As we begin 2017, we want to thank the de LaB community for its continued support, enthusiasm, and wisdom. We couldn’t continue to plan these events without you! 2016 was another momentous year for us. We kicked off our second Artworks grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, funding the first half of our Making LA programming. The series, entitled “Making LA: Connect, Flourish, Thrive, Prosper,” focuses on the issues of Transportation, Water, Density and Community. Stay tuned for some big announcements this year as we head into the second half of our NEA-funded programming.
In the meantime, here are some of our favorite people, places, and things we saw this year…
- We started the year our favorite way – road tripping way east to Palm Springs for Modernism Week, where we, um, camped out with our friends at CAMP, the official headquarters for Modernism Week. We were treated to a full program of lectures and talks about the architecture and design of this desert oasis.
- In March we celebrated the re-opening of the Museum of Neon Art in its permanent home in Glendale with a private tour of the 300+ restored vintage neon signs with board member Eric Lynxwiler and Garine Gabrielian of Shimoda Design Group.
- In April we toured the galleries and artists studios of West Adams, stopping in at Ochi Projects, Martos Gallery, Claudia Parducci’s studio, non-profit gallery JOAN, Brian Wills’ studio, and at our final stop, newcomer to the neighborhood, the Landing.
- On a cloudy morning in May, a group of about 50 Angelenos gathered under the bright Metro canopy at Mariachi Plaza to kick off our tour of Boyle Heights. Joel Garcia, an artist, cultural organizer, and director of operations of Self Help Graphics & Art, kicked off the tour that included stops at restaurant and gallery Un Solo Sol Kitchen, the Benjamin Franklin Library, ending at the plaza installation Todos Juntos with designers Siobhán Burke (Lyric Design and Planning) and Rob Berry (Berry and Linné).
- In June the usual gloom gave way to a blisteringly hot day, but even the heat couldn’t prevent 60 bike riders from joining us en masse for a bike ride from Flying Pigeon bike shop for our annual Design-n-Dim Sum ride. This year’s route took us to artist and furniture designer Matt Gagnon’s studio, landscape architect Mia Lehrer’s new LA River digs, and gallery space 356 Mission before heading back to Chinatown for some bao at Golden Dragon.
- In July we visited our friends from Materials & Applications for its site-specific installation TURF. Each hole in the mini golf course was created by architects and designers, exploring the ecology, economics, and social conditions of Los Angeles in a vacant Echo Park lot.
- August brought two great events. The first was a tour of “Mast,” an inaugural temporary public art installation for Current: LA. Working with the theme of water as part of the first-ever, citywide public art biennial, designers Daveed Kapoor and Josh Callaghan were inspired by the long-running drought in Southern California and created a looming Colonial-era sailing mast.
- Later in the month, we headed to Historic Filipino for Hidden Hi FI to explore the secret gallery of street art lurking in the alleyways with our partners at Gabba Gallery, Pilipino Workers Center, and Public Matters)
- In October, we headed downtown for a tour of LADOT’s new Metro Bike system with Rubina Ghazarian, transportation planning associate for the newly created Mobility Division. We grabbed bikes and went on a ride (less than one hour) to check out some of the awesome bike infrastructure like separated cycle tracks, “bike boxes” that help cyclists turn, and the city’s first dedicated bike signals.
- Later in October we were invited to contemplate the future of Silver Lake’s reservoirs. While the ongoing construction around the reservoirs have left them drained and bone-dry, our friends at Silver Lake Forward are considering ways to plan for the reservoirs’ future. Tours of the reservoir served as an opportunity to discuss the construction currently underway, as well as to think about the tremendous potential to revitalize one of Los Angeles’s most important public spaces.
- And last but certainly not least, in December we had the opportunity to tour the the historic CBS Columbia Square project in Hollywood. With architect Bob Hale, of Rios Clementi Hale Studios, we toured the transformed city block, taking a look at the 4.7 acre complex’s new creative office spaces, multimedia studios, and newly opened Proper Hotel.
Thanks again for an amazing 2016 and we can’t wait to see you in 2017!