Art in L.A.
Primitive Doll Collection @ Mor York Gallery
On Saturday, Larry and I drove to historic Highland Park (just south of Pasadena) to view the artwork in many galleries participating in the Second Saturday Gallery Night in Northeast Los Angeles, or as we affectionately refer to the area, NELA.
I was a resident of Highland Park in the late 1970's for a short time. During those years, the area was run down and not considered historic...just crummy. In the past 20 years, many of the older residences and businesses have been restored, new businesses have moved in and people are once again taking pride in this neighborhood. There is a section of Highland Park that is zoned as a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ), containing many beautiful turn-of-the-century and early 20th century homes. Considering Highland Park is close to downtown and other business communities, it is really becoming a desired location for the L.A. workforce.
Our first stop was Future Studio on Figueroa near Avenue 55. There were prints displayed by local artists, in addition to a wooden sculpture by Stuart Rapeport called "Big Fish." The owner of this gallery, Amy Inouye also sells many items related to Chicken Boy. Hopefully, CB will be installed on the roof of Future Studio soon.
Our next stop was the Avenue 50 Studio, part of the Arroyo Arts Collective. The Gallery was busy and parking was scarce, but we saw some interesting paintings.
We had been advised to definitely visit the Mor York Gallery on York Boulevard. Wow! Proprietor and artist, Clare Graham is an artistic innovator. He collects all sorts of things and places them or combines them in artistic settings and/or recycled art sculptures. You have to see his studio and showroom to believe it. The building was a former grocery store, roller rink and stock-car racing location. The high ceilings are very dramatic. Even the website is good. There were bottlecap sculptures, collections of primitive dolls, paint by numbers kits re-arranged into screens (Pinkie and Blue Boy are my faves), multiple scrabble boards used as room dividers, painstakingly created walls using scrabble tiles, hanging lightfixture sculptures, etc. The place is a smorgasbord of incredibility. Clare has been collecting these wire hats made on some obscure island in the South Pacific. You will see me modeling one of the hats. We couldn't quite figure how how it was made. Tiny wire crochet? Maybe?
Our last stop was the Huron Substation in Cypress, just south of Highland Park. This was a former Red Car maintenance station. Before the automobile was king in L.A., there was a system of electric Red Car lines in this City. My parents used to talk about traversing the entire City on the Red Car. It was supposed to be a very efficient way to get around town. Too bad it's gone, we could really use this system today. I vaguely remember the last of the Red Cars going down the center of Venice Boulevard in the early 1960's.
The Huron Substation was a buzz of activity. There were many sculptures in the courtyard area, including the work of Dakota Witzenberg. It was a party.
I wish more Westsiders would just get on the freeway and explore the galleries of the Highland Park area. The Second Gallery Night happens every month!!!!
Labels: Los Angeles