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Obituaries

Mickey Gustin Hardman, 74; L.A. art program chief

September 14, 2007|Mary Rourke | Times Staff Writer

Mickey Gustin Hardman, who as director of the Public Art Program for the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency helped bring public artworks to the Flower Market, the Central Library and other locations around the city, has died. She was 74.

Gustin Hardman died Tuesday at her home in Los Angeles, according to Julie Silliman of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. The cause was cancer.

In almost 20 years as the city's public arts planner, Gustin Hardman shepherded projects by such artists as Betye Saar, Lita Albuquerque and Jud Fine to neighborhoods undergoing an upgrade.

Public art was a way to "bring artists into the design of our cities," she said. It "transforms spaces, gives them context and relevance, making them places of community interest and pride," Gustin Hardman said in a statement on the Community Redevelopment Agency website.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday, September 15, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 39 words Type of Material: Correction
Hardman obituary: The obituary of Mickey Gustin Hardman in Friday's California section stated that poetry by Robert Creeley is paired with art by Lawrence Weiner as part of "Poet's Walk." Creeley's poetry is paired with art by James Surls.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, September 18, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 54 words Type of Material: Correction
Hardman obituary: The obituary of Mickey Gustin Hardman in Friday's California section stated that she brought artists and poets together for Poets' Walk, a public art project. In fact, Gustin Hardman coordinated the approval process for the project but Kathy Lucoff created the concept for Poets' Walk and brought the poets and artists together.

One of her favorite projects was Biddy Mason Park, behind the Bradbury Building on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. Works by Saar and graphic designer Sheila Levrant de Bretteville illustrate the life of Mason, a former slave who settled in Los Angeles in the mid-1800s, worked as a nurse and bought herself a house.

Fine created "Spine," consisting of pools of water, for a garden outside the Central Library. At the Flower Market, artists Elizabeth Garrison and Victor Henderson created the mural "Fifty-One Bees."

Gustin Hardman brought poets and artists together for "Poet's Walk," a series of vignettes set in granite at Citicorp Plaza in downtown L.A. One pairing combines poet Robert Creeley and artist Lawrence Weiner.

She also commissioned film director Catherine Hardwicke, whose credits include "Thirteen" in 2003, to create "Hollywood La Brea Gateway," a gazebo with larger-than-life silver statues at the intersection of the two streets.

"Mickey shaped some of our neighborhoods, using art and history," said Silliman, a longtime colleague. "That's an important legacy."

Born Marian Gooch in Salt Lake City, she graduated from the University of Washington before beginning her career as a public art advocate in Seattle in 1975.

She later worked as project director of the public art program in Dallas for two years before becoming public art program director for Los Angeles in 1988.

She was married twice. She is survived by her husband, Richard Hardman; her sister, Florence Cohen of Del Mar; and two nieces.

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mary.rourke@latimes.com

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