New: Palm Sculpture in Rancho Cucamonga

A 32-foot-tall take on a California Fan Palm made its debut at Victoria Gardens.

DRIVE TO THE INLAND EMPIRE... and you're bound to come across the beautiful and iconic California Fan Palm. It's a tree that's much associated with the Golden State, and in particular the state's more arid stretches, though you might see the palm show up in several sorts of climes. That's because it is a popular specimen, towering and dramatic and fabulously frond-laden, so much so it can gain a "full-headed" appearance from a distance. But a drive into Rancho Cucamonga nowadays might mean a different sort of California Fan Palm sighting, one of the sculptural sort.

THERE'S A NEW ARTWORK... by lauded artist Brian McCutcheon standing tall outside Victoria Gardens, and it pays tribute to one of the region's best-known trees. The "hearty yet durable tree"-inspired artwork is a "reflective of the hardworking surrounding community," says Mr. McCutcheon. "Native" is a swirl of pinks and blues and bright hues, and rather than those bushy fronds up top there's a rectangular-type element giving the palm sculpture a more abstract form (painter Jason Williams, also known as REVOK, collaborated with the sculptor on the piece). It the 32-foot-tall piece like something from a storybook or a sci-fi flick in its elegant offbeatness? That is up to the beholder, of course, but if the beholder digs whimsical interpretations of the nature around us, the piece is worth a deeper look.

FIND THE STRIKING PIECE... standing tall on Monet Avenue at the Inland Empire-based town center.

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