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Pastel portrait of brothers Joseph and John Gulston Goya’s Pygmalion and Galatea, sepia wash Degas’ Russion Dancers, Pastel

Lydia Velarde at the Laser Show

Left: Lydia at the Li Hui Laser show, photo by Valerie Raymond. Listening to the docent, at right.

Applying the term “adaptive reuse” to the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel gallery we visited in an industrial section of Los Angeles doesn’t tell even the half of it. True, in the 1890s up to the 1960s, it was a flour mill with its bank and administration section, plus pre-storage and post-storage space.  Now, it is part of what is called the Arts District, but is still industrial with some industrial space adaptively reused as is the former National Biscuit Co. where a loft goes for $799K.

The gallery’s architecture, style and aim set it apart from the usual commercial gallery. The main, 2-story height gallery we were in to see work by the Dada and Surrealist artists, Kurt Schwitters, Joan Miro and Jean Arp retained the same 1890s cement floor. We could see where the bank tellers’ cages had been, look up at the tops of the columns and see the Globe Flour logo incorporated in the design. The curator had immense space to work out the installation and did it beautifully.

“Unique” could be correctly applied to this complex of 3 gallery spaces, restaurant, spacious chicken coop, raised beds for herbs and lettuce, stage for music and performance, some permanent art, picnic tables and book store.

Art and promoting its artists is the main thing and HWSLA does it with programs to bring the community in.

At the other end of the spectrum is the Orange County Museum of Art. It’s small and in an isolated area of Newport Beach. And that is why, in a few years, they’ll be in a new building in Costa Mesa close to the Segerstrom Performing Arts Center.

But, what amazingly wonderful art they had at our visit!  The Duncan Phillips collection was there on loan and it is choice: O’Keeffe, Hopper, Sloan, Pippin, Grandma Moses, Homer, Eakins and on and on.

A bonus was a laser and fog installation by Li Hui, entitled V and emitting mysticism.

We returned with new inspiration for our own art endeavors and the knowledge that the cost for our experience netted over $900 for our scholarship fund.


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