Ruocco Park

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Public Art

ruoccoartinstall2 copySan Diego artist Roman de Salvo recently installed, The Riparium, a site-specific artwork that serves as a sculptural gateway to Ruocco Park.

Positioned at the corner of Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway, The Riparium acts as a formal entry to the park, with colonnades and landscaping. Upon passing through the sculptural gateway, the viewer sees a remarkable park environment. Overhead, an abstract network of massive eucalyptus tree branches gesture ornately in the direction of the park and bay, welcoming the public.

ruoccoartinstall3 copyThe fluid form of the sculpture is an intricate, yet substantial sculptural accomplishment. The contrast of chosen materials – from cool steel to warm wood - characterizes de Salvo's approach to natural beauty and exemplifies his superb technique. Joined like an intricate puzzle, the web of eucalyptus tree branches are suspended with the planed surface facing downward to reveal the warm grain of the wood. The natural, rounded side of the tree branches face upward and are allowed to weather. Cables anchored from three towering masts, evocative of sailboats on the bay, support the massive eucalyptus tree branches.


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De Salvo is a nationally-recognized artist, who lives and works in San Diego. In 2006, he completed the 125-foot-long "Nexus Eucalyptus" at the Caltrans District 11 building in Old Town. The artwork is constructed from eucalyptus trees installed in a manner that resembles a network of roadways. He has also created public artworks for the San Diego Trolley's Green Line Station, Alvarado Medical Center and the New Children's Museum in San Diego. He has exhibited his work at the Seattle Art Museum, Quint Contemporary Art in La Jolla, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, the Public Art Fund in New York, the Nevada Museum of Art, the Whitney Biennial in New York City and the Musee d'Art Americain in Giverny, France. De Salvo received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, San Diego.