Big Wave light up Wilshire Boulevard

Santa Monica’s Iconic Big Wave Restored
By Lookout Staff 

December 20,2010 — Did you catch the big wave? That’s what Santa Monicans have been asking of late, and they’re not talking about the kind whipped up by the winter storms.

The Big Wave — the iconic sculpture by Tony DeLap that spans Wilshire Boulevard at the City’s eastern entrance — got a major makeover in time for Christmas.

The Big Wave (Images courtesy of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division)

Completed in 1989 as one of the City’s first public art projects, the artwork had deteriorated substantially over the past two decades, City officials said. It has suffered from rust and corrosion, and the lighting system was no longer functional.

The Big Wave has finally come to life again, after 20 some years,” DeLap said when he saw the newly renovated sculpture. “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, DeLap said.

DeLap worked along with the team of Exclusive Welding, Inc. and Rosa Lowinger & Associates, who were hired by the City to perform the restoration that got underway last month.

The team cleaned and painted the sculpture’s surface and removed the non-functioning fiber optics and Plexiglas cover before installing the LED lighting. The energy efficient system uses about 50 watts of energy to light the entire sculpture.

“The sculpture will be illuminated in the evening hours and is on a smart, astronomically-synced timer which will turn the lights on a half hour before sunset and off a half hour after sunrise year-round,” City officials said.

A major West Coast artist, Tony DeLap is internationally recognized for his abstract sculpture utilizing illusionist techniques and meticulous craftsmanship. Find out more about the pioneer of West Coast minimalism and Op Art at: