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Giant metal dandelions invade Los Angeles – to grant a wish!

Have you ever blown on a dandelion, once the flowers have turned to seeds, and made a wish as you watched the seeds take flight? Los Angeles is now home to three giant (25-foot tall!), metal dandelions, emulating the smaller natural ones we blow on to make wishes.  This latest work of public art is entitled simply, “Wish”, and adorns the new Juanita Tate Marketplace in South Central Los Angeles.

The artist who created the sculpture is  Heath Satow, whose works are on display as far away as South Korea and Dubai. The idea for the sculpture was his own. He says that Wish was designed to represent the act of blowing on a dandelion puff and making a wish, explaining that…

“The area has desperately needed a good market with healthy food. Every time anyone spoke about the site, they mentioned how this was a dream come true for them. So the concept of ‘wish’ seemed natural. I wanted something that worked on a large, abstract scale, but was also representative of something that people could recognize and relate to.”

Wish sculpture, giant metal dandelions

If you look in the background, up against the marketplace wall, you can see two additional dandelion puffs being blown away. They are seven and ten feet long, respectively.

Paramount Roll and Forming provided the tube rolling services, giving the massive stems a natural curve, simulating the shapes and curves of real dandelion stems bending in the wind. The individual arms all had to be bent to exact specifications, on a fairly tight schedule.

The sculpture is built from marine-grade stainless steel and Cor-ten (weathering) steel. Paramount Roll and Forming specializes in bending steel, both structural (See the church) and artistic (see the gates). It was worked on off site, assembled, then each dandelion stem unit was brought to the Juanita Tate Marketplace to be installed.

Here we see the team unloading the individual dandelion stems from the truck, and getting ready to hoist them into place:

Wish sculpture

Here we see the team making final adjustments on-site. (We would not want the wind to really blow part of the sculpture away, would we?)

Wish sculpture

Here is a short video of the installation at the corner of Central Ave and Slauson Ave, where the Juanita Tate Marketplace is located.

View on Vimeo.

A plaque accompanying the giant dandelions reads as follows…

Wish sculpture dedication

Heath Satow felt inspired by the community spirit that lead to creating the marketplace. He says…

“I found it most interesting that merely getting something many of us take for granted, a decent shopping center with a good food market, could be such a challenge to get in some areas. The perseverance of the people that stuck with this dream for two decades to finally see it through was inspiring to me, and I hope the sculpture relays this inspiration to the public.”

Full credits for this unique public art project go to…

Design and fabrication: Heath Satow Sculpture
Project management: Angel Castillo
Sculpture commissioned: Regency Centers
Engineering consultants: Buro Happold
Laser cutting: Tomco Products
Structural welding: ASAP Welding and Hollywood Welding
Tubing supplied by: Tube Service Co.
Tube rolling: Paramount Roll & Forming Inc.
Galvanizing: Atlas Galvanizing
Installation support: Matt Construction

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