2ND+ PCH aims to be a great retail therapy venue. It also is a stunning art space.
CenterCal President Jean Paul Wardy and Vice President of Brand Experience Maureen Gitto have created a pioneering art project in collaboration with Jasper Wong of Pow! Wow! fame. Mural and large-scale art installations can be viewed throughout the property.
Wardy, Gitto, and Wong have curated a series of murals by artists Aaron De La Cruz, Dave Van Patten, Luise Ono, The Draculas, as well as Wong himself.
“When planning the 2ND+PCH murals, we knew we wanted the art to be special to the space, reflecting and bringing in the community,” Wong said. “Two of the five mural artists, Dave Van Patten and the Draculas are part of the Long Beach art scene.”
Gitto added,” It is important to us that the art be a ‘surprise and delight’ experience.”
The main staircase is a focal point for the venue, and is the site of Aaron De La Cruz’s Escher-meets-Mesoamerican mural. Exacting lines are punctuated with intentional drips of paints. The placement of the mural within the stairs and landings creates an interactive art experience.
Continuing up the stairs, Dave Van Patten’s underwater bus scene provides a great photo op; viewers can integrate into the mural, becoming nautical commuters.
Continuing with the Long Beach-inspired ocean theme, the Draculas, so named as they are known to paint throughout the night, ending at dawn, have created a nautical, “ can you imagine if” mural. Located on an outer back wall, near Whole Foods Market, the mural displays the artists’ illustration and graphic arts background.
Luise Ono traveled from Japan to create a mural containing only California-origin flowers and plants. The mural covers a large part of the venue’s back wall, as well as a large utility box. Tragedy almost struck during the mural’s creation. Ono received a call around 2 a.m. from the Draculas, saying that a cleaning crew had mistakenly begun to wash down the freshly painted mural. With several hours of remedial work, Ono was able to successfully complete the mural.
Wong’s mural, located on the parking garage roof, wraps around the building and can be seen from the 2nd Street Bridge. Wong created the mural in seven days, beginning with graphite pencil and then painting with a palette of, “happy colors and forms that note the diversity of scenes and happenings in Long Beach.”
In addition to the murals, plan an evening trip to view the Ivan McLean spherical steel sculpture, the lighted centerpiece of the venue’s fountain, as well as the Steven Handelman Studios’ ocean-inspired original light fixtures.
“We hand-selected an array of artists who are unique to the city of Long Beach, place-making a destination that is accessible, approachable, and exciting,” CenterCal’s Wardy said. “It’s an intersection of art, and design, meant to be engrained in the community in the years to come.”
2ND & PCH is at 6400 E. PCH, with entrances on Second Street, PCH and Marina Drive. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. For more information, go to www.2ndandpch.com.