EL CERRITO -- The city has designated October as "Arts and Humanities Month" and is throwing a party Oct. 26 to recognize the importance of art and artists.

The party at City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave., from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., is free. The city will exhibit one of 10 wind sculptures created by artists Jonathan Russell and Saori Ide for a streetscape project on San Pablo Avenue at the event, according to community outreach specialist Suzanne Iarla.

Attractions will include face painting, live music and an exhibition in City Hall's art gallery.

The celebration coincides with an outreach effort to line up exhibitions for a gallery on the second floor of City Hall, Iarla said.

The city's Arts and Culture Commission solicits proposals each year in May and November from artists interested in exhibiting their work in the space.

The commission gives preference to El Cerrito artists, but artists from Richmond, Oakland and other Bay Area cities have shown in the space, Iarla said.

Interested artists should submit an electronic sample of their work to the city by Nov. 2, Iarla said.

The city's website at www.elcerrito.org/galleryspace lists the guidelines for submissions.

City Hall was built under El Cerrito's 2005 Art in Public Places Ordinance. The ordinance requires developers of projects valued at more than $250,000 to contribute at least 1 percent of the cost to creating public art.


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The exhibition space was the 1 percent contribution of City Hall's developer when the building was constructed in 2008. Developers of the San Pablo streetscape project have commissioned the 10 wind sculptures.

The developer of a Safeway store on San Pablo Avenue gave 1 percent of the store's cost to the Arts and Culture Commission in lieu of commissioning public art, Iarla said.

For more information about the party or the gallery, contact Iarla at 510-215-4318.

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