Westlake Urban has a long history of including public art at its properties. This month, we’re proud to continue the tradition with the announcement that Truth is Beauty, the 55-foot steel and LED sculpture by local Bay Area artist Marco Cochrane, will be arriving at the San Leandro Tech Campus in 2016. The sculpture will be placed in the plaza of the Tech Campus, immediately adjacent to the Downtown San Leandro BART station. We are thrilled to work with our partners and the City of San Leandro to bring this exceptional sculpture to the San Leandro Tech Campus.
Truth is Beauty depicts a woman expressing her power, energy and humanity. Standing 55 feet tall and weighing 13,000 pounds, the work is constructed of 20,000 feet of steel rod tubing, covered with 2,000 square feet of stainless steel mesh, and contains 2,500 multicolored LED lights. The LED lights are distributed throughout the sculpture and can be programmed in infinite combinations to create a spectacular light show that enhances and expands the visual experience.
Truth is Beauty is the second installment in a trilogy of sculptures by Marco Cochrane known as The Bliss Project. The Bliss Project includes three monumental sculptures of female figures, including the sculptures Bliss Dance (2010), Truth is Beauty (2011) and R-Evolution, now in progress. Truth is Beauty was displayed in its final form in 2013 on the playa at Burning Man, a weeklong annual festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. R-Evolution will be displayed on the playa at Burning Man in August.
Truth is Beauty is an expression of self-acceptance and self-love by a woman who is safe, human, powerful and beautiful. The work is also about the safety of women. When Marco was 7 years old, his best friend, a 9-year-old girl, was raped. Marco was deeply affected. As his artistic expression evolved over the years, he realized his life’s mission: to create art that challenges the viewer to see past the physical form of the female body, to the human being. He hopes to inspire people to take action to end assault and violence against women, and in doing so create a world where everyone can live fully and thrive.
Truth is Beauty is emblematic of the transformation taking place in San Leandro, a city moving from an industrial past to a technology-focused future. Once a “manufacturing center of the 20th century,” the city is now becoming a 21st century center of innovation and technology. The groundwork was laid in 2012 when city leaders partnered with Dr. J. Patrick Kennedy, founder of local software company OSIsoft and our Tech Campus partner, to modernize San Leandro’s communications infrastructure and build a fiber optic loop for high-speed internet. Today San Leandro boasts the fastest broadband in the nation.
San Leandro is now “a hotbed for makers.” With the high-speed fiber optic loop, the city has become a springboard for new and growing technology businesses that create quality jobs. The city is already home to the world’s largest 3D printing coalition under one roof. OSIsoft will occupy the first building of the San Leandro Tech Campus as its global headquarters beginning in 2016.
Westlake Urban believes that the location of Truth is Beauty—which will be highly visible from the Downtown San Leandro BART station—will not only enliven our long-vacant site, but will also represent a significant shift in perceptions of San Leandro as a place to live, work and invest.
Truth is Beauty’s message of women’s empowerment is particularly relevant given today’s immense gender divide in the tech industry. The San Leandro Tech Campus creates an opportunity to share the message of Truth is Beauty in an environment that encourages the success of women in technology.
Truth is Beauty will be placed in the Tech Campus plaza next to the Downtown San Leandro BART station, where it will greet thousands of commuters every day. We hope the sculpture will ignite conversations about the possibility of a world where women are free from violence and are free to fully express themselves.
We are proud to be part of a community that “truly believes in San Leandro,” to quote Dr. Kennedy, and we hope and believe that Truth is Beauty will initiate the difficult discussions about the changes that are needed for women to be safe.
Westlake Urban believes that public art reflects our values as a society, adds meaning to our cities and connects past, present and future generations. We hope through our developments and our commitment to public art to play a small part in the transformation of communities where we invest.
Truth is Beauty tells a powerful story, and we hope it will inspire conversations about the important issues of transformation, safety, equality and opportunity. For a community like San Leandro, a city that is reinventing itself, these conversations will be critical to navigating the changes ahead.
Please visit our website and our social media channels for updates and announcements of future events celebrating next year’s arrival of Truth is Beauty and the completion of the San Leandro Tech Campus. And please add your voice to the conversation. We would love to hear from you.