Friday, December 11, 2015

2015 Public Art Year-in-Review -- Spirit and Innovation

From Hollywood to Santa Ana, 2015's sculptures,
by Dustin Yellin
Columbia Square,
6121 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles
murals and mosaics reflect cultural spirit and innovative design.  2015 Public Art Year-in-Review features 21 new and permanent public artworks, published on the web by Public Art in Public Places and Google Cultural Institute Open Gallery.

The Southern California economy and local civic interest in public art are on the upswing, with a 40% increase in public art installations from just two years ago.

Of note this year are the many historical and cultural themes, large-scale kinetic and illuminated works, the Runway murals at Playa Vista, and the Special Olympics LA15 murals celebrating the World Games at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Here are are few highlights:
    untitled (hands with plane)
    by Case Maclaim
    12746 W. Jefferson Blvd., 
    Playa Vista, Los Angeles

"Gateway to Los Angeles"
by  Jenna Didier, Ned Kahn, Oliver Hess
Los Angeles St. overpass
over Hwy.101, Los Angeles

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"Dominguez Field and the Famous Titans of Aviation": New Public Art at East Rancho Dominguez Senior Center Celebrates Local Heritage

"Dominguez Field and the Famous Titans of Aviation"
The new Senior Center on Atlantic Ave. will be officially unveiled this Sat., Nov. 14, at East Rancho Dominguez County Park, and the Compton community will be impressed by the variety of enjoyable outdoor amenities:  exercise equipment, playground area, tennis courts, walking paths, sustainable landscaping and walking areas, and plenty of shaded open space and picnic tables.  A beacon for these community amenities is Fausto Fernandez' welcoming and colorful public art on the new Senior Center's west façade.

Fausto Fernandez's mixed media work "Dominguez Field and the Famous Titans of Aviation" is a tribute to the local Dominguez family (dating to 1784) and the area's aviation history, notably the 1910 Los Angeles International Air Meet at Dominguez Field.

The public art creation process involved contributions from local youth, and Fernandez' resulting mixed media artwork of powder-coated aluminum, corrugated metal and reclaimed wood initially appears as a building-mounted sculpture.  His use of acrylic paint on the stucco exterior, however, brings the three-dimensional quality of the piece to life as it merges both sculptural and mural forms.

"Dominguez Field and the Famous Titans of Aviation" was sponsored by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; community center and park amenities were developed by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation.

artistic butterfly fence surrounding
the playground and walking area

Grand Opening Celebration 

& 9th Annual Resource Fair
(Food, entertainment, vendors, tours)

Sat., Nov. 14, 2015
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
outdoor exercise equipment
next to the new Senior Center

East Rancho Dominguez Community Center
15116 S. Atlantic Ave.
East Compton, CA

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Art and Culture for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

For upcoming Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur celebrations in Southern California, we suggest visiting L.A.'s most notable public artworks by renowned Jewish sculptor and artist Joseph L. Young (1919-2007). Young's many private commissions of stained glass windows and mosaics for temples, churches, schools and libraries are still widely admired throughout the country.  Two large public works in Los Angeles, however, are worth special attention: his last and most famous, the Los Angeles Holocaust Monument, and his most controversial, "Triforium" in downtown Los Angeles.

60-foot by 20-foot 60-ton
concrete poly-phonoptic
tower sculpture
with lighted Venetian
glass prisms; 

display and a carillon 
musical program; 
reflecting pool 
Young described "Triforium" (1975) as a "poly-phonoptic kinetic tower," which he designed with automated light, sound and a reflecting pool. The 60-foot tower sculpture became controversial when seismic and design concerns dramatically increased its cost (Los Angeles Times, 8/26/2007).  Although the sculpture had early mechanical problems, the City restored its sound and light features in 2007 (minus the reflecting pool) and it remains a lively and iconic presence across from City Hall in Fletcher Bowron Square.

six 18-foot triangular
black granite columns 

mounted with bas relief
panels and inscriptions; 

red granite base
In startling contrast, Young's Los Angeles Holocaust Monument (1992) at Pan Pacific Park anchors the exterior grounds around the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust with its massive symbolism.  The six 18-foot black granite columns are graced with bas relief panels and inscriptions.

More >>   "Triforium" (1975) by Joseph L. Young
                 Los Angeles Holocaust Monument
                 Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Noland, Claire, Times Staff Writer. "Joseph Young, 87; his murals, sculptures adorn the Southland" August 26, 2007.  Accessed 9/10/2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Spheres at MacArthur Park - PUBLIC ART EVENT

"The Spheres at MacArthur Park"
being unloaded and inflated
More than 3,000 giant brightly colored balls are being floated onto Downtown L.A.'s MacArthur Park lake, part of a playful and ambitious public art event that will last until late September.

