Southern California breaking news and trends

Exhibition on Expo: 176 pieces of new public art to debut this weekend

expo line public art

Courtesy of Metro

"Wanderers" by artist Willie Robert Middlebrook is on display at Expo/Crenshaw Station. The Expo Line is set to open April 28, 2012.

Metro officially launches the Expo Line light rail on Saturday, and with this landmark expansion comes the debut of a new public art collection. The Expo Line includes a remarkable 176 commissioned new artworks by ten California artists.

Riders will find the expertly crafted pieces spread among ten new stations, and presented like an outdoor gallery of double-sided panels not only visible to people on the platform, but also to motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, or anyone else passing by.

Developing art on this scale is a hand-crafted process with several stages. Metro's newest pieces went through a series of rigorous evaluations before the works could begin to be re-imagined for a public space. 

Artists create in their medium (painting or photography, for example) and then their work is translated into a public piece, fabricated to withstand an open environment. 

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'Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles 1950 to 1980' opens at Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau

Martin-Gropius-Bau

Photo by Martin aka Maha via Flickr Creative Commons

"Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles 1950-1980," goes on exhibit at Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau

Curators at Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau have assembled a program containing works from two of the core exhibitions of Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles 1950 to 1980.

The multi-institutional, multi-discipline art collaboration that opened last year across Southern California included over 60 institutions and galleries and was a decade in the making.

More than 70 works by over 50 artists were chosen from "Crosscurrents in L.A. – Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970" and "Greetings from L.A. – Artists and Publics, 1950-1980."

Lauded by the museum's former director as a "temporary national gallery of southern California art," guests of Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau will get a primer on three decades of Los Angeles art.

The exhibition project “Pacific Standard Time – Art in Los Angeles, 1950-1980” traces the development of the Los Angeles art scene during the post-war period, when the city on the Pacific hosted an impressively varied and versatile art scene, thus proving that it was more than Hollywood and a sprawling metropolis in the land of sunshine and palm trees.

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How could Glendale not want this artistic masterpiece?

glendale public art donation denied

Courtesy of the City of Glendale

Anita Garouni's painting "Home" was rejected as a public art donation by the City of Glendale.

Noses are up and thumbs are down in Glendale where officials have rejected a donated public art piece for the first time in more than ten years.

The colorful piece, featuring Armenian figures floating near the Statue of Liberty and Turkey's Mt. Ararat, was praised for its "beautiful theme" but considered not culturally inclusive enough. It also "wasn’t of the highest aesthetic quality," according to a report that appraised the 18-by-24 inch oil painting at $1,800. 

Robbed of this diamond in the rough, residents of The Jewel City will have to look elsewhere for their daily recommended allowances of floating heads, Armenian princesses and Noah's Arks once destined for a city-owned office wall.

A 15-year resident of Glendale, artist Anita Garouni said of her creative tour de force, it is "an expression of deep gratitude for America, my country, who accepts all…and gives safe haven for the immigrants of the world," explains the Glendale News Press.

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500 people walking slowly down a hill: Pacific Standard Time takes on public art

spine of the earth pst 2

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine of the earth pst 5

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine instagram

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine of the earth pst

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

baldwin hills scenic overlook sign

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

downtown la

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: View of downtown Los Angeles from the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook during the Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine of the earth pst 3

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine 6

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

Spine hands up

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine 7

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine approach

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine approach 2

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine approach 5

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"


Public art had its slow-moving moment in the late-morning sun with a large-scale reinterpretation last weekend of a 1980 Lita Albuquerque earthwork called "Spine of the Earth." 

As part of the Pacific Standard Time multi-institutional, multi-discipline art collaboration across Southern California, the Mojave Desert earthwork was recontexualized as a performance piece for an urban park space in Los Angeles.

Translation: Last weekend, 500 people dressed in red creeped down the stairs from the top of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook like the slowest Lord of the Rings attack ever. 

Looking like a cross between a PG-rated Human Centipede and a Caltrans conga line, the lava-eqsue art drones chanted and counted as they inched back to earth.

The piece, which should have been visible from the 10 and 405 freeways, began with a parachuter trailing red smoke.

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