create / 2014

Neighborhood Art Provides Positive Local Focus

Neighborhood Art Provides Positive Local Focus

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Conant Moran Design & Fabrication

Fabricate and install neighborhood sculptures that all cultures, races and income levels can connect with and take pride in.


Please describe yourself.

Solo actor (just us on this project!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

Fabricate and install neighborhood sculptures that all cultures, races and income levels can connect with and take pride in.

Does your project impact Los Angeles County?

Yes (benefits a region of LA County)

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit?

  • Central LA
  • South LA

What is your idea/project in more detail?

Six to ten metal sculptures will be placed in neighborhoods with the intent to enhance public spaces and introduce art into a culture that is otherwise barren of community-based art. The unveiling will BBQ be proceeded by a Community BBQ and Family oriented entertainment. The project illustrates that art can be a source of pride for the community and will serve as a landmark for conversation and neighborhood identification. A pilot project has been initiated at 58th and Broadway where a Rubik’s Cube metal sculpture has been installed. The public acceptance and positive reception has encouraged this application for funds. The fact that the sculpture has not been vandalized is testament to high public regard for the art.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

Specific site selection for the sculpture locations will be coordinated with District 9 representatives and local leaders in small groups at face to face meetings. An initial site will be based on visibility, site suitability, and safety. The potential sculpture themes will be developed by Conant-Moran Design and Fabrication. The Sculptures will be designed, fabricated and installed by Conant-Moran Inc.. The themes for the sculptures will be contemporary and will be readily recognized as things the community recognizes. Potential sculptures include Nintendo controller, Etch-a-sketch, Lego Man, Jacks, Light Bright, Tetris and similar ideas. The sculpture are approximately 10 times actual size. Implementation is not complex. The decisions needed are straight forward. Fabrication of the metal structures is a one person job. It is important that this application does not imply more complexity than there will be.

How will your idea/project help make LA the best place to CREATE today? In 2050?

Presently, there is an obvious lack of public art and likewise lack of appreciation of art. The grantee has experimented with placement of artistic pieces in public areas and has noted the inquisitiveness, attention, and curiosity of those who live and work in the neighborhood. Revitalization of a neighborhood must include instilling or creating pride in the neighborhood. The sculpture pieces are intended to be the focal point of neighborhood pride. The sculptures are intended as a seed for the future. Any change in the culture of a community is preceded by a change in the environment. A piece of art occupying a small space can have a big role in changing perspectives of individuals who otherwise may not have their artistic inquisitiveness piqued. Whether someone is walking by, riding by in a personal vehicle or mass transit, or on a bike or skate board, a glance which captures an art piece can transform thoughts from day to day concerns to “what if”. The sculptures are being presented as a first step and not an end-all. We cannot pretend to predict the future, but we can guide the change by contributing positive changed to the urban environment. Installing a simple piece of art on a street corner has changed one neighborhood at Broadway and 58th, and can be replicated to change more communities. Like the story of the person throwing small starfish into the ocean, small action, but it makes a big difference to the starfish.

Whom will your project benefit?

The project is intended to benefit those who live and work in the community. The benefits are quality of life issues that are improved by positive changes to the environment. Those positively affected by the addition of art to the environment runs the gamut from old to young, male and female, business owner to the unemployed, rich and poor. Any positive change in the environment or culture directly or indirectly changes things for the good - for everyone.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

The collaborators for this project are local leaders and District 9 staff who will assist with site selection and the unveiling BBQ’s. These collaborators are not specifically named. They will be contacted as sculpture projects are developed. The number of collaboration participants will be small because the primary beneficiaries live and work in the immediate neighborhood.

  1. Community Involvement
  2. Communication between parties
  3. Recognition of contributions

How will your project impact the LA2050 “Create” metrics?

  • Employment in creative industries
  • Arts establishments per capita
  • Measures of cultural and global economic influence (“soft power”) (Dream Metric)

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.

The installation of sculptures will plant the seed for others to initiate artistic endeavors thy otherwise would not attempt. the installation of ANY public art in these deprived neighborhoods is a significant gain in the artistic availability to the community.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

Predominately through the installation of metal sculptures. The target is six to ten. Involvement of the community. Measured by response to the BBQ’s and party.

Sustainability - Longevity measured in the care the sculptures receive - vandalism

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

  1. Installation of sculpture on 58th and Broadway and the reaction of the neighborhood.

  2. Traveling through LA has revealed a stark contrast between South Central and other sections of LA. The obvious question is why so much art in some sections and practically none in others? What can be done to enhance artistic projects in the parts of LA that have none?

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

At a minimum a sculpture can be completed and installed every 1 1/2 to 2 months. This schedule is acceptable to the artist.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

  1. Securing funds: Applying for grants

  2. Selecting installation sites: Involve neighborhood and community leaders early in the process

What resources does your project need?

  • Network/relationship support
  • Money (financial capital)
  • Community outreach
  • Quality improvement research