By Nelda Stuck
Our Town Editor
REDLANDS DAILY FACTS, Wednesday, November 16, 1988
At the turn of this century for Redlands, Our Town is on its way. Art in public places has made a real foothold, and the latest sculpture unveiled adds just one more example in the realm of possibilities available.
That colorful welded metal piece, titled "Isis" by San Jose artist Roslyn Mazzilli, was unveiled November 7 in the I-10 Corridor outside Regional Office Center III, one of six business centers which comprise The Complex near the San Bernardino County Museum.
Isis is a splendid open-winged piece, smooth in polyurethane colors of rosy red, blending to light gold at the tips of its spreading rods. Although an eye-catching work at close range in the daylight, the sculpture takes on a whole new look lighted at night from a distance.
When driving west toward Los Angeles or San Bernardino, to the right of the freeway midway between Alabama and California streets, from that distance one sees this spotlighted, bright flame-like spot of color accenting the new building which houses the Aetna offices. The sculpture was commissioned by Russ E. Hatle, president of Community National Corp. and project developer for The Complex.
"The sculpture by Roslyn Mazzilli is our way of contributing to the display of art in public places within the Inland Empire, a movement being supported by the Arts Foundation of San Bernardino County," Hatle said.
Hatle said he became familiar with Mazzilli's work through the galleries. "Very simply, I liked what I saw, and decided this type of sculpture would symbolize the creative energy of The Complex. Installing 'Isis" prominently at Regional Center II will give others the chance to enjoy it as well."
Artist Roslyn Mazzilli and Joan Dotson of the Redlands Planning Commission and a proponent of art in public places in Redlands unveiled the sculpture, which had been installed and covered on Monday.
Mazzilli has had several of her works unveiled in the last couple of years. The one which caught news coverage from Herb Caen in the San Francisco Chronicle to the Wall Street Journal was her 17-foot-tall, welded aluminum swirl of color in Oakland's City Square complex.
Mazzilli titled it "There" - a reference to Gertrude Stein's quotation debatably about Oakland, or perhaps about a state of mind.
Stein had made her famous remark after visiting Oakland in 1935, 43 years after leaving there at age 18. In her inimitable style, she wrote: "Anyway what was the use of my having come from Oakland. It was not natural to have come from there ... there is no there there."
With Mazzilli's sculpture in place, Oakland now feels "There" is there.
Other Mazzilli works have been installed at UC's Hastings College of Law in San Francisco; a piece at the Belmont CalTrain station last December (one of three works by three artists commissioned by the California Arts Council for train stations); at the San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art; the Palo Alto Cultural Center; San Jose State University; and Chapman College.
Hatle said he has been interested in commissioning a work of art for several years, but that this piece became a reality due to the size of this current I-10 Corridor construction project, The Complex.He said prior projects were not large enough in scope to finance art, and that the builder of a single building does not have enough profit leeway to add an art piece to his project.
Hatle announced, however, plans to work toward a second sculpture through a student competition at the University of Redlands this year.
A native of Brooklyn, NY, Mazzilli received her bachelor's and master's degrees from San Jose State University.
Her works are originally composed in wood and then fabricated in aluminum, steel or stainless steel.
"It is my intention that the viewer becomes a participant, she says, "and comes away with a memory of optimism strumming along the spine, witness to an uplifting movement caught forever in an active gesture to evoke the skeletal essence of ballet, of lines curving and space expanding."
"The themes of my work include the life-enhancing metaphors of wings opening, dancers swirling, lovers embracing, flowers blossoming, all intending to reaffirm that life without movement and interaction can not exist."