Pacific Standard Time, Explained

Pacific Standard Time is so big, it's hard to get your mind around it. That's how Warren Olney explained it on KCRW's Which Way, L.A.?, and I couldn't agree more. With over 80 organizations involved in a regional exhibition to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene and its impact on the world, there's so much to choose from (or you can be hardcore like LA Times art reviewer Sharon Mizota, who plans on seeing everything she can).

More than 1,300 artists will be featured over the next several months at 68 major museum exhibitions, 125 art gallery exhibits, a myriad of events and 30 performances and large-scale outdoor projects -- all of it throughout Southern California, spanning the coast from Santa Barbara to San Diego and inland all the way to Palm Springs.

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Although a number of exhibits have already premiered, Pacific Standard Time, Art in L.A. 1945 - 1980 (to say its long name) officially opens this weekend with a special Free Day on Sunday, October 2nd, where more than 25 museums will offer free admission. There will also be free shuttle buses (.pdf) in Los Angeles and San Diego to whisk you between a handful of them.

The project, headed up by the Getty Foundation and Getty Research Institute, is the work of 10 years and $10 million intended to not let us lose this important artful history--pop, post-minimalism, modernist architecture, design, multi-media, ceramics, Chicano performance art, feminism and lots more--of Los Angeles after World War II.

"The record of decades of artistic innovation was for too long scattered in storerooms and files all over Southern California, difficult to access and in some cases in danger of being lost or destroyed," said Deborah Marrow, Director of the Getty Foundation. "Through Pacific Standard Time, the region's enormously creative history has been preserved and re-examined, narrative by narrative. Now, for the first time, the full story of the genesis of the Los Angeles art scene is finally available to the public at exhibitions throughout Southern California."

Track the museum openings and closings with our weekly posts, and keep an eye out for handpicked event features (a plethora to choose from), including the 11-day Performance and Public Art Festival in January, here on Checklist.

More: KCET's interactive online documentary and oral history project, Departures, has interviewed a number of notable PST artists. Watch those videos here.

The video used on this post is by The Getty.

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCETLink's Editor-in-Chief of Blogs, where he oversees website editorial and advises on projects. When he does write, he mostly covers local government, environment, and the outdoors.
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