After some 20 years, Santa Monica’s beloved “Big Wave” sculpture is shining bright following a $75,000 restoration project that involved the installation of energy-efficient LED lighting.
Artist Tony DeLap completed the sculpture in 1989 as one of the city’s first public art projects. It spans Wilshire Boulevard at Franklin Avenue on the east end of town.
“The ‘Big Wave’ has finally come to life again … ,” DeLap said. “I am delighted with the recent restoration and the wonderful new LED lighting, which was not available technically when the piece was installed.
“It is extremely rewarding to see the ‘Big Wave’ light up Wilshire Boulevard.”
The artwork deteriorated substantially over the last two decades, city officials said, suffering from rust and corrosion, and the lighting system was no longer functional. Last year, City Hall retained a team to help with the restoration. The team, which began early last month, cleaned and painted the surface of the sculpture and removed the non-functioning fiber optics and Plexiglas cover.
The sculpture will be illuminated in the evening hours and is on a astronomically-synched timer which will turn the lights on a half hour before sunset and off a half hour after sunrise year-round.