Los Angeles Convention Center during the 2014 LA Art Show I Photo: LA Art Show
The LA Art Show 2015 will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center January 14-18 and expected to have 50,000 wanderers roam 120 galleries representing 22 countries.
Being in Los Angeles, murals and street art are a popular topic and will be again after an interesting year of public art politics. A running theme will look at the aftermath of a mural ordinance that was passed to revive community-based murals on private property in the city. The mural ordinance was drafted through numerous public meetings with artists from the traditional mural camp, and artists and curators from the street art movement, which developed during the ban. After sniping and elegant debate between city and artist, artist style from another style, an enforceable mural ordinance was passed in October 2013. It was tested right away.
Believe me, that’s a very brief synopsis. Here are some of the panels.
Saturday, January 17, 4 p.m.: "Public Art Land Grab: The Gold Rush Economy of LA’s Mural Renaissance, presented by The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA)"
We are one year into LA’s new mural ordinance, and the City’s public art community has experienced unprecedented creativity coupled with unexpected conflict. The line between sponsors and patrons is ever blurred. In our temporary culture, is the difference even relevant? Where are the Medicis of today, or is it reasonable to expect such ideal patronage? The last year has seen public art developments that were not imaginable even 24 months ago. Some murals have been painted out as unpermitted, some have been given reprieve by City Hall, and some artists couldn’t care less if their murals are legal or not. Money is never far away, as walls have been appropriated, donated, rented, leased, bought and sold. What does history have to teach us about the economics of renaissance and culture? How can the City, artists, commercial enterprise and citizens co-exist in this landscape? Join the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles for a panel discussion, as we explore our contemporary public art scene standing at the crossroads of economics, culture, politics and history.
Also scheduled for Saturday is "What is Public Art and Who is it For?"
Public Art these days has become increasingly difficult to define, and answers about its arbiters and custodians more difficult to answer. Beyond the conventional purview of the majestic civic plaza sculpture, murals and street art, billboards, private developments, and even more transitory performative works are all dynamic parts of the discourse. Steps from the Downtown business and art districts, the mural culture in the Arts District, and the restored Olympic Freeway Murals, artist Brad Howe (whose work is on view in the Show entrance) and critic Shana Nys Dambrot assemble a panel of artists, curators, and policy-makers to address timely and salient questions like: Who is the public, what constitutes public space, who are the custodians of existing public works, what are the current policies governing the practice in Los Angeles.
Sunday's mural related panel is "The Arts District: "The Development of an Art Scene and the Art of Development" presented by Cartwheel Art and Arts District Alliance.
"Some of the questions for the panelists will be: Why do developers follow artists? Why is the Arts District one of the “hottest” areas in the country? What is it about artists that make an area “cool” and create a fervor that more mainstream people then follow? Can the Arts District balance development and maintain its authentic core as a neighborhood rich with artists who might not be rich?"
It's the 20th anniversary for the West Coast art fair I LA Art Show 2015.
Above: Stephen Hendee created sculpture for the celebration of 30 years of public art programming in the City of Las Vegas.