Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Preservation of Galleta Meadows, Sculptures


Last updated 6/21/2021 at 3:02pm

Photo Courtesy of Bill Gracey

Ricardo Breceda's 130 metal sculptures are an iconographical part of Borrego Springs visual landscape and a monumental artistic heritage for the area. Originally, philanthropist Dennis Avery purchased the land for conservation, untended and open to the public for visitation. Thousands of visitors come annually to visit the art which was featured as one of 11 best art experiences outside of LA in Southern California by Pricilla Frank for the Huffington Post.

Representatives Of Borrego's nonprofit and business entities were approached recently by Under The Sun Foundation, owner and stewards of the Galleta Meadows and it's sculptures, for input on suggestions for preserving the condition of Galleta Meadows area and preservation of the 130 sculptures. The sculptures are spread over 1,500 acres of undeveloped desert land, and taken care of by the Foundation, who continue to actively plan for the long term care of this important community landmark and resource.

The Under the Sun Foundation was formed by the Avery children in 2018, and is inspired by the work of Dennis Avery, and his passion for bringing art to the local community and its visitors. It also supports a creative space, both physical and figurative, encourages people to engage with the arts, natural environment and one another.

Those attending all were in agreement that immediate action needs to be taken. Increasing numbers of visitors over the years have mitigated an impact on the condition of the sculptures and surrounding desert floor. Trampled top soil is compounded, causing the land to sink a couple of inches annually, then swept away by winds which alters the natural growth cycle of wildflowers and typical desert flora.

It's become necessary to consider a revitalization of the area and the future preservation of the meadows and the art.

Dozens of randomly parked cars on popular weekends surround the sculptures. With no designated parking areas, it's a free for all. Concern about children climbing sculptures and the possibility of injury is a consideration.

A designated parking area was well supported by attendees. A spokesperson for the Borrego Sun felt that parking alongside the road and walking in was a solid option plus creating boundaries around the sculptures and established paths for viewing.

Alternatively, delineating a no vehicle zone around sculptures and creating a designated off road marked parking area nearby.

Access to some to the more remote sculpture could have signage to indicate accepted "roads," to access the artworks with road markers like poles or stones. However, suggestion was also made to possible consolidating sculptures moving sculpture's far from the main road on the south side of Borrego Springs Road closer to the main road therefore minimizing impact on the desert terrain.

Fairly unanimous agreement was reached that signage is necessary suggestions included.

Please do not touch the art. Please stay on marked paths. No vehicles beyond this point.

Under the Sun Foundation welcomes you to Galleta Meadows/Sky Art Sculptures by Ricardo Breceda.

Concern for the general vulnerability and disrepair of the sculptures brought the attention to the need for an overall ongoing conservation maintenance program for the sculptures.

No final decisions were reached. Potential partnerships with other Borrego nonprofit and for profit stakeholders in terms of volunteerism and funding were presented. Seeking a grant from the County a possibility.

Conclusions are hoped to be made by the end of June.

As a collection the sculptures are an extraordinary artistic achievement parallel to Disney imagineer artists fantastic visionary works. A Borrego artistic legacy for generations to come and forever part of our beloved dearest horizon.

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