[LA Life] Gallivant Through The Gardens of the Getty Villa

Getty Villa

The weekends are made for reveling and laxing; for shedding that thick skin you buiilt up throughout the week and letting your soul shine through in diamond delight for 48 hours. For those of us out on the North East side of Los Angeles, it’s also that one time a week that we’ll leave our pocket of the city and venture to Hollywood, Downtown, Long Beach, Malibu – little slices of our near and distant bubbles of life that feel like another planet entirely.

Getty Villa

Built as an homage to the Herculaneum’s Villa of the Papyri, the gallery was curated back in 1954 and opened to the public in the 70’s. Back a several years ago, I took my first trip out west to the stunning Greek Inspired Getty Villa and marinated in the Greco Egyptian and Greco Roman artifacts and treasures.  This time felt different. As we entered, we lingered in the gardens, lapping up the luxurious landscapping and gorgeous greenery each corner of the Villa had to offer.

Getty Villa

The Getty Villa is open from 10am to 5pm, Monday through Wednesday and parking is $15 before 3pm and $10 after. Good news is that tickets to get in are $Free.99, you’ll just need to reserve your spot online to get in; you can plan ahead, or just get tickets the day of.  The food options, which admittedly aren’t why you come to a museum, are nominal but delicious – and the wine and beer selection makes for excellent Sunday Funday material.

For more on the Getty Villa, visit their socials – or just plan a visit!

Website | Yelp | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tickets

 

 

[LA Life] Get Your Culture On With Summer Happenings at The Broad

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As someone who admittedly understands most other forms of art – the written word, music, architecture, plays, musicals, theater, opera, film and dance – over the sculpted, drawn or painted variety, some of their mystique, culture and history had always escaped me.  But, the good news – I’m definitely not beyond reproach and have maintained both an open mind and heart to see what truly moves me.   Growing up in the Bay Area, we visited Science Museums, Botanical Gardens and open spaces from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, and all areas in between – but visiting a museum and looking at art was never in the cards.

Once I moved to Los Angeles and fully grasped how much culture was oozing out of the concrete jungle of our city, I started to get the itch for new and different types of art.  The LACMA, the Getty and the Getty Villa are all so unique in what they offer.  I’m a little biased because I was at the LACMA for the Tim Burton exhibit, but that was ghoulishly fantastic.  I find myself constantly drooling over the Grecian Architecture and landscaping of the Getty Villa, while the Gardens of the Getty are something entirely special to behold.  But the irony, was that I didn’t fall in love with art in Los Angeles.  I fell in love while I was in the South, in the depths of Arkansas on a work trip.  I’d done some remedial research before the flight and discovered the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art – a beautiful museum tucked deep into the town of Bentonville.  Beyond the stunning architectural design, this was the first time I was truly moved by Norman Rockwell’s canvases and Andy Warhol’s paintings.  Once I planted myself back in Los Angeles, I had a new outlook on the artistic endeavors around the city and as well as a new willingness to explore every niche genre of it.

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Ever since word got out last year that a new modern and contemporary art museum would be placed smack dab in the center of Downtown Los Angeles, I was intrigued at what they would have to offer Then, when the architectural design for the venue finally went up – I was absolutely enthralled.  So when I finally had the chance to visit The Broad with Danny this past weekend for their Nonobject(ive) Summer Happenings, I was over the moon excited and absolutely jumped at the chance.

The Broad, Los Angeles’ newest museum, opened just last September to fill some contemporary art chasm that vast amounts of local and street art couldn’t. Founded and funded by the esteemed Eli and Edythe Broad, the 120,000 square foot venue was immaculately designed by the combined brainpower of Renfro, Diller Scofidio and Gensler, and boasts over 2,000 prominent paintings and pieces of art distributed between it’s two floors of gallery space.   But when their Summer Happenings swing into bloom, the outdoor courtyard becomes transfixed into an open air concert venue with stunning acoustics against the textured exterior of the building while the insides are engaged in spoken word and performance art while attendees ebb and flow through the first special exhibition at The Broad, Cindy Sherman’s Imitation of LifeThough some of the performances this past weekend were a tad lacking – Sky Ferria’s DJ Set, I’m looking at you – it was a wonderful reason for my first visit.

