The Feminist Art Project

Sunrise to Sunset/A Bus Tour of Public Art Works in L.A.

Mar 1, 2009 – Mar 1, 2009


404 South Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Time: 8am – 5pm
Phone Number: 310-963-8118
Contact: Jerri Allyn

Sunrise to Sunset / A Bus Tour of Public Art Works in L.A. 
Jerri Allyn, Co-Curator/Artist Guide
with SPARC Director Debra Padilla
and artist Meg Cranston 

Sunday March 1, 2009, 8am – 5 pm 

Pickup and drop off: Westin Bonaventure Hotel
404 South Figueroa Street, LA, CA 90071.
Advance $20 tickets available through CAA at L.A. Convention Center or at the bus for $25.
Please call Jerri Allyn for reservations 310-963-8118

Sponsored by the College Art Association and The Feminist Art Project  

ren.e.gade, ren i gad, noun:
person who behaves in a rebelliously unconventional manner

Catch this action-packed bus to see public artworks across a swath of Los Angeles with Allyn, Cranston, and Padilla as your guides. The tour will include performance art, legal actions, guerrilla interventions, and routes through neighborhoods to contextualize community-based work. Do projects by artists that are officially condoned, and artists who are driven to renegade actions, depend on “those in authority” who try and silence them, gentrify their neighborhoods, or give them voice? How does some public art become a kind of anti-monument that is able to challenge the idea of one narrative for all, yet re-instate the story and collective memory of a marginalized segment of society? 

This tour will begin in East LA at Self-Help Graphics. See tile murals representing this long-standing Chicano/a community, and an homage by Eva Cockcroft. In Union Station, explore a large-scale installation by May Sun about the first immigrant Chinese settlement began. Inquire into two installations designed for a downtown plaza by Sheila de Bretteville and Betty Saar that reveal where the first neighborhood of “free” African-Americans sprung up. Pick-up lunch to go at the Grand Central Marketwhile taking a peak at story benches by Kim Abeles. Experience a Veterans Memorial by Cheri Gaulke in Historic Filipino Town. On the West side of town, get a glimpse of public works on Venice Beach. View an exhibition at SPARC including models of 400 Youth / 1 Wall by Judy Baca, which integrates neglected histories into the dominant Los Angeles narrative. Time permitting; we’ll give a nod to South Central by driving by To Protect and To Serve, the forceful impressions of the Black Panther Party in the 1960’s in a mural by Noni Olabisi.

Cranston’s performance, “Riot at Pandora’s Box–The Secret Art History of Sunset,” notes sites of infamous rebellions and club events by punk, rock and roll, and fine artists along the Strip and Hollywood Boulevard. Tour participants can then sing-along with punk artist turned “Jewish, lesbian, folk singer” Phranc, who introduces new tunes about LA neighborhoods. Appearances by performance artists Amitis Motevalliabout the power of language, and The Waitresses addressing pay equity (Marjan Vayghan, Linda Kunik) occur along the route. Irina Contreras facilitates a closing Soap Box performance event about issues of ongoing concern, within a hand-built community garden in Echo Park.

Please note: Subject to change due LA traffic. 

This bus tour is in conjunction with the CAA panel:

What’s the Story? Public Art and Narrative in Los Angeles  
Wednesday Feb 25, 2009, 9:30 – 12 pm 
College Art Association 97th Annual Conference
Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa, LA, CA 90015

This panel is chaired by Cheri Gaulke, Artist and Faculty at Harvard Westlake School. The other panelists include: Marlena Doktorczyk-Donohue, Associate Professor of Art History and Theory, Otis College of Art and Design; Holly Barnet-Sanchez, Professor, University of New Mexico;  May Sun, Artist; Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Artist and Professor, Yale University School of Art; and Jacki Apple, Artist and Professor, Art Center College of Design.

Public art can be “plop art,” completely unrelated to its location, or it can be intimately connected to the history, culture, and geography of the place where it is sited.

What happens when public artists see themselves in service of a story about the place or community in which the work will exist? What motivates the artist to approach the work in this way and what is the process of researching and creating the work? Los Angeles has a rich tradition of public art ranging from historic works from its founding in the nineteenth century through the WPA era, to more recent murals by community activists, to contemporary artworks integrated into metro stations, libraries, and civic locations. Many of these works reveal fascinating stories about the people, both ordinary and extraordinary, who have contributed to making Los Angeles into a multicultural city.

The presenters on this panel include scholars and working artists who will bring insights into a discussion of such issues as: How do artists distill complex historical stories into visual statements? What is the role of text in narrative-based visual art? How do public artists engage audiences as active viewers? Is collaboration with non-artists a component of making the work? Does the ethnic identity of the artists and the communities, if different, present challenges in the production of the work? Does the gender or politics of the artists to be featured in this panel presentation, which are female and feminist, play a role in their aesthetic or thematic approach?

Particular works in Los Angeles will be discussed such as: Sheila Levrant de Bretteville’s narrative wall about a former slave who became a midwife and owned a home near the location of the artwork; May Sun’s Union Station work that incorporates objects unearthed from the first Chinatown settlement; Judith Francisca Baca’s Great Wall of Los Angeles that tells a history of minorities in California; East LA housing project murals from the 1970s Chicano Civil Rights and Arts Movement; Kim Abeles’ story benches in downtown LA and the San Fernando Valley; Jacki Apple’s mining of oral histories from African-American elders in Venice; and others.

Event Type: Film/Video