October Art Happenings in LA

October is set to be the most happening art month in Los Angeles, with two massive events across the LA county: the World Festival of Sacred Music, which opens with the free and amazing Honoring the Sea on October 1st on Santa Monica Beach; and Pacific Standard Time, a region-wide collaboration dedicated to the Los Angeles art scene between 1945 – 1980.

World Festival of Sacred Music

Honoring the Sea 2008

Inspired by a on open letter written in 1999 by the Dalai Lama calling for peace, the fifth WFSM opens on Oct 1 and continues to Oct 16. A festival filled with spirit of community, WFSM brings together 832 multi-cultural artists who send out themes of peace, tolerance, unity, and respect for nature.

Festival Director Judy Mitoma sums it up best in an LA Times article on September 29. “One thing I’ve come to understand is that at the source of art-making, there has always been a connection to nature and spirit,” says Mitoma. “At its heart is the opportunity to transcend your sense of self and your sense of community.”

If you are in LA on Saturday, Oct 1, join my friends at Swing Brazil Tribe, along with Agape, the native Tongva and other tribes in Honoring the Sea, on Santa Monica Beach at Ocean Park, starting at 3PM till sunset. Soak in the beautiful energy of the ocean and the communities that have come together for this special event. For more details, visit the WFSM website. The first video on the page, taken in 2008, is mine!

I’m also looking forward to Japanese butoh and celebration of the harvest moon in “Mare Vaporum” at JACC on Oct 16.  Other highlights include Groundswell at the Ballona Freshwater Marsh on Oct 8 (yes, Los Angeles has a marsh and it is a lovely sanctuary); Balinese gamelan on Oct 8; and “Water is Rising”, by artists from the Pacific Atolls of Kiribati, Tokelau, and Tuvalu, who will be sharing their art outside of their native home for the first time.

Pacific Standard Time

With 60 museums and galleries participating in “the largest cultural collaboration ever undertaken in the region”, Pacific Standard Time gets going this October with what looks like a phenomenal exhibit of the period at the Getty Center. Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950 – 1970 covers artistic innovation in LA post-World War II.

As exciting as Crosscurrents is California Design, 1930 – 1965 at LACMA, also opening on Oct 1 and billed as the first major study of modern California design. Architecture lovers will love this exhibit, which starts with California modernism in the 1930s, featuring works by Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler, the Eames brothers, and many others.

Replica of Eames living room. Image is from lacma.wordpress.com.

A highlight is a full-scale replica of the Eames living room.  Visiting the Eames House in Pacific Palisades has been on my list of things to do for quite some time. Now I’ll get to see the transported living room installed at LACMA.

As part of PST, some participating museums are offering free admission this Sunday, Oct 2, including LACMA. Go and check it out!

“The final story, the final chapter of western man, I believe, lies in Los Angeles.” ~ Phil Ochs.