create / 2016

Jose Dávila Public Art Project

Jose Dávila Public Art Project

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division)

LAND creates free opportunities for residents to engage with contemporary art in public spaces in over 20 LA neighborhoods by commissioning a Jose Dávila sculpture and presenting community-led events.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

Jose Dávila’s project will be presented as part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, which seeks to explore the deep artistic connections between Los Angeles and Latin America. Other collaborative partners include the following venues that will be a site for the sculpture: University Elementary School, La Brea Tar Pits, Barnsdall Park, Los Angeles River, Downtown Los Angeles Public Library, and the Santa Monica Pier, among others.

Please describe your project proposal.

LA residents will have the opportunity to gather and playfully interact with a concrete sculpture that will break apart and slowly migrate to diverse public locales around the city. LAND, Dávila, and community members will create ceremonious public events for the sculpture’s movement, inspired by each neighborhood and its residents. The pieces will finally return to its original location and form in the end – showing the history of its geography and community experiences in its modified shape.

Which of the create metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Arts establishments
  • Employment in the creative industries
  • Gini coefficient
  • Jobs per capita
  • Measures of cultural and global economic influence (“soft power”)
  • Minority- and women-owned firms

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • South LA
  • Westside
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles
  • LAUSD

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to create?

LAND enables artists to create neighborhood-based work and take his/her studio practice outside of the studio and into the community as a way to engage with various audiences and residents. LAND’s fundamental mission is to bring contemporary art out of the museum/gallery setting and into the public sphere. Thus, LAND’s core audience for all projects includes members of every type of demographic as LAND’s exhibitions and programs are brought into the daily lives of community members that may not encounter or have the means to experience art in other ways.

LAND makes LA the best place to CREATE because it funds local, national, and international artists to create work in LA and to directly engage with the people of LA, thus creating jobs in the arts sector. The projects are always specific to the city’s unique architectural public sites, increasing LA’s international reputation as a city that welcomes artists to enhance it. LAND hopes to emphasize its commitment to the arts in LA through this innovative project, which is part of a larger dialogue with the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA community of prestigious and reputable arts institutions.

For Jose Dávila’s project, the exhibition will begin with a commissioned concrete cubic sculpture installed at West Hollywood Park. The components of the sculpture will break apart and travel across the city to be installed in various neighborhoods simultaneously, creating connections between the diverse communities of LA. The migration of the pieces will occur at various points throughout the run of the exhibition, concluding the project with the sculpture reinstalled in its original cubic form.

The project will bring art to new audiences in each neighborhood, inviting them to participate creatively, using the sculpture as they wish, as a place to sit, play, draw, dance on, skateboard over, relax on, etc. Participants will be encouraged to take pictures and post on social media creating an archival map which will be connected with the Pacific Standard Time online activity.

The process of discovery of each additional site will create a unique, expansive experience for LA residents which speaks to broader concerns of navigating the cityscape and LA’s inherent geographic segregation. Audiences are encouraged to follow the migration of the sculpture, visiting new neighborhoods, and are invited to participate in a series of events to celebrate the sculpture’s reformations. LAND will co-present these public gatherings with the local organizations/sites that are hosting the sculpture. Inspired by the location and the community interest, the events may include artist talks, basketball games, garden tours, salsa dancing, and educational activities for children, etc. .

Furthermore, the transformation of the sculpture and the artwork’s neighborhood impact will be documented and photographed in a bilingual publication.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Public and media feedback on the project will indicate success within a given community for each sculptural piece installed. We project to achieve 100% capacity attendance for each event/exhibition, which will demonstrate successful event marketing to target audiences. The growing audience for LAND events will expand exposure to in-depth art experiences for public benefit, and will increase the organization’s position within the LA art community—potentially also expanding our current financial support base with individual donors.

At the culmination of the project, Dávila will complete a brief survey that summarizes his experience working with LAND. Audience feedback during and after events/installations will reflect the quality of the work, and the comprehensive nature of this type of first-hand public experience with the artist.

The quality of artistic work produced is paramount to our success as an organization which can help artists and communities grow to the next level of cultural recognition and achievement. This will be demonstrated in community dialogue and in critical media coverage of LAND’s work with Dávila.

Another indicator of success is the trajectory of an artist’s career following his/her involvement with LAND, indicated by new support from art institutions, patrons, collectors, and dealers for Dávila on national and global levels; and by the ongoing presence for Dávila in international cultural dialogue.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Advisors/board members
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support