On Friday, June 15, Americans for the Arts honored 49 outstanding public arts projects created in 2017, including the LA County Artist-In-Residence at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recuperative Care Center (MLK RCC) and a civic artwork at the Stoneview Nature Center. The projects were chosen through the Public Art Network Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art. Selected by public art experts, the roster of projects was unveiled at Americans for the Arts’ (AFTA) Annual Convention in Denver.
"2018 marks the fourth year in a row that Arts Commission projects have been recognized by AFTA, and it is a great honor to be recognized once again," said LA County Arts Commission Executive Director Kristin Sakoda. "As the definition of public art continues to evolve, projects like these that focus on community feedback and participation represent the exciting shapes it can take."
For the Artist-In-Residence project, visual artist Sandy Rodriguez was placed at the MLK RCC, which provides interim housing to help stabilize homeless patients in LA County who would otherwise remain in the hospital without a suitable discharge option. The residence itself consisted of two phases:
For phase one, Rodriguez worked with the Department of Health Services to develop and implement an art program that helped support patients’ transition into housing from the hospital. In phase two, she developed a program for clients at the MLK RCC to create artworks to adorn the walls of the MLK RCC. As part of this phase, staff also participated with the goal of learning techniques that they can then integrate into future in-house developed programs.
"I hope to encourage more engagements of this type across [LA] county," said Rodriguez. “The twenty-two collaborative workshops I facilitated at the MLK RCC, created a space of care and community for the staff and clients who participated in them. This project demonstrates ways in which creativity can be part of the healing process."
The Stoneview Nature Center was designed as a five-acre urban sanctuary with a focus on health, the environment, and community. It’s located in Culver City, near the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. The artist group, Fallen Fruit, which consists of artists David Burns and Austin Young, has created a civic artwork for the site that focuses on food, community and local history through the multi-part project.
As part of the developmental process Fallen Fruit organized a series of community events. From these events they developed the Stoneview Neighborhood Score, a collection of quotations derived from residents of local Blair Hill Community that is paired with personal photos, family portraits and historic images to create a permanent artwork located in the lobby of the Center.
Outside the lobby, visitors can tour a garden of “living sculptures” that feature different species of fruit trees and California native plants where they are invited by the artists to "Taste [the fruit], share it with a friend, and leave some for the next person to enjoy."
To view all 49 projects that were selected for Year in Review, including photos and descriptions, click HERE.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at AmericansForTheArts.org
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission fosters excellence, diversity, vitality, understanding and accessibility of the arts in Los Angeles County. The Commission provides leadership in cultural services for the County, encompassing 88 municipalities, including funding and job opportunities, professional development and general resources.