Firewall: Solana Beach Fire Station FireWall and Landscape

Public Sculptures by Betsy K. Schulz, in Solana BeachSolana Beach, CA

Public Sculptures by Betsy K. Schulz seen at Solana Beach, Solana Beach - Firewall: Solana Beach Fire Station FireWall and Landscape
Public Sculptures by Betsy K. Schulz seen at Solana Beach, Solana Beach - Firewall: Solana Beach Fire Station FireWall and LandscapePublic Sculptures by Betsy K. Schulz seen at Solana Beach, Solana Beach - Firewall: Solana Beach Fire Station FireWall and LandscapePublic Sculptures by Betsy K. Schulz seen at Solana Beach, Solana Beach - Firewall: Solana Beach Fire Station FireWall and Landscape

Firewall: Solana Beach Fire Station FireWall and Landscape

atSolana BeachSolana Beach, CA
Dedicated to the members of the Solana Beach Fire Department who tirelessly stand between us and danger, the “Firewall” sculpture represents a fire contained within the landscape. The metal structure contains red, orange and yellow "embers" of soda ash glass, hand-selected and placed to represent a mosaic of smoldering fire. The front of the sculpture, facing Loma Santa Fe, is a combination of Betsy’s sculptural ceramics and mosaic work using specialty fused-glass created by Solana Beach artist Chris Austin. The back of the sculpture is a steel laser-cut door backed by a Lexan panel with a custom printed photo-composition. The size of the Firewall and internal LED lights make it highly visible, day or night, to those walking and passing in cars or on bikes. The lighting of the chunk glass evolves throughout the day, resembling glowing embers with the darkening of the sky. The ceramic shapes that front the “Firewall” transform at night into silhouettes, revealing the abstract shapes of dancing fire. Betsy worked closely with VDLA Architects, who designed the landscape plan. Together they selected and placed plants with foliage and bloom colors that complement the “Firewall”. The project includes the removal of the existing grass lawn and changing the irrigation to save water; and the installation of drought-tolerant and fire-resistant native plants appropriate to the coastal North County micro-climate. The Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society and Garden Club helped to create a native demonstration garden and two seating areas complete with boulders and decomposed granite.

Meet the Creator

"Betsy K. Schulz has provided creative design solutions and art installations for municipalities, schools, nonprofit groups, businesses, and private individuals across the nation for more than 20 years. Layering words, imagery, and texture, she creates art installations that are meant to be touched and experienced by the people who live with them.

Betsy graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and then worked as a graphic designer for over a decade. As the owner and creative force behind the A Design Garden studio, she designed print campaigns, corporate identities, websites, and museum and trade show exhibits.

Inspired to produce more lasting work, she started designing landscapes as “outdoor learning environments” for local schools and private clients. Betsy’s environments are characterized by cohesive color palettes, edible and low-water plants, natural structures, fountains, boulders, and tile murals and sculptures. Her murals and mosaics are largely inspired by nature and by the history of the communities where they are installed. Working with hand-sculpted tiles and found objects, she includes poems, historic information, and captions pressed into clay with antique letterpress letters or silk-screened onto tiles as glazes.

Betsy works extensively with historical societies and other sources to ensure that her artist interpretations are accurate. Where possible, she involves local volunteers of all ages, encouraging them to donate information and materials to support the project’s theme and to participate in workshops in her studio and on-site.

Betsy is meticulous in her preparation and follow-through for each project: She prepares comprehensive budgets, makes presentations complete with photo mock-ups of the finished project in place, organizes volunteer workshops, provides regular project updates, and oversees the final installation."

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