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CicLAvia is a Day to Rediscover Public Art


See how you can use your photo skills to contribute to our coverage of public art during CicLAvia -- details at the bottom of this post.

CicLAvia -- a day of converting 9.1 miles of city streets into paths for biking, walking, running, scooting, and skating -- returns Sunday. This people-powered event, an urban phenomenon going on for two years since its inaugural outing October, 2010, will be officially held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Sunday, October 7.

This outing has activity hubs acting as cultural center points: MacArthur Park, Chinatown, Mariachi Plaza, Soto Street, Expo Park, and a celebratory Grand Park, which will open its last section to the public on Saturday October 6.

Something new is a guide curated by the Los Angles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, allowing wandering riders and walkers to linger at the city's architecture and design portfolio, and that becomes a chance to rediscover public art.

Highlights in the guide include the bicycle driven public art by Samuel Rodriquez at the Metro Expo Line Jefferson/USC Station (3214 South Flower); Zobel Building, site of "Calle De Le Enternidad" mural (353 South Broadway), which is steps away from Victor Clothing Company's "Pope of Broadway" (240-242 South Broadway).

Along Spring, The L.A. Times building is mapped, so look up and see "Father Time," "Spirit of the Times," and "Gutenberg," the 1935 limestone sculptures by Robert Merrell Gage. Also, the nearby parking structure for the L.A. Times is home to "Evolution of Printing" and "Evolution of Los Angeles," 1988 and 1989 works by Tony Sheets that compliments the early 20th Century sculptures embedded on the Times building.

LAPD Headquarters building is also featured on the guide, so if you stop there, you can try and figure out Peter Shelton's abstract sculpture "sixbeaststwomonkeys," take in "Ghost Grove" at Ronald F. Deaton Civic Auditorium, or the brass LAPD memorial wall.

Crossing the 101 Freeway by way of Spring, you can see the progress on MCLA's restoration of "LA Freeway Kids." On Olvera Street, besides the site for "America Tropical" soon to be unveiled, is "The Blessing of the Animals" by Leo Politi on the Biscauluz Building (125 Paseo De La Plaza).

While not often touted as public art, there are pieces that have become part of the Los Angeles landscape. In Chinatown, along Plum Tree Inn (913 North Broadway) are the 1968 tile murals "Picture of Viewing Waterfalls in Summer Mountains"; "Palace in Heaven"; and "Four Beauties Catching Swimming Fish." Also not usually thought of as public art is the 1939 "Seven Star Cavern" by Liu Hong Kay, better known as the Wishing Well in New Chinatown Center Plaza.

In Little Tokyo, "Go For Broke" monument (100 North Central) is listed in the guide, and from there if you look toward First Street you will see Norma Montoya's "Peasant Saint" on the back wall of the Sperl Building (337-339 1/2 East First Street). Don't forget to look at Sonia Romeo's new medallions, throughout lamp posts in Little Tokyo.

In the Arts District, besides the Fourth Street Bridge, the Paper-Mache Giraffes return to a lot at Fourth and Alameda to make a street art statement alongside L.A. Freewalls' game changing wheat-pastes and murals.

Stops at Mariachi Plaza has a full collection of murals, and Metro Gold Line Soto Station has art by Nobuho Nagasawa. The MacArthur Park hub is not lacking in murals, and there, as riders and walkers will see along the routes, there are many chances to discover random street art and murals along the way. Don't forget to go down to the Metro Red Line station there to see more works by Sonia Romero.

If you find something out on your ride or walk, take a photo and send it to us. You can upload directly to our Facebook page, or upload to your own Facebook profile and tag us (you'll need to like our page before tagging us), or Tweet and Instagram with hashtag #KCETMurals. We will feature the photos in an upcoming post.


CicLAvia is Sunday, October 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. "Ciclovías started in Bogotá, Colombia, over thirty years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now they happen throughout Latin America and the United States." CicLAvia Architectural Guide is downloadable ciclavia_arch_guide_FINAL-1-4138.pdf

Photo: Detail of "DTLA Bike Racks" a Hipstamatic photo of racks as public art by johnwilliamsphd.

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