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ARTS NOTES

Thoughts of L.A. biennial harbored

May 21, 2006|Suzanne Muchnic

A Los Angeles biennial? Not the most obvious question for harbor commissioners, but it recently popped up on the Port of Los Angeles' website, along with a splashy promotional presentation devised by the New York arts public relations firm Resnicow Schroeder Associates.

The commissioners held a private "informational" session earlier this month to consider the possibility of staging an international contemporary art exhibition on the L.A. waterfront at an estimated cost of $5 million. They saw pictures of successful biennials around the world and pondered potential benefits of hosting an art extravaganza in terms of cultural tourism, economic impact and the port's image.

But don't mark your calendars. At this point, the biennial is just an idea under discussion. Port authorities are "doing their homework," as media relations director Theresa Lopez puts it, to determine the level of interest in the project and check out possible funding partnerships.

Meanwhile, news of the biennial has been replaced on the website with an account of the first Art on the Waterfront festival, a relatively low-key affair featuring works by 40 South Bay artists that attracted 3,000 visitors.

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Suzanne Muchnic

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