The East Rancho Dominguez Park & Community Center is located in an unincorporated area of the same name in LA County, situated between the cities of Compton and Paramount and north of the city of Long Beach. The artwork development and installation coincided with the construction of a new community center attached to the recreation center and gymnasium at the park. The larger, improved space of the new community center has become a lively community hub of social activities for people of all ages. The center also works with County departments and nonprofit organizations to provide services like case management, utility assistance, health education and food distribution
Fausto Fernandez’s new artwork for the East Rancho Dominguez Park & Community Center, "Dominguez Field and the Famous Titans of Aviation," is a mixed media assemblage that uses paint, powder coated aluminum, wood and corrugated metal. It was created through Fernandez’s research and conversations with the local community and project architects.
Fernandez was drawn to the history of the Dominguez family, the intitial land owners of the area dating back to 1784. To learn more about this history and to connect with local residents, Fernandez and community engagement consultant, Sara Daleiden arranged a field trip and free tour of the Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum. Only four miles from project site, the Dominguez Rancho is a California Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
During the tour they learned about important moments in the history of the community, including the 1910 Air Meet that happened at Dominguez Field and was the first major air show in the United States. Fernandez continued his conversations with the Community Center’s architects to understand their inspiration, which came from 1960s architecture. He learned that architecture from this time often incorporated wood and bold, colorful graphics.
In the artwork, viewers can find that the mission style architecture of the Rancho is referenced in the shape of the wood and vibrant metal panels throughout. Modern interpretations of the façade and hot air balloons from the 1910 Air Meet are incorporated. A wing-like symbol, painted in the background, is a recurring image in Fernandez’s work.
Local youth from the Los Angeles Conservation Corps were mentored by artist Louise Griffin and helped to complete portions of the installation. The artwork is a part of a series of projects funded by a grant from the Los Angeles County Parks and Regional Open Space District that use arts-based solutions to promote the value of civic spaces and deter vandalism at County properties. The artist hopes that the artwork will achieve this goal by creating a new cultural landmark that dramatizes community history, progress and place.