Heath Ceramics primary image | Still from "Heath Ceramics: The Making of a California Classic"

Orange County's Commitment to the Pageant of Masters

Artbound's editorial team has reviewed and rated the most compelling weekly articles. After putting two articles up for a vote, the audience chose this article to be made into a short-format documentary.

In the early 1930s, California sculptor L. Archibald Garner won a competition to create a monument for a new astronomical observatory in Southern California. His proposal was simple: a 40-foot tall obelisk of brilliant white concrete surrounded by six of astronomy's most influential thinkers. And, for nearly 80 years, the monument has marked the entrance to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

On a cool Friday evening early in July, I find myself staring at Garner's sculpture: the figures' stylized robes, their impassive gazes, their astronomical tools. Except none of it is real. I'm in an amphitheater 60 miles south of Griffith Park, in a canyon nearby Laguna Beach. Instead of concrete, Garner's piece is made out of wood and Styrofoam. The sculpted figures are really actors, all painted white; all of whom remain deadly still while the announcer talks about astronomical achievements and quotes Carl Sagan. As a light system projects the cosmos onto a scrim before us, the planets of our solar system float into view. A massive Earth rises just beyond the stage, looking serene and fragile. The music swells. My neighbor gasps, "Oh god, oh god, oh god." And with an explosive crescendo, Act 1 of Pageant of the Masters comes to an end.

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Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience

From the iconic typeface of “The Godfather” book cover to Herman Miller’s Noguchi table, the influence of Japanese American artists and designers in postwar American art and design is unparalleled. While this second generation of Japanese American artists have been celebrated in various publications and exhibitions with their iconic work, less-discussed is how the World War II incarceration — a period of intense discrimination and hardship — has also had a powerful effect on the lives of artists such as Ruth Asawa, George Nakashima, Isamu Noguchi, S. Neil Fujita and Gyo Obata.

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The Art of Basket Weaving

Native American basketry has long been viewed as a community craft, yet the artistic quality and value of these baskets are on par with other fine art. Now Native peoples across the country are revitalizing basketry traditions and the country looks to California as a leader in basket weaving revitalization.

  • 2020-06-10T20:00:00-07:00
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Heath Ceramics: The Making of a California Classic

"Artbound" looks at the dinnerware of Heath Ceramics and a design that has stood the test of time since the company began in the late 1940’s. Through the writings of Edith Heath, the founder and designer of Heath Ceramics and voiced by renowned chef Nancy Silverton, this episode explores the groundbreaking work of a woman who created a classic of American design.

  • 2020-06-13T13:00:00-07:00
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Desert X

The vast, strange, sometimes contradictory world of the urban desert and its people are explored in 11 public art exhibits and their respective locations scattered throughout Coachella Valley. Art includes Will Boone’s “Monument,” an underground bunker off Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage and Phillip K. Smith III’s “Circle of Land and Sky” in Palm Desert. Desert X is a site-specific biennial exhibition that first took place in the spring of 2017 where artists from different parts of the world were invited to create work in response to the unique conditions of the Coachella Valley

  • 2020-06-17T20:00:00-07:00
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Día de Los Muertos / Day of the Dead

Día de los Muertos has been adapted for centuries from its pre-colonial roots to the popular depictions in mass media today. Inspired by rich Oaxacan traditions, it was brought to East Los Angeles in the 1970s as a way to enrich and reclaim Chicano identity through a small celebration at Self Help Graphics and Art. Since then, the celebration has grown in proportions with renditions enacted in communities all around the world.

  • 2020-06-20T13:00:00-07:00
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How Sweet The Sound: Gospel In Los Angeles

Gospel music would not be what it is today if not for the impact left by Los Angeles in the late '60s and early '70s, a time defined by political movements across the country. Artists like James Cleveland and Aretha Franklin captured live recordings of the church experience of South Central and the voices and sentiment of the people coming together to give birth to a new gospel sound and the election of L.A.’ s first black mayor, Tom Bradley.

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  • 2020-06-27T13:00:00-07:00
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Electric Earth: The Art of Doug Aitken

This episode profiles prominent artist Doug Aitken who for more than 20 years has shifted the perception and location of images and narratives. His multichannel video installations, sculptures, photographs, publications, happenings and architectural works demonstrate the nature and structure of our ever-mobile, ever-changing, image-based contemporary condition. In his newest piece, “Underwater Pavilions,” he creates a conversation with the viewer to become fully present and immersed in the sea.

  • 2020-06-24T20:00:00-07:00
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Jeffrey Deitch's Los Angeles

The charming, unusual and at times polarizing Jeffrey Deitch left Los Angeles in 2013 after a tumultuous run as the director of MOCA ending in his resignation. He makes his return with a new gallery opening with the first LA exhibit of renowned Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei. A behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary art world through the eyes of a legendary art dealer and curator.

  • 2020-06-28T10:00:00-07:00
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Variedades: Olvera Street

This look at Los Angeles’ Olvera Street is part-history lesson and part-immersion in stereotype of the birthplace of Los Angeles. Emmy® award-winning journalist, author and musician Rubén Martínez, explores the sometimes-violent, 200-year struggle for the political and symbolic control of the city as told in “Variedades” — an interdisciplinary performance series that brings together music, spoken word, theater, comedy and the visual arts, loosely based on the Mexican vaudeville shows of early-20th century Los Angeles.

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