Horse shoe tracks lead out of this downtown parking lot, a tongue-in-cheek reminder of the areaâs transition in modes of transportation. This sketch is one of five Charles Milligan illustrations of sidewalk art concepts; they are posted on the cityâs website. Illustration by Charles Milligan
The multi-faceted Warren Street Improvement Project has an ongoing sidewalk art section which, if all goes according to plan, will be a continuous flow of related themes that celebrate the Eastern Sierra, past and present.
Artist Charles Milligan is working with the Warren project collaborators, Andy Holmes, owner of Triad/Holmes Associates and Matt Schober, Triadâs Warren Street engineer. âWeâre doing a narrative for the street, a flow system for all six blocks, that incorporates many themes.â
Primarily using terra-cotta and Miami buff colored cement and embedded designs, those themes include a walk of the stars, petroglyphs, cattle brands, wild and domestic animal tracks and more, life-long artist Milligan explained. So far, the ideas that he, Schober, Holmes, Public Works Director David Grah and others have brainstormed, âhave been received enthusiastically by the Warren project âfocus group, the general public, people Iâve been talking to.â
The Walk of Stars theme would be Bishopâs version of Hollywoodâs TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Graumanâs Chinese Theatre) sidewalk. Instead of Rock Hudson and Marilyn Monroeâs hands, the Walk of Stars would display impressions of famous Eastern Sierra horses and mules and people, too, Milligan said.
âWe want to get permission from the (Bishop Paiute) Tribe to do a petroglyph display at the southeast corner of Church and Warren with embedded bits of volcanic glass, obsidian, sparkling in the sun, a kind of (landscape along which) the little goats would run.â
One morning Milligan woke up with an idea for native animal and bird tracks leading up to the Inyo Mono Free Libraryâs exterior wall mural â a la âFar Sideâ cartoons. âI thought it would be humorous.â Across the street, horse and mule shoe tracks will be coming out of the southeast parking lot at Academy and Warren streets, a wink at the fact that what probably used to be a horse lot is now a car lot, Milligan said.
Historic local cattle brands and mining tool themes are more up in the air, Milligan said; no location has been confirmed and local experts have yet to be contacted, Milligan said.
Milligan said he has also been working with merchants âwho come to me to give their businessesâ appearance subtle, modest upgrades. The Sierra Thrift Mall (owner) wants some ideas for ârefreshing the storefront,ââ for example.
The public is invited to attend todayâs 5:30 p.m. Warren project planning meeting in the City Hall conference room at 377 W. Line St. While Milligan said that there should be some discussion about where to begin the sidewalk art phase and a progress report summary given, âthe focus of the meeting will be on prioritizing the entire project, now, to look at phasing it for construction for 2014 and some that will be built later,â Grah explained. âWe believe the sidewalk markings (aspect of the project) will be funded in this initial phase.â
Next on Milliganâs to-do list is producing a layout of the entire six-block flow in three large drawings which will be due in a month or so and will then be posted on the Public Works page at http://www.ca-bishop.us/.
A bit off topic, Milligan added that âwe want to create something dramatic as the focal pointâ where Warren Street ends at South Street by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power lot. Grah suggested a Pelton wheel, a kind of water turbine, and Southern California Edison has a nine-foot and several six-foot wheels that might be available, he said â they could be installed with a history of local power houses on the pedestal.
âThere are a lot more stories on my wish list and we are always looking for additional ideas from the public,â Milligan said. Grah added that dropping an email to PublicWorks@ca-bishop.us would probably be the most convenient way for the community to contribute ideas, âbut weâll take sketches on a napkin, too.â