Wings Over Anaheim

Various contributors, Jul 30, 2017

Anaheim’s excellent Convention Center has a new attraction for the thousands of visitors thronging its walkways this summer – nine large bronze sculptures. They are so spectacular that it’s worth the effort for Anaheim residents to go and see them.

The Wings of the City exhibition was opened on July 11, with a turnout of dignitaries from Anaheim Council Members and Staff, the Mexican Consulate, school district administrators and board members, neighboring city elected officials, local artists and the Anaheim Ballet. The artists himself, Jorge Marin, was unable to be present but was represented by some of his staff.

The inspiration for this exhibit resulted from meetings between Mayor Tom Tait and the Mexican Consulate. The sculptures have been on the road for a while but have never before visited southern California.

From July 11 to Sept. 30, the Anaheim Convention Center is hosting “Wings of the City,” an outdoor exhibit of nine stunning, larger-than-life bronze sculptures by acclaimed Mexican artist Jorge Marín.

Among the statues is “Alas de México,” or “Wings of Mexico,” a pair of giant wings suspended above steps for people to pose in front of and become part of the art.

The wings, which debuted in 2010 as a public art exhibit on Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma, have been the backdrop for millions of photos as they’ve toured the world.

Now Anaheim residents and visitors will be able to get their own pictures with “Alas de México” and view the other works in the striking collection.

“Art makes life better, and the best art becomes part of our lives,” Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said. “As a city of the arts with longstanding ties to Mexico, Anaheim is the perfect place for people to enjoy this incredible exhibit.”

Marín’s monumental statues pay homage to classic sculptures with surreal twists: men adorned with dream-like wings or bird masks, and some in stunning acrobatic poses.

The statues are arranged so visitors can enjoy them on a leisurely stroll through the walkways around the Anaheim Convention Center.

Anaheim is the first California city on a U.S. tour for “Wings of the City” that started in 2013 in Texas. The statues also have been displayed in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Four statues are along Katella Avenue in the plaza of the Anaheim Convention Center’s domed arena. The other five have been placed along the Palm Court walkway near the Hilton Anaheim hotel.

Taking and sharing personal pictures is encouraged using the hashtag #wingsinanaheim.  No commercial photography, please.

The opening ceremony, in the hot midday sun, included a number of speeches and  presentations, the unveiling of the “Wings” and a gorgeous ballet piece danced around the Wings by Anaheim Ballet.

In his speech Mayor Tom Tait said, “Art has a way of transforming people and places… I guess if we could put it easily into words it wouldn’t be art! … These statues lift up the entire convention center ... and the entire city.” The he quoted  Pablo Picasso – “Art washes away from the soul the dust of every day life.”

Thank you Mayor Tait for your leadership.

So here is a request. Let the City buy at least one large bronze sculpture from Jorge Marín and have it permanently installed in some suitable location. And then devise a program where, with suitable sponsorship, the City installs a statue every year over, say, a five year period.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Parking is available at the Hilton Anaheim structure.

Parking in the structure is $6 for the first hour and $1.25 for each additional hour.

You can park for free on select Sundays, July 30, Aug. 12 and Sept. 10, from noon to 4 p.m. in Car Park 1, along Hotel Way off Katella Avenue.

The exhibit is presented by the city of Anaheim, Visit Anaheim, the Consulate of Mexico in Orange County and the Mexican Agency of International Cooperation and Development.

It’s here to share internationally acclaimed art with residents and visitors and to support cultural ties with Mexico.

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