UPDATE Tuesday: Neiman Marcus Tuesday posted an article on its website with lots of cool images of the art that is coming to the Walnut Creek store. (Above is a painting Lakewater 10 by Robin Kandel)
Neiman Marcus is set to host a grand opening gala Thursday night and then open its store to shoppers Friday. Not only will the department store chain offer a high-end retail experience, it will also introduce customers to works by notable Bay Area artists.
Walnut Creek Patch editor Lance Howland reports that Neiman Marcus has a corporate art curator who has spent the better part of the past year visiting Bay Area galleries and selecting works to grace the chain's 42nd store. Neiman Marcus officials say the store has 163 paintings, prints, sculptures and other works. Most of them are based in the Bay Area.
One of the artists is Ned Kahn who likes to create large-scale sculptural works "that increase people's awareness of natural phenomena." On the front wall of the building, he has erected Wind Fins (above from a this YouTube video) ,vertical fins that sway in the wind.
For a list of the artists and the kinds of works they create, check out Lance's story.
Meanwhile, the Contra Costa Times reported last week that the opening of Neiman Marcus is just one sign that downtown Walnut Creek's retail scene is bouncing back. Walnut Creek will also see a new Anthropologie store and a new home products store, called Tuesday Morning, opening in the space at California Boulevard and Bothelo that has seen a bit of turnover in recent years. As the Beyond the Creek blogger says, Lane Home Furnishing tried to make a go of it before. (Personally, I wish they would bring back something like the bowling alley they once had in that space so long ago.)
"The burst of commercial activity has banished a two-year slump for Walnut Creek's downtown, which ranks alongside San Francisco's Union Square, Palo Alto's Stanford Shopping Center and San Jose's Santana Row as one of the nation's premier shopping districts," writes Contra Costa Times writer George Avalos.