Kings Beach’s main drag is now home to two new art pieces in the center of its two roundabouts. Placer County board supervisors and local organization representatives celebrated the installation on July 22 with the snip of a ribbon.
Estrella and Daow Aga serve as focal points for the Bear Street and Coon Street intersections with Highway 28, respectively. Todd Leopold, county executive officer for Placer, attributed the project’s success to “a number of different dedicated people over the past years.”
Board supervisor Cindy Gustafson, district 5, and Chair Kirk Uhler, district 4, spoke of the amount of community input that went into selecting the two pieces, including the 430 people who chose the final options. Steve Miller, Tahoe Public Art’s founding member, and Joy Doyle of the North Tahoe Business Association also shared their thoughts about the project’s success.
“This is something that brings beauty to the environment,” Miller said.
Estrella (meaning “star” in Spanish) represents the stars above Lake Tahoe, the celestial sight that artist Roger Berry has appreciated from a young age. The night sky invokes a special feeling he wanted to share through his art. Here is a video showing Berry’s journey to select his theme and create the constellation-inspired sculpture now on display and frequently orbited by cars in Kings Beach via Placer County’s Vimeo account.
Brett Moten created Daow Aga, meaning the “edge of the lake” in the native Washoe language, as a symbol of protection looking over the waters and to represent the native concept of the seven directions. According to Moten, many people believe that the word “Tahoe” was originally a mispronunciation of “daow aga.”
“I wanted it to come from a standpoint of the native people,” Moten said. Check out his thoughts on the process and his final artwork in a video by Placer County here.
The art installations will be maintained through Placer County’s transient occupancy tax revenue.
Public Art, In a Roundabout Way: It wasn’t always going to be Daow Aga and Estrella that greeted the eye of visitor and resident alike in Kings Beach’s roundabouts. Click here to learn the history of the decision to choose these two sculptures and how established legal artists’ rights protections have conflicted with new Cal Trans policies.