The project was developed by Ed and Bernie Massey, co-founders of Portraits of Hope which produces art, education and creative therapy programs for children in schools and hospitals. Nearly 8,500 community volunteers have participated in the project, painting balls as large as 6 feet in diameter and donating resources (Daily Breeze, July 29, 2015).

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Lone Sailor" Gazes Across Long Beach Harbor

As you walk or ride along Long Beach's Bluff Park on Ocean Blvd. this summer, stop a moment at the U.S. Navy's Lone Sailor Memorial and take a closer look at its public art focal point:  the WWII Navy seaman, dufflebag at his side and peacoat collar turned up against the wind, gazing out across Long Beach harbor.

"The Lone Sailor" (1984) by Stanley Bleifeld
The bronze statue was cast in 1984 and installed in 2004, and is one of several throughout the United States by sculptor Stanley Bleifeld.  Bleifeld modeled the 7-foot 2-piece sculpture after Petty Officer 1st Class Dan Maloney, yet added the common name William Thompson to the sailor's dufflebag tag (Wikipedia).

More >> Public Art in Public Places 
More >> Google Maps 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Heritage of Orange County's Japanese Farmers

Public Art in Public Places Project
"We Too Were Once Strangers"
(2015) by Richard Turner 
Richard Turner's latest sculpture for the City of Santa Ana pays tribute to the area's early Japanese agricultural heritage. Dedicated on July 11, 2015, Turner's bronze, stone and concrete celery stalk sculpture and raised stone platform serve as a memorial to one of the most common crops cultivated in the vicinity by Japanese Issei farmers.

More >> "We Too Were Once Strangers"  
More>> Public Art "We Too Were Once Strangers"   

Public Art in Public Places Project
Flower Street Bike Trail entrance
Flower Street and Sunflower Avenue, Santa Ana

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bold New MLK Hospital, Bold New Public Art

"Pieces Together" by Lawrence Argent
MLK Hospital main entrance
Two recent sculptures at the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital pay tribute to themes of diversity and unity reflected by the surrounding Willowbrook neighbor-hood.  The hospital's public art centerpiece is Lawrence Argent's 20-foot high 110-ton granite puzzle piece at the main entrance, inspired by the idea that "each part of the whole is integral, as in a jigsaw puzzle."

"Pieces Together"   shows facial images from the Willowbrook community, with a swirling spiral on the reverse as "a single breath that unites all voices into one."  These themes emerged from Argent's community outreach that utilized three-dimensional data scans of his interview participants' lips.
[more about Lawrence Argent's approach and vision]

"A Healing Home" by Dominique Moody

Outpatient Center Lobby
In contrast, Dominique Moody's sculptural
collage inside the new Outpatient Center is
more understated.  Yet the intimate charm
of each collage's framed "visual narrative"
of persons and places draws in viewers to
this showcase of tangible and compelling
community diversity.

For  "A Healing Home"  
Moody assembled nine separately titled
collages using reclaimed redwood, found
 Photo Image of 
Martin  Luther King, Jr. 
objects and materials, and archival
photographs printed on glass.
[more about Dominique Moody's approach and vision]

Other public art at and around MLK Hospital:

Martin Luther King, Jr. (photographic image)
10-foot by 6-foot transparent photographic glass panel
          Location: exterior entrance, Outpatient Center,
          1670 E. 120th Street, Willowbrook, Los Angeles

"Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr. Charles R. Drew"

30-foot by 10-foot bas relief sculpture
          Public Art "Rev. King, Jr. and Dr. Drew"  
          southwest building façade, King Drew Magnet High School,
          1601 E. 120th Street, Willowbrook, Los Angeles

"Hide-n-Seek" by JoeSam

station art:  column-mounted painted metal cut-out figures
          Public Art "Hide-n-Seek"  
          mounted on freeway support pillars,
          11611 Willowbrook Ave., Los Angeles

"Pathways to Freedom" by Michael Massenburg and Rachel Strayhorn

station art:  5 concrete and ceramic tile benches
          Public Art "Pathways to Freedom"  
"Rev. King, Jr. and Dr. Drew"
King Drew Magnet
High School
          11611 Willowbrook Ave., Los Angeles

"Hide-n-Seek" by JoeSam

"Pathways to Freedom" by
Massenburg and Strayhorn

Friday, July 10, 2015

Special Olympics LA2015 - Murals Welcome Athletes

Los Angeles Welcomes the Special Olympics and pays tribute to its athletes and supporters with three recently completed public murals by renown local artists David Flores, Cryptik and Kent Twitchell.  

"World Stage Legacy" (2015) by David Flores

The Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles (LA2015) will be the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world this year, running from July 25 to Aug. 2, 2015. Flores' recently completed "World Stage Legacy" is at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum where the opening ceremony will be held on July 25, 2015.  Cryptik's "The Greatest" and Kent Twitchell's "Monument to the Special Olympics" are near the L.A. Convention Center.

