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Artbound

Orange County's Commitment to the Pageant of Masters

Artbound's editorial team has reviewed and rated the most compelling weekly articles. After putting two articles up for a vote, the audience chose this article to be made into a short-format documentary.

In the early 1930s, California sculptor L. Archibald Garner won a competition to create a monument for a new astronomical observatory in Southern California. His proposal was simple: a 40-foot tall obelisk of brilliant white concrete surrounded by six of astronomy's most influential thinkers. And, for nearly 80 years, the monument has marked the entrance to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

On a cool Friday evening early in July, I find myself staring at Garner's sculpture: the figures' stylized robes, their impassive gazes, their astronomical tools. Except none of it is real. I'm in an amphitheater 60 miles south of Griffith Park, in a canyon nearby Laguna Beach. Instead of concrete, Garner's piece is made out of wood and Styrofoam. The sculpted figures are really actors, all painted white; all of whom remain deadly still while the announcer talks about astronomical achievements and quotes Carl Sagan. As a light system projects the cosmos onto a scrim before us, the planets of our solar system float into view. A massive Earth rises just beyond the stage, looking serene and fragile. The music swells. My neighbor gasps, "Oh god, oh god, oh god." And with an explosive crescendo, Act 1 of Pageant of the Masters comes to an end.

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The sign outside the Watts Towers Art Center | Still from "The Watts Towers Arts Center" ab s11 episode image
Episode
Artbound

The Watts Towers Arts Center

The Watts Towers Arts Center was born out of the resilience of 1960s Black L.A.
Participants play a tug of war during the Watts Cookbook © event initiated by ToroLab 2019 | Panic Studio LA, Courtesy of City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs, CURRENT:LA Food© ab s11 episode image
Episode
Artbound

S11 E3: CURRENT:LA FOOD

Artists created works to spark conversation about L.A. and sustainable futures.
Mekala Session playing drums with a purple background | Samantha Lee "The New West Coast Sound: An L.A. Jazz Legacy" ab s11 episode image
Episode
Artbound

S11 E2: The New West Coast Sound - An L.A. Jazz Legacy

Drummer Mekala Session and other artists carry forward Los Angeles’ rich jazz legacy.
A large-scale Light and Space artwork from Robert Irwin called "untitled (dawn to dusk.)" | Still from Artbound "Light & Space" ab s11
Episode
Artbound

S11 E1: Light & Space

Robert Irwin, Larry Bell and Helen Pashgian explore perception, material and experience.
Jeffrey Deitch at his desk | Still from "Artbound" Jeffrey Deitch's Los Angeles
Episode
54:08
Artbound

S10 E5: Jeffrey Deitch's Los Angeles

A behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary art world through the eyes of a legendary art dealer and curator, Jeffrey Deitch.
How Sweet the Sound gospel music primary Gospel ABs10
Episode
52:51
Artbound

S10 E4: How Sweet The Sound - Gospel In Los Angeles

Gospel music would not be what it is today if not for the impact left by Los Angeles in the late 60’s and early 70’s, a time defined by political movements across the country.
Woman in calavera face paint during Día de los Muertos | Photo from "Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead" ABs10
Episode
56:18
Artbound

S10 E3: Dia de Los Muertos / Day of the Dead

Inspired by Oaxacan traditions, Dia de Los Muertos was brought to L.A. in the '70s as a way to enrich and reclaim Chicano identity. It has since grown in proportions and is celebrated around the world.
Heathware being stamped | Still from "Heath Ceramics: The Making of a California Classic" ABs10
Episode
54:58
Artbound

S10 E2: Heath Ceramics - The Making of a California Classic

"Artbound" looks at the dinnerware of Heath Ceramics and a design that has stood the test of time since the company began in the late 1940’s.
Ruth Asawa with wire sculpture | Still from "Artbound" Masters of Modern Art
Episode
56:05
Artbound

S10 E1: Masters of Modern Design - The Art of the Japanese American Experience

From the typeface of “The Godfather” book cover to the Noguchi table, the influence of Japanese American artists and designers in postwar American art and design is unparalleled. Learn how the World War II incarceration affected their lives and creations.
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Episode
56:06
Artbound

Masters of Modern Design

Japanese American influence in postwar American art and design is unparalleled.
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