Power Plant's Twisted Metal to Become Public Art

The South Bay Power Plant was imploded February 2

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    A dismantled Chula Vista landmark will come back to life in a way through public art.

    The South Bay Power Plant was imploded Feb. 2 in front of hundreds of residents. Watch: Raw Implosion Video

    Just weeks before the implosion, Chula Vista artist Michael Leaf has been commissioned to create a sculpture from rusted and twisted power plant parts by Mayor Cheryl Cox.

    Leaf, who considers himself a metal designer, is considering a sculpture 16 to 18 feet tall that would generate power.

    Michael Leaf South Bay Power Plant Art

    [DGO] Michael Leaf South Bay Power Plant Art
    Metal designer Michael Leaf describes the piece from the South Bay Power Plant that got him most excited.

    He gathered some of the pieces he needed for the art on Thursday.

    “The piles of steel – I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said of the 5-foot piles of steel chunks left behind from the implosion along the Chula Vista Bayfront.

    Among the items he’s using are sections of turbine blades, grate covers and valve handles.

    Even the original plaque to the power plant weighing at least 120-pounds is destined for the project. Watch: Most Exciting Piece

    He got a little choked up when he saw the tarnished plaque.

    “I grew up with this thing and it was kinda sad to see it go,” Leaf told NBC 7 San Diego. “I could see it from my mom's house out of her windows. I've seen it my whole life."

    Leaf says he hopes the new work of art he's creating will inspire people.

    “It would be nice to let the people in the community know what has powered the movers and shakers and give the younger generations inspiration,” he said.

    If someone sees the piece and experiences a creative spark, Leaf feels the power plant will still be active.

    “I think something that generates power should generate inspiration,” he said. “If they could be balanced, that would be a perfect piece of art.”