With President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as Honorary Chairs of the Games, accompanied by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown serving as Honorary Hosts, we hope these mural tributes speak LARGE our L.A. enthusiasm for the Special Olympics.

"The Greatest" (2015) by Cryptik
"Monument to the Special Olympics"
(2015) by Kent Twitchell

At the Coliseum:

“World Stage Legacy” by David Flores
80-foot long mural of Coliseum athletes and performers and Special Olympics figures
Coliseum building west exterior facing Bill Robertson Lane
[on Google Maps]

Near the Convention Center and Staples Center:

“The Greatest” by Cryptik
35-foot portrait of Muhammad Ali with 8 plaques bearing inspirational quotes from Special Olympics athletes and famous persons (Kofi Annan, Eric Chan, Laura Cook, Michelle Core, Nilasha Kurukulasuriya, Marco Martinez, Apolo Ohno, and Dustin Plunkett).
1248 S. Figueroa St., Historic Core, Downtown Los Angeles

"Monument to the Special Olympics" by Kent Twitchell
Double portrait of Special Olympics Ambassadors Rafer Johnson and Loretta Clairborne
1147 S. Hope Street, Historic Core, Downtown Los Angeles
[on Google Maps]

For the rest of L.A.'s public art...
>>> PUBLIC ART IN PUBLIC PLACES:  Public Art in Los Angeles, Southern California and Hawaii

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Rosie's Dog Beach Gets Massengill's "Dogs at Play"

"Dogs at Play" (2015) by Karena Massengill

Dog owners have every reason to thank the City of Long Beach and its Arts Council for Long Beach this summer. Rosie's Dog Beach at Ocean Blvd. and Granada Ave. is now more fun than ever with brightly colored public art that serves as boundary markers replacing the regular marker cones. Karena Massengill's work is a set of 18 "Dogs at Play" sculptures, formally untitled, showing all kinds of dogs doing all kinds of fun things - jumping, chasing, skateboarding.  Painted in bright primary colors and standing at 3 to 5 feet, they vividly mark the beach park's inland northern boundary.

Rosie's Dog Beach is claimed as THE ONLY off-leash DOG BEACH PARK in L.A. County, with nearly 3 acres of waterfront surf and sand between Roycroft and Argonne Avenues. 

Google Maps LOCATION:  Public Art "Dogs at Play"
 Rosie's Dog Beach, 5000 Ocean Beach Blvd., entrance at Granada Ave. 
Open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Chris Burden's Irresistible "Urban Light" Gift to Los Angeles

Public Art in Public Places ProjectLast summer we lauded the magic of L.A.'s most popular public artwork, an instant hit since 2008. With Chris Burden's early death, we honor the spirit and the genius of his engaging gift of "public art-space" to the world - the "Urban Light" creation of nostalgic form and mesmerizing context. Which is exactly what he intended:
"I've been driving by these buildings for 40 years, 
and it's always bugged me how this institution [LACMA] 
turned its back on the city." (Los Angeles Times, Jan. 30, 2008)

Burden hoped his assemblage sculpture of 202 vintage lampposts would serve both as landmark and an entryway to LACMA's expanding campus (Los Angeles Times, Jan. 30, 2008).  In fact, "Urban Light" has become the most popular public artwork in Southern California - our web data confirm that no other public art comes remotely close to attracting such widespread public interest, with hundreds of daily visitors enjoying its twilight-changing visual effects and contributing glowing online public reviews and images (Google Maps).

Undeniably, "Urban Light" is THE Wilshire Blvd. beacon - impossible for skaters or zombies to miss, and an irresistible enticement to its mesmerizing magic.
Public Art in Public Places Project

As "front man" for LACMA's still-obscured entrance...
    "Urban Light" steals the show. 

More >>  
More >>  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Mural-View SLO-MO: Cruisin' Downtown L.A.'s U.S. 101

Glenna Boltuch Avila's
"L.A. Freeway Kids" (1984)
Frank Romero's
"Going To The Olympics" (1984)
Downtown L.A.'s Friday afternoon rush hour crush-creep along what is arguably the most solidly-congested stretch  of U.S. 101 provides us this special advantage:  the chance to enjoy the playful detail in lively children's faces and the parade of hearts and cars that we would otherwise zoom by too fast to see.

Restored in 2012 and 2013 with many of the other 8 murals from the 1984 Olympics, their lightness and charm shift our minds toward weekend plans and play.

"Going To The Olympics" (1984) by Frank Romero
"L.A. Freeway Kids" (1984) by Glenna Boltuch Avila

Locate and post a review on Google Maps/Google+:
Public Art "Going to the Olympics"
Public Art "L.A. Freeway Kids"