Art of Recovery Projects Bring Joy to the Streets of Santa Monica
January 26, 2021 3:11 PM
by Allison Ostrovsky
Cultural Affairs launched Art of Recovery because the arts--and artists--have much to contribute toward the City's recovery efforts. We believe that artists can devise creative solutions to some of our most pressing challenges, and Art of Recovery gives artists the space and support to manifest their vision. Since November, artists have been hard at work realizing projects across the City that address three focus areas: 1) economic recovery, 2) community connectedness and restorative justice, and 3) public health and safety.
We are pleased to share the Art of Recovery projects that were initiated in 2020:
In November, Santa Monica Pier and Downtown Santa Monica honored Día de los Muertos, the traditional Mexican cultural celebration of life and death, with larger than the after-life art sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Ricardo Soltero which were on view on the Pier and the Third Street Promenade.
On the Pier, the famous Bob Baker Marionette Theater and their puppets took over the iconic Merry Go-Round windows. The one-of-a-kind installation celebrated the theater’s most beloved historical productions.
The Main Street K-Rail Murals transformed plain K-Rail concrete safety barriers into a public gallery of vibrant and diverse art by local artists. Flowing horizontal murals, help unite and celebrate the streetscape, and reflect different sites.
Winterlit Holiday-Inspired Art Installations, were placed along the entire Third Street Promenade, and featured window displays in storefronts as well as murals created by local artists who interpreted what the holiday season meant to them during the unprecedented time.
Another goal of Art of Recovery is to spotlight the value of working with artists to reach cross-sector goals, and to foster strong networks between the arts and other interests. Cultural Affairs thanks the following partners who made these projects possible: Ocean Park Association, Main Street Business Improvement District, Ocean Park Association, Beautify, Downtown Santa Monica, and the Pier Corporation.
In the coming weeks and months we will be unveiling new Art of Recovery projects. First up is Rose River Memorial at Bergamot Station, which is a collaboration between Building Bridges Art Exchange and other Bergamot businesses to present the Rose River Memorial, created by renowned experiential artist Marcus Lutyens. The project, a collective memorial for those lost to COVID-19, will include community rose making and an indoor and outdoor exhibition.
Next is a project conceived by Community Artist Marni Gittleman. What’s 6 Feet? is a community resiliency and recovery campaign to honor, show and share experiences of 6 feet apart, foster connection and stop the spread of COVID-19. The project will include a call for creative responses via a Pass-it-On Instagram challenge.
Finally, Undanced Dances Through Prison Walls During a Pandemic is an extension of artist Suchi Branfman’s five-year choreographic residency within the California Rehabilitation Center. When the California state prison system shut down programming and visitation due to COVID-19, the incarcerated dancers began sending out imagined written choreographies from their bunks to the outside world. This project will bring to life these beautifully crafted dances, written inside prison, in collaboration with a remarkable cast of dancers, community activists and formerly incarcerated narrators/facilitators.
We are looking forward to much more in 2021 and wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!