On the 20th of February I paid a visit to my former alma mater, the Cal State University at Long Beach.  I’ve heard they’ve revamped the University Art Museum, one of the more prestigious college based museums in California (considering CSULB is one of the top public funded art programs out of the Cal State systems).  I couldn’t begin to tell you about my experiences there where I got my art degree back in 2005, but I’ll save that for another time.  Meantime, it’s about the Museum.  They regularly feature new exhibits of modern and contemporary art from professional artists from in and out of California, and also hosts their annual Student Art Show in May.  It’s safe to say now I felt totally cheated out of my bid for a spot in these shows during my student years.

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This exhibition didn’t allow photographs so I just took the one that describes the installation.

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These are large size replicas of flower pollen.

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The above installation deals with the artists exploration of the behaviors of honeybees when they are busy collecting nectars for that sweet tasty honey we eat all the time.  The exhibit combines delicate sculptures made apparentLy out of some sort of fiberglass and audio that mimics the sounds made by bees.

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After that I went to view a new wing in the museum which actually used to be a computer lab, they just expanded.  Here they’ve added some collection of prints from artists like David Hockney to Andy Warhol, donated with generosity by MOCA.

 After that I paid a visit to a nice little farm next door to the campus, the Rancho Los Alamitos.  It’s situated within a private neighborhood and requires a permit from the security at the gate to enter, but it’s free.  It used to be a pretty big farm owned by wealthy family back in the early 1900s and now serves as a local tourist attraction.  The farm boasts numerous gardens of unique and exotic plant life.  The interior of main family house is by guided tour only and features antique and vintage furnitures and collectibles owned by the family.

An abstract from the website(www.rancholosalamitos.org):

Rancho Los Alamitos is twice listed on the National Register of Historic Places – once as the sacred Tongva village of Povuu’ngna, the traditional birthplace of the native people of the Los Angeles Basin and, second, for the evolution of its significant historic landscape over time. The site includes traces of the ancestral village, an adobe-core ranch house ca.1800, four acres of lush historic gardens developed during the 1920s and 30s, and the restored working ranch barnyard of the early-mid 20th century. With the opening of the Rancho Center, the film, new exhibits and room environments feature the landscape, the people and the place over time and within the context of the development of the region and the state.
This exceptional site reveals the early Tongva presence, the Spanish and Mexican periods, the ranching and farming era, and the imprint of 20th century development. A quintessential place for people to experience the living story of southern California, Rancho Los Alamitos is a microcosm of the region, past to present.

Some pics from my quick hike around the farm:

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And yes you will see some animals around the barnyard:

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The Ranch is open all week except Mondays and Tuesday’s, 1-4 pm.  Guided tours are available, and they do offer event planning such as weddings and banquets.   

I’ve been living in Southern California most of all my life, and it’s shame to say I’ve yet to find all the little treasures it has to offer. This past Saturday however I’ve finally made the time to pay a visit to one of SoCal’s urban wonders- the Watts Tower.

Located in the city of Watts, this massive sculpture marvel was a long term dream project of a certain individual named Simon Rodia, an Italian immigrant worker who made decent living out of construction trades and spent ever waking moments of his later thirty-four years collecting junk and stacking them on layers of wires and concrete to recreate one of his childhood’s fondest memories from his native land. The whole structure is based on the Italian traditional festival of Gigli.
The interior of site can be explored by guided tour only, but for seven dollars it’s worth it. A close up encounter with the intricate tilings and design engravings on these structures is a sight to behold.

Some highlights of the tour:

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For more information you can check out their website THE WATTS TOWERS.

Field Trip Day 1: L.A. Art Show

My new series for this year, any trips I take that’s related to art and such and such. Starting with- The Art Show @ the L.A. Convention Center that started this Thursday and running through Sunday.

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