeder. But the geese sculpture is something drivers on Shoreline Boulevard would more easily notice, council members said. City staffers said Reeder's piece would more likely be noticed by pedestrians at Fire Station Three, where it could be installed during a planned renovation which is coming in under budget.
Firefighters said they were pleased with both art proposals.
A city staff report says that as part of the flying geese sculpture, a plaque will explain the legend of how geese in Rome "saved the ancient city from the great fire started by invaders and that geese are the vigilant birds representing the spirit of public service."
The city has a policy of putting 1 percent of the cost of major projects towards art. In this case the budget is $67,000.