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Robinson Park Recreation Center Public Art Project to Share Spotlight at 42nd Annual Black History Festival in Pasadena

Published on Monday, February 5, 2024 | 4:00 am

Pasadena’s Department of Planning and Community Development is hosting a Public Art Community Engagement event on Saturday, Feb. 17, where the community will learn more about the Robinson Park Recreation Center Public Art Project, during the 42nd Annual Black History Festival.

The event will be held at Robinson Park, located at 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave, starting at 12 noon up to 4 p.m., a city announcement said.

Planning Director Jennifer Paige said the event will provide a unique opportunity to engage with acclaimed artists Carla Jay Harris and Deborah Aschheim, whom the city has engaged to conduct extensive research and community engagement through collaboration with Northwest Pasadena residents and stakeholders, and develop specific content and themes which will serve as the basis for the public art concept at the Center.

Attendees are encouraged to stop by the Cultural Affairs Division booth during the Black History Festival to learn more about the project and share their own personal stories of living and working in Northwest Pasadena.

Carla Jay Harris, whose artistic journey is rooted in Los Angeles, presents a captivating blend of photography, installation, collage, and drawing, all meticulously crafted to explore intellectual, emotional, and psychological landscapes. Utilizing both studio and street photography, she captures foundational images on film, later integrating them with hand-drawn illustrations and digital collages in her digital studio.

Deborah Aschheim, a proud Pasadena native, showcases her multifaceted talents through exhibitions across the globe, delving into themes of personal narratives and universal reflections on human nature. Recipient of several awards and fellowships, including a Creative Strategist Artist-in-Residence role with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder, Aschheim’s artistry extends beyond gallery walls to public spaces like fire stations and transit shelters.

The public art initiative, deeply rooted in the community’s rich history and honoring legacies like those of Jackie and Mack Robinson, aims to inspire reflection and bridge connections across generations.

The event on Feb. 17 will feature interactive discussions, presentations, and opportunities for residents to share their stories of living and working in Northwest Pasadena. Last year, the project’s stakeholder group crafted a vision statement emphasizing that the public art at Robinson Park Recreation Center will reflect the community’s history and the enduring legacies of local icons.

The artwork will serve as a dynamic narrative to inspire residents to reflect, embrace, and forge connections within the community. The artists will also consider the concept of sustainability and its impact on individuals, the surrounding community, and the natural resources of Pasadena.

For more information about the Public Art Community Engagement event on Feb. 17, visit or contact Corey Dunlap, Public Art Coordinator at the Planning and Community Development Department, at or call (626) 744-7547

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