Published : Thursday, May 10, 2018 | 5:38 AM
For some, art can be about making a statement. And for others it’s about bringing the community together. This weekend’s second annual BoldPas art walk in Old Pasadena does both, with 13 artists showcasing temporary installations in the district’s maze of historic alleyways.
The “bold” theme translates into vivid displays of bright colors, surprising scale, and playfulness. It includes the nearly block-long installation called The Waste Parade, featuring parade floats made entirely of people’s trash and tossed mementos.
BoldPas not only gives visitors the chance to discover local artists who work to keep the creative community alive, but also presents the chance to explore the district’s shopping destinations that are off the beaten path.
“We know that a lot of visitors love to come and visit Colorado Boulevard, but we also know that there are lots of treasures on the side streets,” said Sarah Hilbert, Marketing & Events Coordinator at the Old Pasadena Management District.
“We wanted to support our local businesses and give visitors to Old Pasadena a reason to meander and explore all of the nooks and crannies of Old Pasadena.”
Hilbert says the historic alleyways are a central focus for the BoldPas activities, which feature a creative atmosphere with three live painters, over 25 merchant art stops, and art activities for all ages all day long.
Alleys hosting installations include, Mercantile Place, Mills Place, and Big Bang Theory Way. Friendship Church Pasadena hosts one installation and many additional activities, including DJ, food trucks, and gospel choir performances.
The selected art installations are intended to spark creative conversation for passer bys and art lovers alike, but one installation in particular will be hard to miss.
The largest installation in terms of its footprint to be showcased at BoldPas is the “Waste Parade” created by artist Todd Bank. It stretches for almost an entire block on Big Bang Theory Way between Union and Colorado.
“Waste Parade” is an homage to the Tournament of Roses Parade with a twist: floats constructed entirely of post-consumer waste.
Bank began collecting trash and abandoned items on the side of the road in the early ’90s during his cycling trips and accumulated enough items over the years that he had to eventually move them into storage lockers and out of his house.
“It wasn’t hoarding because I knew I was going to do artistic things with it, but I didn’t know what… So that’s been the challenge over the years … just assembling them into sculptures of some kind,” said Bank. “I would just look for interesting things like furniture and personal items.”
After years of assembling the heavy sculptures, he decided to put wheels on them since some weigh up to 1,000 pounds.
It took until 2015 until Bank figured out his artistic mission.
“I realized it was all about sustainability and recycling materials because landfills really are not the answer,” said Bank.
Local media eventually caught wind of Bank’s unusual sculptures, which were taking over the interior of a Pasadena home and an article was published just days before the annual Rose Parade a few years back, prompting The Waste Parade idea.
“I got the idea for The Waste Parade; the two made sense,” explained Bank. “My giant sculptures are also kind of like floats and they’re extremely exotic, wild, and different.”
Bank categorizes his project as an entirely new art form.
“You’ve never seen anything like it before, I promise.”
These days Bank doesn’t venture off onto the backroads on cycling trips to find his materials.
He finds it right outside his storage facility-turned-studio communal dumpster.
“That’s where I get some of my best stuff, because people throw away personal items, family heirlooms, old record collections, and things that they just don’t want to deal with,” said Bank.
Bank says Pasadena is the perfect venue to showcase his art – aside from the Rose Parade connection – because of the City’s Zero Waste commitment in 2005 with the adoption of the United Nations Urban Environmental Accords, which include a goal of Zero Waste by 2040.
“Pasadena has a huge zero waste plan and the cities don’t want landfills, they just don’t have a choice right now,” said Bank.
Native Angeleno Todd Bank is the founder of WASTE ART, the forward-thinking sustainable art studio that created the enormous 40-foot-long “Great Wall of Waste” exhibited at the Night on Broadway Art and Music Festival in DTLA in January, 2017. His most recent commission of converting two LA County jail beds into public art pieces was for JUSTICE LA, the human rights organization co-founded by Patrice Cullors of Black Lives Matter.
Bank’s massive installation is one of 13 at Bold Pas, which also includes “The Red Door” by artist Nathaniel Osollo, who invites a gaze into an alternate reality via a standard door peephole; “Old Pasadena Postcards” by Amy Van Gilder, which shows vintage Pasadena and its floral tradition with two large-scale “postcards” that appear like old-time carnival cutouts.
Hilbert says that over half of the 300 or so businesses in Old Pasadena are independent in spirit, meaning they are locally owned and one of a kind or they are just one of a couple in the local area.
“There’s really a strong, local flavor here and we want to continue to capitalize on that and make sure people understand that,” said Hilbert.
BoldPas is a one-day art takeover, showcasing 13 large, temporary art installations throughout the historic alleyways of Old
Pasadena and where visitors can stroll Old Pasadena’s historic 22-block district and discover art at every turn.
The day also includes live painters; two public walking tours of the
installations and Old Pasadena’s permanent public art; the Warrior Painters
capturing the day’s events in plein air; and family art activities.
Bold Pas kicks off Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Use 36 W. Colorado Blvd., 91105 or 109 E. Union Street, 91103 for mapping.
For more information, go to: https://www.oldpasadena.org/boldpas/.
LIST OF INSTALLATIONS:
KELLEY ANDERSON – “Moss Wall”
Inspired by the Japanese tradition of Tanzaku, or traditional wishing tree, “Moss Wall” brings together lush and vibrant live moss with the opportunity for visitors to write their wishes for the world on small pieces of color paper and hang them as part of a collective wishing tree.
