July 18, 2013 —
Orit Haj, the name of the artwork at the newly dedicated Vasquez Rocks Interpretive Center, has been selected as one of the 50 best public art projects by the 2013 Public Art Network Year in Review by Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts.
"This award-winning artwork adds significantly to the cultural, history and environmental experience at our Vasquez Rocks Interpretive Center," said Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.
Orit Haj is a tribute to the Native American culture of the Tataviam people from the Santa Clarita Valley. To construct Orit Haj, the artist team Didier Hess (a collaborative led by Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess) and community members used an architectural building material called rammed earth, which is a mixture of soil and cement compacted into forms to create a solid earthen structure.
Over the course of about 150 years, due to the artists' creative modification in the rammed earth formula, personal artifacts embedded by the participants will be revealed as the material slowly erodes.
The annual "Year in Review" program recognizes the most exemplary, innovative, permanent or temporary public art works created or debuted in the previous year. It is the only national award that specifically recognizes public art projects. The 2013 Year in Review awardees were chosen from more than 350 submissions from across the United States.
To learn more about Orit Haj and other projects of the L.A. County Arts Commission Civic Art Program, visit lacountyarts.org.