Those blank, concrete K-rails installed to form al fresco dining and shopping “parklets” in front of restaurants and retail businesses along Mission Street in South Pasadena are undergoing a dramatic makeover. The first phase of the SPARC Art Wraps Project began Saturday, November 6, in front of Jones Coffee Roasters on the corner of Mission Street and Meridian Avenue.
SPARC (the South Pasadena Arts Council), at the direction of the City of South Pasadena and the South Pasadena Arts Commission, and as part of the City’s Al Fresco Dining and Retail Pilot Program, will cover the street side of more than 1000 square feet of K-rails along Mission Street, between Fair Oaks Avenue and Meridian Avenue, with a vinyl adhesive wrap vibrant with digitized images of diverse works by established and emerging artists from South Pasadena, Los Angeles, and beyond. The works include paintings, drawings, photography, poetry, and prose.
The November 6 launch of the Art Wraps Project, covering some 70 linear feet of K-rails in the area in front of Jones Coffee, features works by Italian photographer Gusmano Cesaretti, known for documenting the street culture of East Los Angeles; Anthony Ausgang, a Los Angeles-based artist and writer originally from Trinidad and Tobago and one of the first artists of the “lowbrow” art movement of the 1980s; famed NBA photographer Andrew Bernstein, official photographer for the Lakers and winner of the Curt Gowdy Award for print media excellence; multi-instrumentalist and visual artist John Dwyer, founding member and primary songwriter of the garage rock band Thee Oh Sees; Christian Clayton, veteran interdisciplinary artist dedicated to art education; and Victoria Ariola, mixed media artist whose work is inspired by her Latin roots in Los Angeles and her global travels.
The remaining K-rail parklet locations scheduled for Art Wraps (dates TBA) include TeaMorrow (1005 Mission St.), Aro (1019 Mission St.), Mike & Anne’s (1040 Mission St.), and Shiro (1505 Mission St.).
The SPARC Art Wrap Project is curated by Blue Trimarchi of ArtWorks/Fine Art Publishing. South Pasadena Arts Commissioner Jeff Burke (Burke Triolo Studio) is overseeing the printing of the digitally produced wraps.
Founded as a grassroots effort in 2010, the South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) today is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit arts organization that develops educational and public arts programs, creates interactive projects, and collaborates with other organizations in the City of South Pasadena and the surrounding Los Angeles area to foster and produce cultural events featuring the visual, performing, literary and media arts. SPARC is able to accomplish this through the generosity, goodwill, financial support, and involvement of a supportive community of artists, arts enthusiasts, businesses, and volunteers.
The South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) is open to people in all the creative fields, art appreciators, art patrons, educators, and others interested in helping the arts thrive in South Pasadena and neighboring communities. Information about SPARC: sopasartscouncil.org