Wandering through the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, I wondered about the details of the agreement that handed this museum over to University of Southern California. I read that the historic building, the Asian and Pacific island art collections, plus the meager endowment went to USC several years ago, but did the museum Trustees set any requirements for continuing use of the building?
When I visited last evening I saw exhibits that were odd and skimpy–as if the movers had not quite yet finished the job of clearing out everything in the museum. Perhaps the Trustees asked that the building continue to be used as a museum and now USC is doing it in a very minimalist way.
And then there were the 3 galleries of California paintings. It’s altogether curious, particularly in light of the fact that Pasadena Museum of California Art next door is closing down. Is the Pacific Asia Museum going to pick up the mantle of a California art exhibition space? I would hope so. PMCA was one of the best and most interesting art museums in Southern California in my opinion! Anyway…here is some of what I saw:
A Gerald Rahm painting of Southern California beachfront homes. I guess California faces the Pacific so it qualifies as part of the Pacific Asia art world.
It is a Double-header this weekend in Pasadena: the Alien Con is at the Convention Center and across the street dozens and dozens of chalk artists are creating works on the Plaza at Paseo Colorado. And it was very crowded on Saturday!
I went at noon on Saturday and most of the artists were just beginning. First they drew an outline of the picture they planned to create, then painstakingly started to fill in with removable paint and chalk. It all gets power-washed off the plaza on Tuesday. Here is some of what I saw in 2018.
Charles Lummis was quite a guy! Adventurer, author, editor of the L.A. Times, cross-country hiker, archeologist, photographer, and founder of the Southwest Museum.
He was also somewhat infamous for the parties he held at his home, El Alisal, in Highland Park. You can see my post about Lummis ‘s home here.
Now, almost a hundred years after his death, he has become the namesake of a celebration of life, fun, music and art in the Arroyo in northeast Los Angeles. Here is a link to the Lummis Days organization. I understand that the Arroyo Arts Collective also helps with this event.
On Sunday I came across the official parade for Lummis Days after visiting the Southwest West Museum‘s pottery exhibition. Parade participants gathered in front of the museum entrance, then marched to Sycamore Grove Park where a concert and puppet show were held.
I only stayed for the parade and here is some of what I saw.
Back in the late 1980s and 1990s when the Metro system was being built in Los Angeles, the city went all out for art. In the stations built since then there is still art–usually modest tile panels–but nothing quite as extravagant and amazing as the artwork in the Red and Gold lines. The artists back then were given almost total freedom to do what they wanted with very generous budgets.
The Civic Center Station in downtown L.A. is probably most famous for its “flying men” sculptures suspended from the ceiling. There are also dozens of tile mosaic murals lining the walls upstairs in the station, but I suspect many people walk right by them as they rush to the trains or to the street upstairs. They were designed by Faith Ringgold and produced by artisans at Mosaika Art and Design in Montreal.
So here are a few of these many glass tile mosaics. Because L.A. is such a sports town–8 professional sports teams here–I picked a few sports murals to show you. But there are others–especially musicians and dancers–in the Civic Center Station.