Art Going Public – Happily Ever After? An exhibition by The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA) curated by Isabel Rojas-Williams
Most people agree that quality public art is desirable. But after the unveiling and party, art in public space can take on a life of its own. Economics, appropriation, and changing neighborhoods are among the factors that push public art away from the intent of the artist. This exhibition will showcase the historical and cultural evolution of some of Los Angeles’ most notable pieces of art displayed in public. Embracing LA’s visual art culture, this exhibit will include, among others (in alphabetical order), Carlos Almaraz, Angelina Christina, David Botello, Pablo Cristi, El Mac, Wayne Healy, Victor Henderson, Judithe Hernández, Willie Herrón III, Alex “Defer” Kizu, Francisco Letelier, Los Four, Gilbert “Magú” Luján, Michael Massenburg, Noni Olabisi, Frank Romero, and Kent Twitchell. Live painting by Robert Vargas together with Graffiti installation by Petal and Blosm. In conjunction with the exhibition, MCLA will also present Public Art Land Grab: The Gold Rush Economy of LA’s Mural Renaissance (Saturday January 17th, 2015 at 4 pm) a panel discussion moderated by Isabel Rojas-Williams. We are one year into LA’s new mural ordinance, and the City’s public art community has experienced unprecedented creativity coupled with unexpected conflict. The line between sponsors and patrons is ever-blurred. In our temporary culture, is the difference even relevant? Where are the Medicis of today, or is it reasonable to expect such ideal patronage? The last year has seen public art developments that were not imaginable even 24 months ago. Some murals have been painted out as unpermitted, some have been given reprieve by City Hall, and some artists couldn’t care less if their murals are legal or not. Money is never far away, as walls have been appropriated, donated, rented, leased, bought and sold. What does history have to teach us about the economics of renaissance and culture? How can the City, artists, commercial enterprise and citizens co-exist in this landscape? Join the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles for a panel discussion, as we explore our contemporary public art scene standing at the crossroads of economics, culture, politics and history. MCLA’s panelists include David Brafman (Curator – Rare Books, The Getty Research Institute), Danielle Brazell (General Manager of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs), Miles MacGregor (“El Mac,” artist), Cheech Marin (actor, director, art collector), Councilmember Mitchell O’Farrell (Chair of the Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and, Los Angeles River Committee), and Ed & Brandy Sweeney (donors of the Getty Black Book).
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