Art’s ability to communicate the inner spirit of our common humanity is something all art lovers know. These five best attractions were chosen for their pushing of the limits of that understanding. In the Southland, we are blessed with exhibitions, museums and events as well as a deeper appreciation of art. The love of art is an intimate and shared experience not to be underestimated. In Los Angeles, and its environs, we have the greatest of opportunities to grasp what art means.
The Autry – Mt. Washington Campus
Southwest Museum-American Indian Art
234 Museum Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90065
For tens of thousands of years, North America’s natives created and expressed themselves with art. The “depth and diversity” of their archaeological collection is on display in the lower lobby at the Southwest Museum, but that’s only a “glimpse” (Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The ongoing exhibition, Four Centuries of Pueblo Pottery, features over 100 authentic ceramic pieces from the time before the Spanish domination to our times. The art of North American pottery is a tradition that was transformed by history but never in spirit. The notables Julian and Maria Martinez, in the early 20th century, brought back the traditional pottery of their ancestors, and several pieces are on display. Drawing from the Autry’s American Indian Collection, the San Ildefonso and Laguna Pueblo’s pottery and ceramics are represented, as well as others.
Made in L.A. 2014
10899 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Until September 7th, the Hammer presents Made in L.A. 2014 as an exhibition featuring “emerging and under-recognized artists.” Refreshing and all new art from every creative field is just the starting point. From performance to photo art, and from installation to painting, this is an opportunity for these artists and the art-loving public to discover the cutting edge of contemporary artistic expression. Chief curator Connie Butler and an independent curator, Michael Holte, join in presenting the Hammer’s recurring exhibition. A “comprehensive hardcover” catalog will be available with a roster of upcoming free public programs. The Public Recognition Award, determined by those attending, will be given, as well as the Career Achievement and Mohn Awards.
Craft & Folk Art Museum
5814 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
It’s all about inspiring a “sense of inquiry and creativity” among artists and their public. Crafts and folk art are the precursors of what we call art today; it’s the art we can all do. Forty years on the Miracle Mile, the Craft & Folk Art Museum remains dedicated to a celebration of “contemporary and traditional craft and folk art.” Since 1973, this non-profit continues as the Southland’s craft and folk art research center, and its scope is international. Until late August, A Sense of Balance: The Sculpture of Stoney Lamar exhibit brings to the forefront wood crafting as legitimate art. Calling his work “distinct” with a “sense of line and movement,” art lovers will learn a new appreciation of an often-missed form of creativity.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
250 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
The MOCA Pacific Design Center presents Jacob Hashimoto: Gas Giant through early June. The Museum of Contemporary Art continues to be an international leader, bringing to the public what contemporary art invokes in the human experience. Hashimoto creates “massive space-altering installations” with a wide combination of materials. This installation, Gas Giant, is the final edition, and for Southlanders, it is a rare opportunity to appreciate this unique art form.
The Getty Villa
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Through August 24th, the Getty Villa presents Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections. On the South Coast’s Pacific Palisades, ancient art brings a forgotten past to the Southland. The exhibition tour starts in the early afternoon and brings forward works of art from a millennium of western history. From the Bosporus Straits to Mediterranean Sea, and to ancient Constantinople, this art is from the informative years before modern history – it was the Byzantine Empire. Moderns under appreciate the lasting influence of Byzantium, and this exhibition proves art is an intrinsic part of the human psyche. This is an experience that proves to art lovers that creativity is not limited by time and space – it has been in all of us from the beginning.