April 22, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

NEW URBANISM: ART FOR AND ABOUT THE COMMUNITY INSTALLED IN ITS MIDST

Playa de Oro will be the venue for public art exhibition on Dec 10
Los Angeles residents in the LAX and beach cities environs will have the opportunity to experience – while shopping, dining, working, studying and even at home – an art exhibition that re-envisions the very city they live in. Another LA is Possible, a temporary exhibition, will open in the new mixed-use development, Playa del Oro, at Lincoln Blvd and Manchester in Playa del Rey. The public art project, funded by Decron Properties, was conceived and implemented by students and faculty of the Fine Art Department at Otis College of Art and Design. (This project is part of the arts development fee program administrated by the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles.)

The exhibition of sculpture, drawings, film and photography, as well as art events, will be installed in and around glass-front cabinets that are part of Playa del Oro’s original architecture. Playa del Oro is the first multi-use property in a commercial zone permitted by the city of Los Angeles in the Westchester/Playa del Rey neighborhood. Built in 2009 at the gateway to Playa del Rey, the upscale center is a multi-family residential, retail and restaurant development, one mile from the beach and two blocks from the main campus of Otis College of Art and Design. “Playa del Oro is ultimately a neighborhood center, where we’ve strategically picked the retail shops and restaurants, such as Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, to suit this particular community,†said David J. Nagel, ceo and president of Decron Properties. “Otis College, which anchors Loyola Village, is an important neighbor, so we chose to support the art and design school by showcasing student and faculty artwork along Playa del Oro’s pedestrian walkways.â€

“Commercial developments like Playa del Oro provide a unique space for artists and interdisciplinary practitioners to insert themselves in the nooks and crannies of the urban web,†said Herbst. The participating artists in Another LA is Possible were selected based on their previous work “envisioning other histories or futures for the city of LA.†They are:

• architect Stephanie Smith, whose work typically explores the ways in which alternative economies and physical/technological infrastructures combine to create new forms of community. Smith’s ideas often blur the boundaries between the fringe and the mainstream.

• artist Sandra de la Loza, whose work shifts across mediums (photography, installations, public interventions, digital media) to generate artistic and political dialogue and action. As an interdisciplinary artist, her work is displayed inside and outside of traditional arts forums.

• artist Michael Parker whose recent work includes Something Small, a film conceived, filmed, and screened on location within a neighborhood undergoing extreme flux and urbanization. “We are helping out in a roundabout way†, says Parker.

• artist Wu Ingrid Tang who engages the voice as a physical medium and metaphor. His projects and performances have been presented at REDCAT (LA), Art in General (NY), The Kitchen (NY), Espai d’Art Contemporani (Castellon), Sala de Art Publico Siqueiros (Mexico City), Impakt Festival (Netherlands), and the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (Germany).

• urbanists Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne of Homegrown Evolution have researched and experimented with small-scale urban agriculture since moving to their tiny bungalow in Los Angeles ten years ago. Their work explores a fast-growing new movement: urbanites becoming gardeners and farmers. Authors of The Urban Homestead coming out in June of 2008 from Process Media, Knutzen and Coyne specialize in step-by-step directions and resources for urban homesteaders whether they live in an apartment or a house.

“Collectively these participants reach towards a city that may be more ecological, social, communal, hedonistic, just and representative,†said Herbst. “With creative and critical art experiments like these, a new kind of urbanism in LA could possibly take root.†Playa del Oro is located at 8601 Lincoln Blvd in Playa del Rey. Another LA is Possible opens December 10th, with an artist reception at 6pm. The public is invited.

“Robby Herbst’s exhibition Another LA Is Possible celebrates the long-standing albeit informal tradition of artists building neighborhoods and renewing cities,†said Meg Cranston, Chair of the Fine Arts Department at Otis College of Art and Design, which originated this public art project. “When artists build a neighborhood, everybody wants to live there. Out of necessity artists move into out-of-the-way places and make them the coolest neighborhoods in town,†continued Cranston. “Artists imagine possibilities and everyone benefits. In that sense artists are the best redevelopers.â€

Additional information on Another LA is Possible is available at www.otis.edu/calendar

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