It’s official – the Hollywood Bowl – LA’s quintessential landmark – has announced its summer season so dust off your picnic basket, grab a cushion and buy your tickets early as they are sure to sell out. There will be more than fifty performances including 14 concerts with LA Philharmonic Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel; twenty debut performances; July 4th and Tchaikovsky fireworks; perennial favorites like the Sing-A-Long Sound of Music, Movies Under the Stars with a live orchestra; Jazz Plus and KCRW’s World Festival; and super special events featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Viola Davis, Christina Aguilera, H.E.R., Ziggy Marley and Cynthia Erivo. The season will actually open in June with a series of free concerts – with the support of Kaiser Permanente – for frontline and essential workers.  The public season launches with the two night July 4th Fireworks Spectacular featuring Kool & the Gang and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Some of my favorite highlights:  Viola Davis narrating Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with Dudamel conducting the LA Phil; an all Gershwin concert in August; Dudamel’s Latin music celebration; the Bowl debut of pianists Isata Kanneh-Mason, Eric Lu and Lukáš Vondráček; singer/songwriter Cynthia Erivo; and the Tchaikovsky weekend with the USC Trojan Marching Band playing the 1812 Overture! A wide variety of food and wine offerings can be purchased from the on-site marketplaces plus pre-ordered picnic boxes and Supper in Your Seats are available.

For all things Hollywood Bowl, click here.

I Miss You/We Got This Ms. Yellow (Nuria Ortiz) at Long Beach Airport

Long Beach Airport

  • By Cynthia Lum

A new pandemic-themed art exhibit has been unveiled at Long Beach Airport (LGB). The exhibition by local women artists, commissioned by a partnership between the airport and the Arts Council for Long Beach (ARTSLB), reflects uplifting and hopeful messages related to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Long Beach has an amazing well of artistic talent,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “This new and very relevant exhibit at the airport will inspire travelers and showcase our thriving arts community.” The twenty pieces in the exhibit express hope, shared community, respect for frontline workers and an acknowledgement of the challenges ahead. The exhibit title comes from a piece submitted by the artist known as Ms. Yellow (Nuria Ortiz) that explores physical and emotional distance during the pandemic. “We Got This” is her hopeful message for the future. The focus on artists who are women is part of ARTSLB’S community work with LB Suffrage 100 in commemorating the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. “We are so pleased to display this impressive array of art at LGB for travelers and the public,” said Airport Director Cynthia Guidry. “It is a wonderful opportunity to show our support for the local arts community, while spreading encouragement and a sense of optimism with our travelers and the public.”

The artwork will stay up for at least six months. For an online version, click here.

Peace of Mind 2019 © Yoshitomo Nara on view at LACMA

Yoshitomo Nara

  • By Cynthia Lum
  • Photo Courtesy of LACMA

Yoshitomo Nara is among the most beloved Japanese artists of his generation. His widely recognizable super stylized portraits may appear “cute” on the surface a closer examination will exhibit a complex range of expressions reflecting the artist’s encounters with his inner self. A peripatetic traveler, Nara’s oeuvre takes inspiration from a wide range of resources—memories of his childhood, music, literature, studying and living in Germany, exploring his roots in Japan, Sakhalin, and Asia, and modern art from Europe and Japan. Spanning over 30 years from 1987 to 2020, Yoshitomo Nara views the artist’s work through the lens of his longtime passion—music.   Featuring album covers Nara began collecting as an adolescent, paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, an installation that recreates his drawing studio, and never-before-exhibited idea sketches that reflect the artist’s empathic eye, this exhibition shines a light on Nara’s conceptual process. One of the main highlights will be Miss Forest, a 26-foot outdoor painted bronze sculpture that will grace Wilshire Boulevard. Throughout the exhibition, the focus on Nara ’s inspiration in music recurs in works both sketched and drawn and in many of the featured and famous highlights. Be sure to listen to the exhibition soundtrack, created to accompany Yoshitomo Nara’s work My Drawing Room (2008), the artist selected songs that reflect his love of 1960s and ʼ70s singer-songwriters, who he began listening to as an adolescent and whose work greatly influenced his own.

For more details, click here.

Mural at Annenberg Beach House by Yvette Gillis

Sacred Spaces

  • By Cynthia Lum
  • Photo Courtesy of Annenberg Beach House

As part of the Beach+Culture Out of the Blue program, Yvette Gellis has painted a 450-foot long mural in front of the Annenberg Community Beach House. Out of the Blue is designed to offer the general public chance encounters with art and art-making at the Beach House.

Yvette’s painting, Sacred Spaces, fills the Beach House vision for an eye-catching mural with the intent to inspire well-being, recuperation, restoration, imagination, peacefulness, whimsy and love of the natural world.  The mural depicts a whole day view of the mountains and sea from dawn to dusk, reflecting the beach and landscape the viewer is standing in. Talking about the mural Yvette says, “In a year of intense negativity. The loss of my mother, a world pandemic, and all the geo-political events, I have chosen to focus on the positive, the beautiful, the harmonious aspects of nature where we all can agree and find love for one another and all of creation – especially our beautiful immediate environment as an immersive experience. My hope is that passersby will come across this art work on their daily jog or as they stroll by the water and be drawn into the work as I am when I create it. I want them to linger in the landscape a bit and experience the restorative power of art.”

 “Sacred Spaces” will be available through Summer 2021. For more information, click here.