5 design things to do this week

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This week you can: attend a lecture on design, sculpture and robotics; learn how to make a museum; watch a doc about a hotel and bar at the heart of the Arts District; see art that spins nature into aluminum; and get some perspective when you look between the lines.

Mónica Ponce de León designs for the lobby of the Conrad Hotel, New York.  Ponce de León is widely recognized as a pioneer in the application of robotic technology to building fabrication. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) Mónica Ponce de León Lecture

Mónica Ponce de León, AIA could be called the bionic woman of building for her use of robotics in the fabrication process.  Currently Dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University and a past National Design Award winner — among other posts and accolades — Ponce de León’s interdisciplinary practice, MPdL Studio, has offices in New York, Boston, and Ann Arbor, MI.  With projects ranging from furniture to architecture, urban design and infrastructure, a defining characteristic is the exploration of materials and how to improve on contemporary modes of construction with evolving digital manufacturing technologies.

When: Wednesday, March 28, 7 – 9 pm

Where:  SCI-Arc  W.M. Keck Lecture Hall 960 E 3rd St, Los Angeles 90013

Tickets: Free. More information here.

Alex Kalman of mmuseumm (pictured here) will join the conversation with other artists and curators who have created their own museums. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2) Making Museums

What does it mean to be a museum and where is the line between displaying stuff and creating an artistic experience?  This discussion at ICA LA brings together several panelists who have some thoughts on disrupting the conventions of exhibition-making based on their own experiences of creating museums.  Panelists include Chris Vargas of The Museum of Transgender History and Art, Alice Konitz of the Los Angeles Museum of Art, and Alex Kalman of mmuseumm, among others. The discussion will be moderated by ICA LA curator Jamillah James.

When: Wednesday, March 28, 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Where: ICA LA (Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles), 1717 E. 7th St., Los Angeles  90021

Tickets: Free. More information here.

Al’s Bar in the American Hotel served as a cultural hub for the burgeoning art scene forming in downtown Los Angeles in the early 1980’s. Early acts included The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Flag, X and Nirvana. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

3) Tales of the American – Movie Screening at The Downtown Independent

In Tales of the American, filmmakers Stephen Seemayer and Pamela Wilson have created a loving history of the burgeoning art scene in the area that would come to be known as the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles.  Through archival photos and footage and interviews with artists and musicians, the film tells the story of the American Hotel and Al’s Bar at the heart of it all.

Originally built in 1905 as the city’s first hotel for African-Americans, the modest brick building at the corner of Traction and Hewitt was the home to Al’s Bar from 1980 to 2001, and with it came the West Coast punk scene with bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Flag, X and Nirvana who all played at Al’s before finding fame and fortune.  With a steady stream of music and artistic exhibitions, the venue served as a magnet for the colorful characters and the hotbed of creative energy that surrounded it.  At a time when over-development and gentrification are key issues for the Arts District, the film captures the history of the landmark and the free spirit at the root of it all.

When: Opening night Friday, March 30, 8:30 pm (doors 8:00).  Film runs through April 5, consult downtownindependent.com for other showtimes.

Where: The Downtown Independent, 251 S Main St, Los Angeles 90012

Tickets: $10

Nature and geometry are woven together in the art of Karen Hochman-Brown (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4) Karen Hochman-Brown: Botanic Geometry

Inspired by the light of her mother’s garden and the geometric patterns of her first kaleidoscope, Karen Hochman-Brown now uses her computer to weave nature, math and some digital science into mandala-like prints mounted on aluminum.  The works begin with several photographs which she then meticulously layers, altering light and shadow, mood and tonality, to spin an illusion of depth into a single abstract image — one which brings us back to the intricate patterns in nature which were there all along.

When: Artist demonstration Saturday, April 1, 2-4 pm.  Exhibition on show thru April 6.

Where: Crain Art Gallery at the Crowell Public Library, 1890 Huntington Dr, San Marino 91108

Tickets: Free. More information here.

Kim Schoenstadt, Everything in Perspective, 2017 (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) Kim Schoenstadt: Context v. Perspective

Perhaps best known for her Now Be Here series which photographs large groups of female identifying artists, Venice-based artist Kim Schoenstadt works in the intersection of the physical and virtual, exploring the tension between the larger cultural context and subjective individual perspective.  Continuing to explore human impulses and issues regarding our built environment, her new works combine, contrast, and conflate well-known buildings that reflect social unrest, and lean them out from the wall to claim sculptural space with delicate suspension.  Through her signature language of symbolic architecture and spatially engaged installation, Shoenstadt invites her audience to view her art from both in- , out-  and between the lines, providing for multiple perspectives and the problematic space of a subjective viewpoint.

When: Through May 5

Where: Chimento Contemporary, 622 S Anderson St #105, Los Angeles 90023

Tickets: Free. More information here.