Monday, February 10, 2014

Leimert Park Mosaic

Leimert Park has been in the news this week. Well, to be accurate, it's been in the Los Angeles Times this week. The discussion is whether the area can become the African-American cultural hub it once was. The speculation is raised because a new Metro Station will be installed there in 2019.

I say yes, not because I know anything (when has that ever stopped a blogger from voicing her opinion?) but because Leimert Park has street art and mosaics. So there.

This particular mosaic is on an alley off Degnan between 43rd Street and Place. It's on the side of the Sika Gallery, facing that big parking lot with the blue wave on its fence.

That building was sold last year, but other than the fact of its sale, it looks like life goes on as usual.

The photo was taken just after a street fair--that's the explanation for all the chalk art. So says the blog Local Looking Glass, which displayed this picture and a few others of street art in the neighborhood--including some clay planters on the street with mosaic designs on them.

The 2009 picture at left came from an inactive blog called  LeimertLovely, whose tagline reads: "I am a patholgical picture taker..."

I can relate to that.

The framing is slightly different four years ago, but the mosaic itself looks the same. Someone has painted the wooden frame yellow, obviously, and painted the rattan (is that right?) dark blue--maybe to hide wear and tear?

There's another mosaic in Leimert Park: the entryway of the Vision Theater. That big parking lot mentioned earlier is, I believe, the parking lot of the Vision Theater, which faces 43rd Street. The mosaic floor spills out onto the sidewalk of 43rd Street, and reminds me a bit of the mosaics in front of Clifton's Cafeteria on Broadway. They a re probably from the same era, since the Vision Theater started life as a fancy movie palace back in 1931 when--according to the Vision Theater website--Howard Hughes built it.

Anyway, here is a picture of that, which I found at LAist's page on Leimert Park. And that, btw, is a great place to get some detailed history of the area.

Bottom line is that I have no idea who put up the Native American mosaic or when. If anyone else has information, I'll be glad to put it up here.

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