Though I did enjoy bits and pieces of the museum, there was a large portion that felt like a multimedia smorgasborg and sensory overload. Swimming through troves of hipsters sipping on the latest fads and latest drinks, it was hard to actually get some breathing room regardless of if you were in the middle of the crowd during one of the many performance pieces or simply observing a piece of art.   As expected, the pop art from Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol colored me moved; but more than that, I also discovered new art and artists that I appreciated.

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I  found the emotive work of Jean-Michel Basquiat to be pulling at my heart strings, and I fell in love with the work of Takashi Murakami – both Of Chinese Lions, Peonies, Skulls, And Fountains as well as the detailed, grand and inspiring In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow (above). Standing 82′ in length, I could’ve spent an entire day analyzing the vibrant colors and intricacies within it. And who doesn’t adore neon, or vibrant, shiny, gigantically fake balloon animals – so, those were cool too, I guess.

The great thing about art, is it’s all subjective – the real question is: are you moved enough to feel – something, anything?  Maybe, just maybe, certain forms of art just aren’t my thing, maybe I need to go back on a day where I can move like molasses between rooms, taking ten, fifteen minutes to digest the art…or maybe I just wasn’t high enough; either, or. Whichever. The good news is that I’ll keep digesting the world around my like I’m at a buffet, and eventually – I’ll have my just desserts.

If you’re interested in getting attending the Nonobject(ive) Summer Happenings, you have two chances left! Tickets for the penultimate event on 8/20 with Rostam and Sparkle Vision are available here.  The final showing lands on September 24th with Sophie and Vessel, tickets go on sale August 15th. Or, if you’d like a more laidback and relaxed visit, visit online and reserve your spot. Admission is free to the general public unless there’s a special event, but that wait list is legendary.

For more about The Broad Museum and their contemporary collection of art, head to their site and socials –

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



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[LA Life] Squad Out for LA’s Free Museum Day on 1/30 + 1/31

Though the holidays are considered one of the most magical times of the year, the end of January holds a special treat for anyone in the Southern California region.   On the last Saturday in January, some of the best museums from around the county will be opening their doors and waiving the fees and I guarantee you’ll find a museum in each nook of the city that tickle’s your fancy, as well as your brain.

If you’re into Contemporary Art head over to the MOCA or the latest museum – The Broad in downtown Los Angeles, for photography – the Annenberg Space for Photography has you covered,  get a close up with a dinosaur at the California Academy of Sciences or the La Brea Tar Pits, marvel over Greco-Roman art and architecture at the Getty Villa in Malibu or the beauty of botanicals at the Descanso Gardens in Pasadena. 

Even with the eight years that I’ve lived in the city of angels, I haven’t had the opportunity to frequent the museums as much as I would like. So far, I can cross only a handful off of the list but believe me when I say these are all on my bucket list.   As of now, I’ve visited each Getty location and was lucky enough to see Tim Burton’s exhibit at the LACMA a few years back, plus the California Science Museum, the Descanso Gardens and the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits.

Available Day Adventures

The museums below are all available for free admission on January 30th – so round up the troops, call up the squad and get the gang together; this is one Winter treat you won’t want to miss out on!

Now, be warned – all of Los Angeles is going to be out and about that weekend, and the museums are bound to get a little packed.  So if you’re a stickler on a time crunch or a tad claustrophobic, never fear – there are plenty of museums and local gardens that offer up a free day a month!

The ArboretumFree the 3rd Tuesday of Every Month

Descanso Gardens Free the 3rd Tuesday of Every Month

The Huntington Botanical Gardens The First Thursday of Every Month

Getty Villa – Admission is always free, Parking is on a Pay Basis

For a glance at the Free Museum and Garden days with more detail – the So Cal Museum’s website set up this handy grid:

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For more details, visit the official website for So Cal’s Free Museum Day!

