The idea for the Radford Art Walk was conceived years before it finally became a reality. Local artist Karl Johnson was creating so many sculptures that he was running out of room to store them....
The sculptures came to the attention of CBS President Michael Klausman, who liked the sculptures and very kindly offered Karl a storage area on the lot. CBS also put one of the sculptures just inside the main gate. But they didn't want to just hide them on the lot. They needed to be shared. Michael and Karl had often spoke about creating an art walk along Radford, where CBS had landscaped a long stretch along their western border. The property belongs to CBS for the first 18' from their wall and then it becomes city property for the next eleven feet to the curb. It stretches for about 800' - or maybe two and a half football fields.
When Michael joined the SCBA board we reopened their conversation and decided that, since SCBA beautifies city properties, it was a perfect joint project. It was well over a year in the planning from that point. We chose thirteen sculptures that all have their own unique and interesting message. It was necessary to put in a path so that people could stroll comfortably and safely and enjoy the sculptures. There was an existing berm that had to be dealt with and so retaining walls were built along various stretches. The city also required ADA ramps.
New plants were added to fill in and complement the sculptures and all the irrigation was reconfigured. Karl also created a seating area on the north end, including a matching trash container.
Completed in the spring of 2012, the Radford Art Walk has since become a favorite destination for dogs and people alike.
Books can take you anywhere in the universe.
The helmet/skull, the cost to keep one man on the throne.
Door to Enlightenment
(front) Difficult to get through. (back) The feather represents escape from the prison of ignorance.
Dragging a toxic childhood can last until the chain is broken.
Out of Balance
We are emotional creatures first, and rational creatures second.
Screwed, strapped, gaffed to a mountain of debt.
Knowing the difference between truth and lies.
Our traveller pulls the oversized load of head and hands he himself is missing.
Rachel Carson unheeded, we enter an unknown future.
The relentless tug of war with time.
Man, aware of his disintegration. His burden and greatness.
The big eat the little, from worms to worms.
The past you chip away at fights to drag you back.
The Welcoming Lamp lights the way
Old growth hardwood and salved steel join together
Sustainable Elements of the Project
We kept most of the existing plants and added hundreds more. As time goes by, we will continue to add more plants because our designer can't help herself, but here is a pretty good list of the new plants.
The pathway is constructed from decomposed granite. It is a permeable surface, allowing water to percolate through to the aquifers below. This reduces runoff into the street, the river and into our ocean. The pathway is also ADA compliant.
All plantings are low water use plants that are suited to our Mediterranean climate. Many of the plants are California natives:
The irrigation system has been completely overhauled to incorporate the latest innovation in water-conserving technology. The plants nearest the street receive water from a subsurface drip irrigation system manufactured by Netafim.
The plants in the middle and closer to the wall are watered by overhead spray. The spray heads can be adjusted to the contours of the path and the terrain. These nozzles rotate while emitting multiple streams of water at about one third the rate of traditional spray heads, thus allowing the soil to more efficiently absorb the applied water. Unlike traditional spray heads, the water is not blown by the wind. The MP rotator nozzle can be adjusted to the contours of the path and the terrain. They are designed for even water distribution for maximum plant health and minimal water waste.
The retaining wall is at the same time functional, sustainable and artistic. It serves to hold back the berm that existed before the pathway was created. It is constructed using locally excavated stones and old studio lights from the CBS Studio Center lot. These lights have lit up some of the most famous names in show business. Even though these lights, manufactured by Mole-Richardson Co., are over fifty years old, they are still made the same way today.
The wall was truly a collaborative effort. Francesca Corra was thinking of some creative way to construct the wall, something that would tie in the artistic aspect of the project and/or CBS. When CBS President and SCBA boardmember Michael Klausman was asked if there were any old objects on the lot that could be used to form a wall, he thought of the surplus of old lights. When construction began, Karl Johnson was on site to help with the creative process. Superior workmanship and a creative spirit came from the team of landscape contractors from Terra Form Landscape Company, Inc, owned by Philip Castiglia.
Francesca Corra, landscape designer
This project was designed by Francesca Corra, owner of landscape design firm Dirt Diva Designs. In her role as Vice President of SCBA, Francesca is in charge of the hands-on design aspect of most projects. To date she has designed and supervised installation of The Oasis, Maxwellton Triangle, Ventura Place, the Radford Art Walk, and the Oakdale Sanctuary.
A Note From Francesca...
"Since the projects that SCBA does are so visible to all our residents and visitors, we take very seriously our obligation to set a good example by using sustainable practices. No only do we beautify, but we do it using climate appropriate plants and water saving techniques. When we undertake a project all unwanted vegetation is removed without using any chemicals. We use worm castings and mycorrhizal inoculants at planting time to build a healthy soil. Our maintenance crews hand pull weeds and they are under strict orders not to use gas powered blowers.
During the installation of the Art Walk, we enjoyed meeting many residents of the area who expressed their appreciation for our efforts. We are all very grateful to those who continue to keep an eye on things for us and to everyone who visits. I have been told by more than one person that their dog loves the Art Walk as much as they do. One neighbor recently described the Art Walk as "the jewel of the neighborhood". Hearing things like that make it all worthwhile."
SCBA wishes to thank the following entities for their contributions to the Radford Art Walk:
CBS Studio Center
Studio City Chamber of Commerce
L.A. City Office of Community Beautification
Studio City Farmers Market
Studio City Residents Association
Foster Dennis (installed concrete pads)
Philip Castiglia (landscape contractor, creative thinking)
SCBA would like to thank the neighbors of The Radford Art Walk for their encouragement and enthusiasm during the installation of the project.
Since 1984 the SCBA has secured a number of private and public grants, in addition to generous contributions from individual contributors, all of which go towards it’s $25,000 a year maintenance program of weeding, tree trimming, irrigation repair, monument restoration and other ongoing maintenance expenses.
SCBA is managed by volunteers but is run as a business, keeping tight control on expenses and making every dollar work. The SCBA has invested over $300,000 in beautifying Studio City. The SCBA leverages city and partner resources and employs sustainable ecological methods.
Also visit our sister organization, The Studio City Residents Association