On a very warm and sunny August afternoon, HOLA’s Visual Arts students participated in the installation of “We Are Talking Pyramids,” the culmination of a five-month long public art project led by LA artists Pearl C. Hsiung and Anna Sew Hoy. The celebration took place in MacArthur Park and was attended by hundreds of neighborhood families. The afternoon was filled with fun and engaging activities that included mask making, sound recording and a performance by the students on the stage of the Levitt Pavilion. Inspiration for ”We are Talking Pyramids” was drawn from the existing public sculptures and murals in MacArthur Park, including Judy Simonian’s “Talking Pyramids” and Dagoberto Reyes’ “Why We Immigrate.” One of the longer lasting results of the project is “Talking Benches.” For this project, the students used the cut-up technique, a literary technique in which a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text, to create simple, yet poetic and whimsical phrases. The students then transferred their best phrases into bench designs. The designs are now on the benches of local bus stops along Wilshire Boulevard and 6th Street (between LaFayette Park and MacArthur Park). “We Are Talking Pyramids” project gave the young artists the opportunity to explore the community and create conversations that were aimed to involve, activate and inspire the local MacArthur Park community.
Noted local artists leant their support to the project, including OJO,Jade Gordon of My Barbarian, Eve Fowler and Mariah Garnett. KPCC’s Off-Ramp covered the event. Click here to view the blog post and hear the pod cast. To learn more about the project and to follow the progression, please visit HOLA’s Public Art Project Blog.
“We are Talking Pyramids” is the first in a series of three public art projects made possible through an Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Grant (AIC) from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. The AIC grant program supports fearless and innovative collaborations in the spirit of Robert Rauschenberg and is the first national competitive grant program for the Foundation. HOLA is one of only nine organizations nationwide to receive a grant in the inaugural grant cycle.
HOLA provides underserved youth with exceptional programs in academics, arts and athletics within a nurturing environment, empowering them to develop their potential, pursue their education and strengthen their communities.
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