TODD BANK – “The Waste Parade” presented by CTRL Collective
Blending an homage to the Tournament of Roses Parade with a message that sustainability can be fun, “The Waste Parade” is a zero-waste art installation that uses mostly found post-consumer waste materials.
ASH CANO – “Underneath”
“Underneath” is an interactive installation that encourages viewers to temporarily break free from technology and just play. Participants can interact with black boxes that are waiting to show their true colors, creating their own art within the artist’s installation.
LEAH CLANCY – “Haiku Garden” presented by Friendship Pasadena Church
Filled with visual references to nature, “Haiku Garden” is an interactive pathway in which visitors encounter poets who compose customized poetry on biodegradable paper – haiku will literally and figuratively blossom throughout event day. Plant your poem in garden containers, hang it on the trellises, or pluck an existing haiku to take home;
by encouraging visitors “to stop and smell the roses,” the experience of reading poetry becomes an active, organic, and engaging process.
MAX COPPOLA – “Fur Figures”
“Fur Figures” features six pieces of varying heights (2′ to 8′) covered in touchable synthetic fur in different colors, textures, and pile. Follow the “trail” on the ground to weave in and around the sculptures – find the sculpture that doubles as a chair!
HANNAH HILER – “Recycled Reading”
“Recycled Reading” encourages Old Pasadena pedestrians to stop and linger at a “give a book, take a book” library created entirely out of cardboard. In a challenge to traditional libraries where the bookcase and seating are separated, and bookcases are rectilinear, this library is a seamless transition from bookcase to seating – one that seems to defy gravity.
PHILLIP MEACHAM – “Projecting Emotions”
Thanks to the artist’s intrigue with personal portraits and the human emotions they showcase, “Projecting Emotions” was created to make emotions “breathe” and come to life. With a combination of welding and painting, the artwork speaks to the power of a person. The colors can be vibrant like emotions, capturing their feelings and essence at that given moment in time.
REBEKAH NEEL AND MEAGAN VANDEVENTER – “Interactive Circles”
Interactive Circles is a large and ever-changing sculpture that takes its form and beauty when many small parts contribute to the overall piece. Visitors can select from different sizes of colorful cardboard circles and to help fashion and re-fashion a colorful, communal work.
NATHANIEL OSOLLO – “The Red Door”
“The Red Door” is a Bermuda Triangle, a gateway to other worlds, inviting a gaze on another dimension from a safe distance. Its structure creates curiosity and invites engagement, appearing as if protecting something at the center. With no doorknobs, there is no access – the only entry point is a traditional peephole, which rewards
passersby with a glimpse into an alternate reality.
KEITH PATTERSON AND VIVIANA PALACIO – “A Puzzle for Pasadena”
“A Puzzle for Pasadena” is an installation that brings together a ludic learning tool invented in the 1960s with the history behind the origin of Pasadena’s name. The large-scale puzzle will be solved throughout event day as the public uses printed instructions and considers color and pattern to rearrange and lay down squares of colored tiles inside a series of grid boxes. The grid will constantly change and shift, and the answers form different geometric patterns throughout the duration of the installation.
ROBYN SANFORD – “*HUGS*”
With enormous, colorful, soft letters that invite viewers to interact, touch, and hug the work, *HUGS* calls attention to the nature of people interacting in the real world vs. the virtual world and how those two worlds overlap with each other. How does the increased use of online communication affect our relationships, for better or worse?
AMY VAN GILDER – “Old Pasadena Postcards”
“Old Pasadena Postcards” – Vintage Pasadena and its floral tradition are called to mind with two large-scale “postcards” that appear like old-time carnival cutouts, complete with face holes to stand behind and mug for the camera.
RACHEL VISALDA – “Meet Me at the Crossroads”
“Meet Me at the Crossroads” – a shimmering skyscape created with air bags and iridescent cellophane – takes inspiration from the name of the alley over which it hangs, Big Bang Theory Way. Evoking colorful waves, cloudy masses seen in space, the Northern Lights, and colorful galaxy gasses, it’s a “crossroads” between this reality
and the next, between life and death, between consciousness and dreaming.
Allison Bamcat is a contemporary illustrator living in Los Angeles. Through her use of lumpy props and characters suspended in a candy-coated landscape, speckled with botanicals, Bamcat’s works transport the viewer to a friendly, nostalgic, yet unsettling terre noire. The fine craft of her paintings collide with her background in commercial print and pattern design, resulting in her creation of a wide array of bouncing
conversational and floral prints for companies that include Converse, Chiefton Supply, Jade Clark UK, and Bern Unlimited.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Fresno, Luke Chueh (pronounced CHU) attended California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, where he earned a BS in Art & Design (Graphic Design concentration). In 2003, Luke moved to Los Angeles, where he started pursuing a career as a studio artist, quickly working his way up the ranks of the “Pop Surrealist / Low Brow” art scene, establishing himself as an artist not to be ignored. Employing minimal color schemes, simple animal characters, and a seemingly endless list of ill-fated situations, Chueh stylistically balances cute with brute, walking the fine line between comedy and tragedy.
Valerie Pobjoy was born and raised in Los Angeles. After receiving her education from Art Center College of Design, she continued to live and work out of Pasadena. Her work is rooted in history; she draws inspiration from Dutch masters like Vermeer and French modernists like Degas.