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Fifth Fresh Art Exhibit Adds Performers: Opens on October 8 in Clover Park

The City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Division will unveil the fifth annual Fresh Art exhibit in Clover Park on Saturday, October 8, at a reception for the artists.

Featuring the work of three teams of artists, the exhibit will be on display through November 26.

Since its inception in 2001, Fresh Art has commissioned fourteen Santa Monica artists to create temporary artworks for Clover Park. In this, its fifth year, Fresh Art adds a new dimension, as the three new works include performance elements.

At the reception, at 4:30p.m., artists Helen Lessick and Jeff Wasserman will distribute free tickets to their environmental performance and installation, “The Trees.” At 5p.m., guests will be welcomed. At 5:15p.m., dancers from the Westside Ballet will perform in artists Patrick Tighe and Andy Cao’s “OP Hatch Shell.” And, at 5:30p.m., the third team of artists, Steve Appleton, Leon Martell and Valerie Tymoczko, with Bill Bareet and Josh Koslow will stage the first performance on “Inflatable Ocean: The Missing Tear of Santa Monica.”

In “The Character of Trees,” Lessick and Wasserman ask viewers to consider “the largest community of park users” – its plants, by starring them in a theatrical production consisting of a series of seven silent vignettes ranging from two to six hours each. The artists will distribute limited edition tickets to each performance (though people without tickets will not be turned away) The scenes will star more than 450 trees, representing 120 species with the Moreton Bay fig tree, the City’s Millennium Tree, as the most prominent player.

“Guest starring” will be horses, bird’s nests made by people, blown eggs and soap bubbles. These vignettes will be presented throughout the park on seven different days between the Fresh Art opening on October 8 and October 15. Seven fine art photos, one from each scene, will be on display in the kiosk building from October 24 through December 1.

The second team – architect Tighe and landscape architect and artist Cao – have created “Ocean Park Hatch Shell,” a bandshell structure inspired by sea shells and such iconic structures as the Hollywood Bowl. Nylon threads have been woven around steel posts to create graceful arches that will resonate in wind. During the exhibit, the shell will be available to community members for performances and events, and park goers may use the structure for picnicking and play.

Appleton and his teammates Tymoczko and Martell with Barret and Koslow have based “Inflatable Ocean: The Missing Tear of Santa Monica” on the story of the naming of Santa Monica. According to the legend, Spanish explorers found a rock spring in West L.A. that a priest named Santa Monica as it reminded him of the tears of Saint Monica. Subsequently, the founders of the city named it for the spring. In this piece, performers will step out onto a tear-shaped inflatable stage filled with water and air and, in music, dance and spoken word, will explore the waves of longing that pull people to the ocean. A second performance will take place on Sunday, October 9 at 5:30 p.m.

The Fresh Art program’s purpose is to not only “delight and intrigue park visitors and Santa Monica residents with exciting new public artworks, but to and to assist in the professional development of local artists by providing them with experience competing for and completing public art projects.”

Clover Park is located at 2600 Ocean Park Boulevard.

For additional information about this program, please contact the Cultural Affairs Division at (310) 458-8350 or visit the website at www.arts.santa-monica.org.

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