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Artist, workers install workers into sculpture near Central Park

Posted: November 11, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 11, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Sculptor LT Mustardseed, center, looks on as fabricator Chris Barber directs Santa Clarita workers as they install her sculpture near Central Park in Saugus on Saturday.

Another insect has descended on Central Park — and it’s here to stay.

Bigger than a Volkswagen Bug, a stunningly colorful sculpture of a Western Tiger Swallowtail and, beside it, a Yerba Santa plant, were unveiled at one of the park’s entrances on Bouquet Canyon Road Saturday morning.

Sculptor LT (short for “lieutenant”) Mustardseed was chosen by the Santa Clarita Art Commission from more than 80 entries and a shortlist of three.

“Both of these are native to the local environment,” Mustardseed said.

She said she went to work constructing the sculpture — billed by city officials as a “new whimsical butterfly sculpture in front of Central Park — about a year ago when she was commissioned to do the work.

Her sculpture titled “Western Tiger Swallowtail” is built largely using recycled motorcycle parts.

The sculpture’s body is a motorcycle tank, its legs made out of spokes, its tail out of suspension springs, and wing patterns out of gears and sprockets.

While city workers were busy helping install the sculpture, at least one motorist slowed down to shout out a “thank you” to the sculptor who said “thank you” in reply.

LT Mustardseed is a Los Angeles artist profoundly inspired, she said, having attended Burning Man.

The annual Burning Man experience is host to one of the world’s largest assembly of interactive sculpture in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.

Asked if the sculpture is likely to keep its vivid colors, Mustardseed said “it should” since she used automotive paints.

According to the arts commission, the notion of the sculpture is to highlight Santa Clarita’s own indigenous species with a bright and whimsical piece that engages people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

Jeff Barber, arts and events supervisor for the city of Santa Clarita, was on hand for Saturday’s unveiling.

“A lot of people will see this,” he said. “For people who, obviously, can’t go out walking to the median, it’s large enough for them to appreciate it.”

Barber called the piece: “A nice addition to our collection.”



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