5 design things to do this week

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This week, you can: step into an enchanting garden of light; learn the history of tattoos and get inked yourself; shop from a Tijuana pop up at CAFAM; trot across DTLA; and dream up visions for beautifying earth.

Celestial shadows is one of the illuminated installations at Descanso Gardens through Jan 7, 2018 (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1)  Descanso Gardens Enchanted Forest

Just when the clocks turn back and the dark descends, Descanso Gardens lights up the night with Enchanted Forest, a display of whimsical and interactive light installations amidst the trees, now in its second year. Enchanted Forest is designed by Lightswitch, creator of theatrical lighting for rock concerts and large-scale events.

Eight installations include last year’s popular “Flower Power,” a sea of colorful tulips, as well as new displays: “Aqueous,” an “interactive landscape of meandering pathways of light” designed by Jen Lewin, and “Celestial Shadows” by HYBYCOZO (He-Be-Co-Zo). Walk off Thanksgiving dinner with a visit Friday or this weekend.  Tickets are timed and must be purchased in advance.

When: Runs through Jan. 7, 2018 (closed Thanksgiving Day)

Where: Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

Tickets: $28 (Members save $5).  Advance tickets are required. You can get your timed tickets here.

People have been marking their bodies to make statements, and art, for 5,000 years. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2 ) “Tattoo” at the Natural History Museum

The art of telling stories on skin may seem like a relatively new phenomenon — popularized in the U.S. by sailors, circus performers and bikers and nowadays the province of parent-defying hipsters — but the practice of permanently inking one’s body dates back 5,000 years.

The exhibition Tattoo at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County presents the evolution of tattoo art across cultures and continents, including works from Ainu in Japan, Māori tradition of tā moko in New Zealand, and contemporary works from China.

This traveling exhibition also features 3,000 square feet of new content specific to Los Angeles, a creative capital for tattoo culture — on skin and in literature (Ray Bradbury’s 1951 “The Illustrated Man” wove together 18 science fiction short stories through the device of a tattooed man). You can also find there a working tattoo parlor where visitors can get permanently inked by L.A.-based artists.

When: Ongoing thru April 15, 2018

Where: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 W Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Tickets: $24 (includes general admission).  Tickets are reserved by date/time; get tickets here. Note: Exhibition contains some nudity.

3) OBJECT, Tijuana-based designers pop up at CAFAM 

Get one-of-a-kind contemporary craft and design creations by LA-based makers at CAFAM‘s Handmade LA bi-annual sale and marketplace. In conjunction with Handmade LA and the museum’s current exhibition The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility, the CAFAM Shop is also hosting a pop-up by OBJECT, a Tijuana-based shop focused on contemporary Mexican design and craft. That’ll also be held Nov. 25-26,  just in time for holiday shopping.

When: Saturday, November 25 and Sunday, November 26; 11 am–6 pm; OBJECT opens Saturday, Nov 25, 11 am.

Where: Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

Tickets: FREE and for all ages. 

The Turkeys are taking over DTLA Thursday morning as a first course for your Thanksgiving festivities. (Photo courtesy Turkey Trot LA) (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4) Turkey Trot Los Angeles

Have you ever actually seen a turkey trot?  Well, they are actually quite entertaining looking creatures.  Whether you’re eating turkey this year or not, Turkey Trot Los Angeles will start your Thanksgiving off with a spirit of community, healthy exercise and a chance to see the city without traffic!  With a 10k, 5k and the ‘Widdle Waddle’, and quite likely some turkey day-themed costumes, there is something for every member of the family, from toddler to great grandma.

The run starts at City Hall, loops around Grand Park, past Disney Hall and Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and then heads downhill to historic Spring Street, past the Continental Building (LA’s first skyscraper), the Hellman Building, El Dorado Hotel, Crocker Bank and then returns to City Hall/Grand Park for the finish line. You’ll be home with plenty of time to cook and eat to your heart’s content.

When: Registration opens at 6:45. The run is done by noon.

Where: Fig at 7th located at 735 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90017. Click here for directions and parking details.

Tickets: Schedule and Registration here.

On Sunday, November 26, Grand Park comes alive with park-inspired seasonal décor, and lights its 45-foot holiday tree. 

Artwork in Venice, CA, by Ruben Rojas, co-founder of Beautify Earth. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) Beautify Earth – yes, you can

When Evan Meyer found himself increasingly offended by an ugly bench on Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica, he got a pot of paint and decorated it. So goes the story of the founding of Beautify Earth, a collective of artists dedicated to nothing less than “ending urban blight by painting the world in color.” Operating now in multiple cities and countries, the nonprofit brings together business owners, landlords, nonprofit foundations and artists with the goal of painting over blank walls with “positive,” colorful and inspiring murals. Now you can have a chance at being part of the mission; Beautify Earth is putting out its first public call for submissions for murals for 2018. The deadline is December 1. Listen to co-founder and artist Ruben Rojas on KCRW’s DnA, airing Tuesday, November 21.

When: Artist submission deadline is December 1, 2017

Where: Click here for information on how to submit your designs.