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Five Skaters

Artist: Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel (1996)

Five Skaters commemorates the San Jose region’s unique concentration of professional figure skating champions: Brian Boitano, Peggy Fleming-Jenkins, Rudy Galindo, Debi Thomas and Kristi Yamaguchi. Five Skaters honors the art and sport of figure skating, San Jose’s local champions and others who have contributed to its vitality, tradition and popularity.

The artwork consists of three parts: five monumental columns, a large terrazzo ice rink, and three winners' podiums. The 20 foot-tall columns are clad with mosaics of black, white and gray ceramic tiles featuring photographic images of the five San Jose Area champions and convey the spirit of championship, including the pressures of competition, the scrutiny of the judges, the presence of the live audience, and the watchful eye of the press.

The oval-shaped terrazzo rink is surrounded by built-in seating. Thin metal strips are embedded in the terrazzo curve throughout the rink creating patterns like those etched in ice by skate blades. Complementing these curves, text conveying the personal recollections of each champion swirl about the ice. The surface of the rink also features five recessed niches; these contain display photographs and personal memorabilia of the San Jose area figure skating champions.

The final element of the work is a set of three winners' circles, cylindrical disks of varying heights; these reference the award podiums for medalists. They are designed so that anyone can stand on them and experience a personal moment of championship.

District: 3

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  • (Public Art) Historic Commemorations & Memorials
  • (Public Art) Permanent Artworks

Public Art - Five Skaters - 1
Public Art - Five Skaters - 3
Public Art - Five Skaters - 4
Public Art - Five Skaters - 5

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