5 design things to do this week

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This week, you can admire modernist buildings in the film “Columbus”; explore the ruins of a socialist utopia at Llano del Rio; get inspired by Marc Chagall’s theatrical costumes and set decorations; browse the work of over 100 zinesters; and tour the servants’ quarters of the Gamble House.

Haley Lu Richardson and John Cho in Columbus. Photo credit Elisha Christian. Courtesy of Superlative Films Depth of Field. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) Opening of Kogonada’s “Columbus”

Here’s a pop quiz for architecture buffs: Where in America’s Midwest can you find a very small town with more than 60 public buildings by modernist masters? The place is Columbus, Indiana. It owes its rich architectural legacy to an enlightened industrialist named J. Irwin Miller. Now the city is the star — along with actors Haley Lu Richardson (EDGE OF SEVENTEEN) and John Cho (STAR TREK BEYOND) — of the movie “Columbus,” a beautifully-shot, meditative first feature from director Kogonada. He has been noted by Filmmaker Magazine (25 New Faces of Independent Film) and The New Yorker for his visual work and film criticism commissioned by the Criterion Collection and Sight & Sound. “​Columbus” opens this weekend in LA. Take a look at the trailer here.

When: Columbus will open at the Nuart Theater in West LA on Aug. 4, and at Laemmle’s Monica Film Center in Santa Monica and Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 in Pasadena on Aug. 11.

Where: Nuart Theater, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025; Laemmle’s Monica Film Center, 1332 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401; Laemmle’s Playhouse 7, 673 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101.

Tickets: Buy tickets for screenings at the Nuart Theater in West LA here.

The ruins at Llano Del Rio, California. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2) A desert history walk and meditative sound bath at the ruins of Llano del Rio

On May 1, 1914, the preacher-turned-socialist lawyer and politician Job Harriman founded the colony of Llano Del Rio in the Antelope Valley, about 70 miles northeast of Los Angeles at the southern edge of the Mojave Desert. At one point, feminist architect and city planner Alice Constance Austin laid out a vision for the settlement that would use innovative planning to do away with housework and free women from domestic servitude, though her vision was never realized. The experiment lasted about three and half years, and at its peak over a thousand people lived there.

The artist and designer Karyl Newman has been conducting archival research to understand how residents chose to either stay in or leave the utopian commune.  She’s organized an event called “ON ALL Eve – Figuring the Volume of a Utopian Cylinder” featuring a history walk and conversation followed by a meditative sound bath at dusk, magnified by the silo, the most intact of the remaining colony structures. This is an encore to an event held in May. Explore the “ON ALL Day” digital exhibit here to learn more.

When: Friday, August 4th at 7, 8, or 9 pm.

Where: Llano del Rio, located near the border of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties

Tickets: Tickets are required and available for $10 here.

Marc Chagall, Costumes for Daphnis and Chloe: Shepherdesses, 1959, Paris, Opéra national, © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris, photo © 2017 Museum Associates/LACMA (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

3) “Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage” at LACMA

Marc Chagall is best known for his fantastical paintings of folkloric shtetl scenes, circus performers, flying goats and, yes, a fiddler on a roof. His use of light and color and his romantic portrayals of Eastern European Jewish life have made him a beloved artist. Lesser known among Chagall’s work are the richly detailed costumes and backdrops he created for ballet, theater and opera companies. Those pieces finally get their turn in the limelight in “Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage,” on view at LACMA’s Resnick Pavilion from July 31, 2017–January 7, 2018.

Chagall was at the forefront of artists collaborating with the ballet, theater and opera by creating fantastical and visually stunning backdrops and costumes. His work with theatrical companies and opera houses in Russia, Mexico, New York and Paris included painting sets for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes traveling dance company as early as 1911.

“Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage” highlights the principal role that music and dance played in Chagall’s artistic practice. The show concentrates on four theatrical productions created over a quarter-century: the ballets “Aleko,” “The Firebird” and “Daphnis and Chloe,” and the opera “The Magic Flute.” All were created during and after World War II while the artist was in exile in New York.

When: On view from July 31, 2017–January 7, 2018. View LACMA hours here.

Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Tickets: Admission is $25 for adults, seniors (65+) & students with valid ID, Free for children (17 and under) and members. Buy tickets here.

Attendees at the 2016 Long Beach Zine Fest at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA). (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4) Long Beach Zine Fest 2017

The handmade and carefully curated art of the zine seems to be thriving, despite (or perhaps because of) the glut of digital art and text available online.  The Long Beach Zine Fest draws zinemakers of color in a celebration of the creativity of zines and independent publishing. There will be more than 100 writers, artists, photographers, activists, and DIY advocates showcasing and selling their work at the Museum of Latin American Art on Sunday, Aug. 6. Visitors can explore the extensive zine marketplace, listen to live music in the sculpture garden, and attend hands-on workshops and compelling panel discussions.

When: Sunday, August 6 from 11 am – 5 pm

Where: Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), 628 Alamitos Ave, Long Beach, California 90802

Tickets: Free and open to all ages. Check out details on the official Facebook event page.

The Gamble House in Pasadena. Photo by Martin Green. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) The Gamble House offers “Upstairs Downstairs” tours/BoldPas: Art Takeover

This summer the Gamble House in Pasadena will once again open its servants’ quarters for exclusive “Upstairs Downstairs” tours. Visitors will be able to compare the living quarters of the Gamble family with those “in service,” thanks to new information recently emerged about the Gamble family and their servants. The tour includes the original laundry and coal rooms in the basement, the surprisingly light and accommodating servants’ bedrooms, and the public spaces and family rooms that make the classic tour so popular. Docents will point out the meticulous craftsmanship of Greene and Greene furniture, the specially-designed leaded art glass light fixtures, and the unique architectural features designed in 1908 by architects Charles and Henry Greene exclusively for the Gamble family.

When: July 27 – August 13, 2017. Tours last 90 minutes and are offered Thursdays-Saturdays on the hour from 11 am – 2 pm, and Sundays on the hour from noon – 3 pm.

Where: The Gamble House, 4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena, CA 91103

Tickets: Adults: $20, Children under 12: free. Call 626-793-3334; or click here for more information on tours.