Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ars Brevis

Bright colors haven't been the norm on this scraggle-spit of ground, where Foothill splits from Walnut to begin its eastern trek. I like this area, especially along Walnut: it's where small industries and artist studios set up shop, and you can find old train tracks along the north side of the road.

Now you can also find art. This work is called Planting a Garden. It's by Margaret Lazzari and Lauren Evans, and it's part of Pasadena's Rotating Public Art program. Medians and scraggle-spits like this one are just the spots for works such as this one. Watch for them at your favorite (or least favorite) median around town. Each piece is displayed for 18 months before it's rotated out and replaced with a new one.

This piece looked to be in fine condition when I stopped so I'm not sure what the caution tape was for. But this brings me to the fact that I stopped--stopped the car, got out, and looked up close. I recommend it. I like the piece as a whole, but I like the details even more. Click on the photos to enlarge them.
Plus, when you look closely, you can see the materials. I like knowing how this piece was put together and with what.
I also liked seeing how the location interacted, however tentatively, with the piece.
One of my favorite things about art is its subjectivity. No single work will please everyone. That's one of the many appealing things about this rotating program. Don't like the art? Don't worry. Just give it a little time.

19 comments:

Michael Coppess said...

Talk about art -- "scraggle-spit!" Sounds like something you should say five times fast. But, its a great description of this strange little corner.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

simply gorgeous.. i love the bright colors..wish more cities had these or rather the creative people!.

Petrea Burchard said...

Jeez, you two get up early.

I need to get a pic of another one that's closer to you, Michael. Have you seen one in the median on the east-west portion of Sierra Madre blvd?

I think everyone's creative, Kalei, but when we're kids our schooling, upbringing, peers, etc. pound it out of us. Sameness is required! Don't be different! Some lucky folks get support from around them but in many cases it's up to the individual to seek out creativity in themselves.

Bellis said...

Is scraggle- spit a native word from your homeland? A linguist friend collects these, and draws maps of what people call things in different parts of the States.

I'm glad you stopped to take close- ups of this. All the art is in places I go by in the car at some speed,, and it's hard to pull over safely. There's more to it than meets the eye going at 25 mph, it's rather beautiful. Hope you'll show us some of the others. One of the pieces of the Sierra Madre boulevard artwork went missing, but mysteriously returned recently.

Petrea Burchard said...

Maybe it suffered in the wind storm, Bellis, and needed repairs. Who knows? These things are out in the elements, such as they are.

I made up "scraggle-spit." "Spit of land" seemed cliché and didn't quite convey what I wanted it to.

Steve Scauzillo said...

I must have driven by this art several times lately and no, I've never stopped. Thanks for the detail shots.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I like the idea of art on no mans land. I attended the meeting where this idea was first brainstormed. If it hasn't rotated out of existence, I'd like to see the craftsman chair that spouts poetry from locals who grew up in Pasadena

altadenahiker said...

Will have to check this out -- thanks! I considered last year's wildflower planting and display near this spot one of the better art installations.

Petrea Burchard said...

I found a better link. This has a list of locations and artists. I'm going to change the copy and insert this one.

http://www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/arts/Rotating_Public_Art_Program/

Petrea Burchard said...

PA, the piece you mention is called "City Speaks" and if it's still there it's at S Fair Oaks and W State St, grassy area at SW corner

Bellis said...

I've just looked up your link to City Speaks, and found out that a friend of mine is involved with it. I guess that's because she's a poet? But this is the first I've heard of it - even though I read the local newspaper every day. Tomorrow's task will be to go look for it. There are a couple of other artworks I haven't spotted yet, like the one on Catalina and Union.

One piece of Diversity on Sierra Madre Blvd was removed, according to the Star-News, and not by the City for renovation, but it mysteriously reappeared recently. I guess public artwork is always at risk. How nice that someone put it back.

Petrea Burchard said...

I haven't spotted them all yet either, Bellis. I once had a list of all their locations but I've lost it. I could print out the one at the link.

Very strange about that piece going missing then coming back.

Ms M said...

Wonderful that there is rotating art on "scraggle-spit" pieces of land!
That's a lively, colorful piece.

Book Dragon said...

I've been on facebook too much...one of my first thoughts? Did someone master a crop? grrr

If you don't get that..be very happy your not playing FarmVille...can be addictive.

Love the idea...great art

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Book Dragon - I get it. Now get off of Farmville before it gives you the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome. Did me, let those dam crops wither

Petrea Burchard said...

I didn't get it. Thanks to a friend who got an early and very bad virus from a FB app I use very few apps there. Probably missing out on some fun but apparently carpal tunnel as well.

the_sybil said...

This piece of art is in my neck of the woods: thank you for the background info!
Several pieces of this work were blown down in the storm: when they re-erected it they put the caution tape around it, and it's not been removed since.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you for the info, too, the_sybil! I guess that makes us even. Now we know why the caution tape was there.

Susan Campisi said...

My friend has an art studio in this area. I haven't been down that way in awhile but these pieces are great incentive. Thanks for the heads up.