September 19, 2000 |
The dreamy side of documentary photography takes shape in "Ming Smith: In the Spirit of Jazz," a touching selection of more than 40 photographs the L.A.-based artist has made over the past 25 years. At Watts Towers Art Center, this openly romantic exhibition defines "the spirit of jazz" loosely, presenting everyday street scenes and travel snapshots alongside pictures of musicians posing casually, relaxing backstage and playing with unself-conscious abandon.
April 25, 1993 |
The small plot of land that abuts the parking lot at the Watts Towers Art Center looks like an ordinary garden, but for about two dozen students the Metamorphosis Organic Garden is a chance at a job. "It's pretty cool," said Alex Burgara, a student at John Hope Continuation School in Watts, during a ground-blessing ceremony at the garden last week. "I don't want to gangbang and I like gardening, and I'm learning something."
February 3, 1994 |
Pieces of the city's history were among the casualties of the Jan. 17 Northridge earthquake as dozens of landmark buildings were reported damaged. A preliminary list compiled by the city's Cultural Affairs Department soon after the quake found at least 30 such structures were affected, with the damage ranging from a fallen sandstone facade at the Ecung-Ibbetson house on West Adams Boulevard to minor plaster cracks at the Auto Club of Southern California on South Figueroa Street.
July 30, 1997 |
One of Los Angeles' more likable traits is a substantial history of holding big communitywide art exhibitions. Stuffy members of the subculture find them undignified. Not everybody agrees. This year the "1997 Los Angeles Juried Exhibition" attracted 1,930 entries from 753 artists. Winnowed down to 76 works by 49 artists, they're now on view at four venues: the Municipal Art Gallery, the Barnsdall Art Center, the William Grant Still Art Center and the Watts Towers Art Center.
October 16, 1994 |
There's a tragedy brewing in Watts. A Greek tragedy brought on by a theater company that plans to stay for a while. Santa Monica-based Cornerstone Theater Company is into its fourth week of a 15-month residency in which five plays or musicals will be created. The first play, "The Love of a Nightingale," is an adaptation of a Greek myth laced with betrayal and magic, and violence that results from silence.
May 25, 1995 |
"African American Representations of Masculinity," a three-venue exhibition curated by Cecil Fergerson for the Coalition for Cultural Survival of Community Arts, rejects the insular discourse that informs the "cutting edge" of the art world. In so doing, it serves as a reminder that there is not one art world but many, each with its own discourse, ideology, aesthetic criteria and cultural politics.
June 9, 1998 |
Often the term "composer-in-residence" means "composer-in-ivory-tower," with the artist safely ensconced in a mainstream cultural palace or academic institution. But composer Michael Abels has taken up working residence in an altogether different sort of tower--the soaring concrete-and-tile whimsies of Simon Rodia in Watts. Abels has been selected to participate in the New Residencies program of Meet the Composer, a national, musical evangelism organization headquartered in New York.
June 5, 1994 |
The mere suggestion causes David Brown to laugh, but the 40-year-old graphic artist admits that his life is beginning to show some peculiar similarities to his art. Brown is the creative force behind the Phoenix, a black comic book hero who flies through the city mediating racial and ethnic conflicts and helping youths.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 1994
The Watts Towers Art Center may be Los Angeles' most off-the-beaten-track gallery, but happily the gallery is equally as far off the beaten political and ideological track. For his inaugural exhibition, director Mark S. Greenfield chose not February, Black History Month, but March, Women's History Month. The show, running through April 2, is entitled "As We See It," and the women in the show--black, white and Latino--see nearly everything with a measure of wry humor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 1998 |
One week after their visit to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, fifth-graders at Hubbard Street Elementary School got to work Thursday making some masterpieces of their own. But the source of their inspiration was neither a Picasso nor a Rodin, but everyday objects that they found around their homes. Thursday marked the third of four Living With Art workshops for the Hubbard students.