Art Insider May 19: Viewing art by car is becoming the new norm

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Drive-by-Art comes to LA this weekend with over 120 works installed outdoors. Durden and Ray art collective offers 100 artworks around LA that are viewable from your car or digitally via Google Maps. Also, the LA City Council passed a motion to reallocate developer fees into artist grants. 

Drive-By-Art across LA

As museums and galleries stay closed, a new art initiative called Drive-By-Art makes exhibitions viewable from the safety of your car. 

Artist Warren Neidich launched the project last week in South Fork, Long Island. Now an iteration is coming to LA, with venues on both east and west sides, using Western Avenue as the dividing line. 

The project’s website explains the impetus: “Not only does Drive-By-Art create a sense of needed solidarity within the artistic and cultural communities now entrenched in the Los Angeles basin, but it also offers an experience that is otherwise severely limited by our current social distancing practices: interacting with tangible objects in the real world.” 

The exhibition will kick off this weekend on the east side, and continue the following weekend with west side locations.  

Collectively, the exhibitions will feature roughly 120 artists, including established LA darlings like Lita Albuquerque and Kenny Scharf, alongside up-and-comers like Cayetano Ferrer and Cammie Staros. 

East LA: May 23-25, east of Western Avenue, including Altadena, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Frogtown, Glassell Park, Mount Washington, Highland Park, Chinatown (Cypress Park and Elysian Park), Glendale, Sunland, Tujunga, Eagle Rock, Atwater, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Koreatown, MacArthur Park, Rampart Village, Historic Filipinotown, Little Armenia, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Downtown LA and University Park.

West LA: May 30-31, west of Western Avenue, including Crenshaw, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, West Adams, Culver City, Inglewood, Mid City, Mid-Wilshire, Venice, Mar Vista, Marina Del Rey, Palms, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Westwood, Beverly Glen, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Beverly Wood and Century City.

Nearly 100 artists offer art in public spaces

Artwork installed for Durden and Ray’s
We Are Here / Here We Are. Brenna Ivanhoe and Nancy Ivanhoe, behind under around (2020). Dimensions variable, mixed media. Image courtesy of Durden and Ray.

Durden and Ray, a downtown gallery run by a collective of 24 artists and curators, has organized a city-wide outdoor exhibition. Titled We Are Here / Here We Are , the project features nearly 100 artists who have installed public artwork from Santa Monica to the east side, and from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach

The artists chose locations from alleyways to front yards to chain-link fences. Some are installed on private properties and others are on public streets, risking damage or confiscation. Each artwork is accompanied by a wayfinding sign that denotes the artist and includes a QR code for more info. 

In a press release, the collective explains, “ As the digital world feeds our need to connect through sight and sound, we are experiencing a severe disconnect from the other sensory functions of touch, taste, and smell, yearning for experiences that happen through tactility, sensation, randomness, and place, which are currently only possible in real life.” 

The project also provides encouragement for artists themselves. Sean Noyce, one of the artists in the collective, explained to me in an email, “ [The project] helps to realign the spirits of artists, their respective neighbors, and the communities in which they live. I have received numerous messages from artists and viewers alike, including, ‘This show has given me something to look forward to again’ and ‘working on this project was the first sign that there was light at the end of the tunnel.’”

To experience the exhibition, you can go on a scavenger hunt throughout the city using the custom Google Map s created by the gallery, or you can stay inside and view images via images included in the Google Maps.

On view: May 16 – June 20, 2020

How to find the artwork

City Council passes motion to turn developer fees into artist grants

The City Council passed a motion that may help some of the theatres that have closed across Los Angeles due to COVID-19. Credit: ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ). 

Throughout the pandemic, development and construction (considered essential services) have not halted. In Los Angeles, the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) requires that every new private development project, valued at $500,000 or more, pay an arts fee based on the square footage of the building.

Where is that money going as arts events in the city are canceled due to COVID-19? This week, the LA City Council approved a motion by Councilman David Ryu of District 4 (Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silverlake, and Mid-City). For art fees related to canceled cultural events in his district, they must be reallocated as grants to support local artists and nonprofits. Now $368,810 in arts development funding will be turned into grants and distributed by the DCA throughout District 4.

In theatre-dense North Hollywood (District 2), Councilmember Paul Krekorian passed a motion to reallocate $200,000 of his district’s art fees specifically for live performing arts venues with fewer than 50 employees. 

Ryu’s District 4 grants are being called “The COVID-19 Emergency Response Program,” and will be distributed as tiered grants between $500 and $2,000 for individual artists. Krekorian’s district will be allocating $8,000 grants to individual performing art centers.   

Make a sculpture at home with Ann Greene Kelly

ICA LA has published a comic showing Ann Greene Kelly making a sculpture out of cardboard and egg cartons. Courtesy of the ICA LA. 

This week’s craft comes from Ann Greene Kelly, who has a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA). Kelly uses everyday materials like mattresses, tires, and plaster to create sculptures that feel familiar yet idiosyncratic. 

Alongside her exhibition, the ICA LA has published a comic showing Kelly at home making a sculpture out of cardboard and egg cartons. Mixed with instructions, speech bubbles highlight Kelly’s experimental approach to art making. The bubbles say, for example, “The colored pencil looks great on the raw cardboard.” Before jumping into the project, take a 360 degree tour of Kelly’s ICA LA exhibition. 

Now rummage through your recycle bin to pull out cardboards, egg cartons and newspapers. Follow along with the artist and make your own experimental artwork at home. 

View the instructions here 

You can share a photo of your craft with ICA LA. Email it to