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Port of San Diego to Celebrate Installation of Sculpture in Coronado Tidelands Park

The Port of San Diego is hosting a celebratory event for the installation of artist Michael Stutz’s elegant bronze sculpture, “Penelope,” in its new waterfront location overlooking San Diego Bay and the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge in the northeast corner of Coronado Tidelands Park at 2000 Mullinex Drive, Coronado, CA 92118.

The event will be held Thursday, September 12, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the site of the sculpture. Port Chairman Garry Bonelli will give remarks as well as, Port President & CEO Randa Coniglio, City of Coronado Mayor Pro Tem Whitney Benzian and “Penelope’s” creator, Michael Stutz.

The Port first commissioned the nearly seven-foot-tall bronze sculpture in 2008 as part of its Public Art Program. It was located on the San Diego waterfront between Seaport Village and Tuna Harbor, but due to the construction of Ruocco Park, “Penelope” was temporarily moved off the waterfront and placed into storage. The installation celebration marks the end of a long hiatus for “Penelope,” who represents a figure from the Greek epic poem, The Odyssey, and her re-emergence as a beautiful public artwork that can be enjoyed by all who visit Coronado Tidelands Park.

“The Port of San Diego is pleased to install this beautiful example of public art in Coronado Tidelands Park,” said Garry Bonelli, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “Bringing public art to the waterfront creates a vibrant experience and enhances San Diego Bay’s cultural richness.”

The “Penelope” sculpture is made of welded silicon bronze strips that have been woven into the form of a large-scale woman’s head. The woven pattern of the bronze strips is suggestive of muscles and nerves in a face with potential for movement and feeling.

In The Odyssey, “Penelope” represents a mythical figure who is waiting for her husband, Odysseus (or Ulysses in Roman history), to return from war. While he is away, she must fend off suitors who believe that Odysseus had been killed. To keep them at bay, she pretends to be weaving a burial shroud for Odysseus’ father. She claimed that once the shroud was completed, she would choose a suitor. Every night, however, she undid the weaving so that it would never be finished. To commemorate this story, an inscription in bronze letters at “Penelope’s” base reads: “Weaving by day, Penelope would be forced to choose a new husband when her tapestry was complete. But all the while she waited, unraveling her work by night, steadfastly sure of Ulysses’ return.”

At the event, attendees will have the opportunity to meet Michael Stutz and take photographs with the sculpture. There will also be free food and refreshments throughout the event with musical entertainment, promotional items and lawn games provided. Free parking is available in the Coronado Tidelands Park lot, as well as along Mullinex Drive.

About THE Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.

About Port of San Diego Experiences

Port of San Diego Experiences welcomes businesses, residents and visitors from across the globe to enjoy and prosper from our dynamic waterfront.

As a treasured destination, the Port provides unique opportunities to captivate visitors and ensure everyone is welcomed, connected and inspired by our beautiful waterfront.