Montana Avenue illuminated by art and light installation

April 5, 2022 9:28 a.m.

Last week, the City of Santa Monica unveiled an art and light installation covering ten city blocks in the Montana Avenue business district. The facility aims to support the region’s economic recovery amid the continued challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and can be viewed through September 2022.

Each block features a Ficus tree that has been transformed into a unique, illuminated work of art with themes ranging from butterflies and whimsical flowers to hanging lanterns, chandeliers and colored window panes. This installation is a partnership between the city’s Art of Recovery initiative and the Montana Avenue Merchants Association.

“As businesses fully reopen and welcome residents, shoppers and visitors to Montana Avenue, we envision this public art project as a focal point that draws people in,” said Kara Taub, president of Montana Avenue Merchants. Association. “We hope the installation will encourage people to walk and explore new businesses that have recently opened or rediscover long-time neighborhood favorites.”

“Art of Recovery is thrilled to partner with the Montana Avenue Merchants Association as a production partner to bring a creative project of this magnitude to the district,” said Shannon Daut, Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Santa Monica. “By working together, we build the capacity and sustainability of local groups to produce impactful artistic projects. This installation is a great example of what these collaborations can accomplish to provide more communal access to artistic experiences.

This project is funded in part by the City of Santa Monica’s Art of Recovery initiative, which has funded over 100 artists and 24 projects to transform some of the city’s public spaces into vibrant works of art. One of the goals of the initiative is to support nearby local businesses by improving outdoor spaces and to further build a supportive ecosystem for artists and projects, providing learning, networking and opportunities for artists to work in all sectors. For more information about Art of Recovery and to submit a project concept, visit

The Montana Avenue Merchants Association is one of six organizations working with the initiative’s new production partner model that enables the expansion of arts experiences across the city. For more information on the Montana Avenue Merchants Association and tree facilities, visit:

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