Alissa Walker’s Guides to Pacific Standard Time Regional Weekends: Opening Weekend
Walker pores over every museum website, every press release, every wayward tweet to compile custom itineraries that help you squeeze the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime event.
It’s here! Our extraordinary cultural extravaganza—some might call it an Artmageddon—has descended upon Southern California. Pacific Standard Time kicks off in Los Angeles this weekend with 60 exhibitions, over 100 gallery shows, seven fairs, and at least one parade. There’s no way one person could see it all. But you’ve just got to try, right? So get out there and be a part of L.A.’s finest art moment. As George Herms put it beautifully at this week’s opening event, “Beauty is your duty.”
Where to Start: At the Getty of course! As the progenitor of the exhibition, the Getty is the perfect place to begin your PST exploration. Start at the Getty Research Institute’s Greetings from L.A., which explores how artists in the 1960’s began to communicate directly with their audiences by publishing zines and mounting unconventional public shows. Then head to Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970, a fascinating exploration of how the two mediums inspired and influenced each other. Stop by the official PST bookstore, located just inside the Crosscurrents exhibition and pick up the Pacific Standard Time catalogue.
Get the Guide: The Pacific Standard Time website is great if you’re at a computer, but you’ll be on the go, right? Pick up the Art Newspaper’s free exhibition guide at any participating institution. Inside, you’ll find a complete pocket guide to all the shows, plus recommendations from the artists and curators on where to eat and what other cultural diversions to see.
Take a Free Ride: On Sunday, October 2, free shuttles will be zipping art goers between major institutions from 11:00am to 6:00pm. Check the timetable and look for buses branded with the PST logo. If that’s not the best news you’ve ever heard (no driving!) how about this: A long list of museums will be completely free on Sunday only. Free admission? Free ride? You really have no excuse not to check out at least one show, right?
In Fact, Don’t Drive At All: Why not take this weekend to explore L.A.’s art in a radical new way: By leaving your car totally at home. Use Metro’s trip planner to find out how to take public transit to your nearest cultural institution and grab a shuttle from there.While you’re waiting for the train, download Metro’s art guide and check out the city’s comprehensive permanent public art collection in its stations. There’s even art on the buses: The textiles on the seats were designed by local artist Pae White, and this month, each bus will be playing selections from Out the Window, a video art series featuring 60 artists curated by Freewaves. Plan your trip at metro.net
Take to the Streets: Art simply cannot be contained by gallery walls. Head downtown on Sunday, October 2 for the Trespass Parade, West of Rome’s roving street party. Arto Lindsay and Rikirt Tiravanija serve as creative directors for the spectacle, where paradegoers will be wearing t-shirts designed by local artists like John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Nancy Rubins and more. The public is encouraged to participate in the event, which travels north on Broadway from 12th Street starting at 11:00am and ends at MOCA with a grand finale by Killsonic. On Monday night, a party at Union Station will be emceed by Miss Vaginal Davis and DJed by Le Tigre’s JD Samson.
Experience the Eames: Design fans can spend the entire weekend in a rare Charles and Ray Eames immersion. Stop at LACMA to see the exact replica of the legendary designers’ living room furnished with the actual furniture from the Eames House while the house undergoes renovations. While the furniture’s away, this is a rare opportunity to see the inside of the Pacific Palisades house. Across the street from LACMA, the A+D’s Eames Words focuses on the objects and images that inspired the duo. In Hollywood, JF Chen’s gallery is showcasing 400 rare Eames-designed objects. And over at Steve Turner Contemporary, Mexican artist Edgar Orlaineta responds to a famous Eames toy.
Do Your Homework: Need a primer on post-war Los Angeles art? There’s only one book you need. Hunter Drohojowska-Philp has written the bible of Pacific Standard Time, a rollicking journey through the studios, gallery openings, and smoky bars that transformed the face of art in Los Angeles. Pick up Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s at your local bookstore and learn about the stories and personalities behind the pieces you’re about to see. For a preview, read this excerpt, featuring the incredible story of how a young Andy Warhol came to have his first solo show right here in Los Angeles.