Which venue strikes your fancy? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

[Doing it Right] The Getty + Graffiti

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a distinct change in my temperament and personality – sure, I’m still just as bouncy as I’ve ever but I’ve cultivated a need to take things a little slower on some weekends.  If life is about the journey and not the destination, why not stop and smell the roses – right? Well, this journey as an Angelino has been more than wonderful but – not now, but eventually – I’m going to leave this ‘City Kitty’ lifestyle of go-go-go attitudes, glitz and glamour for something a little tamer.  After five years, I’ve essentially exhausted all of my EDM outlets in this town – the clubs, the festivals , the underground, the rooftops, the pools.  Don’t get me wrong because I’m proud to say I’ve done it, but lately I’ve been itching for something more – something that inspires me to evolve.  As fun as it would be to live like this forever, everything in moderation (including moderation).  A place in the country-side, close enough to the city to enough its amenities – sports teams, museums, concerts – but far enough away so we go to sleep under the stars, instead of being put to bed by sirens.  So, until then I’ve made a vow to myself and to my close friends that we’re going to explore every creative outlet this town has to offer us.

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I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a handful of museums within the past year and a half – in southern California, I’ve been to the San Diego Natural History Museum, the LA Natural History Museum, the Getty Villa and the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas.  This past weekend was a gorgeous one, and I had the pleasure of bringing my boyfriend and his housemate on their first adventure to the J Paul Getty Museum. I hadn’t been since my parents visited in 2010 so I was eager to go back and see what had changed.  On each side of our trip to the Getty, we adventured down Melrose and Fairfax to explore the graffiti and street art in my neighborhood.  Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, I’m sure you’ve seen my Oh, Snap series on Street Art – exploring the contemporary art of the area and contrasting it against the classical forms we saw during the day on Saturday was absolutely amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed the dichotomy between the two; hopefully y’all enjoyed these pictures as much as I enjoyed the experiences!

 

 

[Oh, Snap] Arlington Botanical Gardens

Whether you’re a country cat or a city kitty, one thing’s for sure – Los Angeles has a little bit of something to offer for every type of adventurous personality out there. For the best in shopping and people watching head out to  Venice Beach or the Fairfax District, Hollywood boasts some of the trendiest tourist traps around and Downtown LA is home to Chinatown and the Fashion District – perfect for ballers on a budget.  To boot, there are also tons of museums for all ages and minds – the Natural History Museum downtown is perfect for any science and history buffs, near the La Brea Tar Pits you’ll find the LACMA, the Architecture + Design Museum, the Craft + Folk Art Museum and the Peterson Automotive Museum, last but definitely not least are the Getty and it’s sister museum – the Getty Villa – which I had a chance to finally visit last January.  A handful of the museums require some sort of paid admission (or a “donation”) to enter – thankfully, some like minded and fabulous people have compiled a list of ‘Free Museum Days‘ in and around LA county; genius!

Beyond the museums that the city of angels has to offer, there are amazing places to take leisurely strolls, discover street art and take in the nature – urban and authentic – that graces our city.   One of the craziest things about the vegetation in LA (and I learned this thanks to a nasty bout of allergies a few years ago): most of the trees, plants and flowers in LA aren’t indigenous to the area – chances are they’ve been imported from South America,  Australia or a Mediterranean style climate. Flowering trees like the African Tulip and Sweet Acacia are native to Africa but found scattered throughout the city; other trees, like the Olive Tree, were imported from Italy.  There are a few fantastic botanical gardens scattered around the city, but when there’s so much free stuff to enjoy – why bother paying?!

This past Saturday, my boyfriend and I were craving an outdoors-ey adventure and had contemplated going to the Getty or Huntington Gardens over in Pasadena.  The more we researched, the more we realized how many free things were truly at our fingertips so we shifted our sights to the Arlington Gardens – the hours are more flexible, parking is easy and – yeah, it’s free!  From the second we walked in, we knew we’d be making our way back at a later date with books and bottles of wine in tow.  The park is open from dawn until dusk and has literally dozens of park benches, tables and chairs for people to set up and soak in the environment in.  Each and every direction we turned showed us something new to take in and appreciate.  According to the signage there are roughly 35 different areas of plants, flowers and vegetation and it changes throughout the seasons.  The grounds are maintained by Better and Kicker McKenney and they do an absolutely fabulous job of keeping them gorgeous.  Without further ado – here are some of my favorite snaps from the weekend – if you’re ever in the Pasadena area make sure you plan a visit here!