TEN Public Artworks along the CicLAvia Route

August 23, 2010 at 10:03 pm 3 comments

Omoide No Shotokyo art installation on Little Tokyo sidewalks - see No. 5 below

In honor of our 10-10-10 CicLAvia date, CicLAvia is running top ten listings! Below are ten pieces of public art that caught our eye along the CicLAvia route. CicLAvia is a great time to check these out – step back and get a good look, without worrying about getting run over! 


Undiscovered America mural on 4th - photo by Jenn Su

1. Undiscovered America (mural)
1992, Earth Crew
843 East 4th Street

This impressive-scale aerosol mural depicts Native American imagery from  nations up and down the west coast, including pre-Colombian Mexico. It was painted by Erik “Duke” Montenegro, Benjamin James Frank, Jr., Rojelio “Angst” Cabral, and Joseph “Nuke” Montalvo. More information at Mural Conservancy L.A.

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Circular Mosaic

2. Mosaic on 4th Place

Is this your art? We haven’t found out who did this circular mosaic piece, located on an L.A. County parking structure. We think it may have to do with Artshare located next door across Hewitt Street. 

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Chiune Sugihara Memorial

3. Chiune Sugihara Memorial
2002, Ramon G. Velazco
on Central Avenue north of 2nd Street, Little Tokyo

This life-size bronze portrait sculpture depicts Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who, while stationed in Lithuania during WWII, saved 10,000 Jews from being sent to concentration camps and almost certain death. Sugihara is portrayed handing a passport, as he did to Jewish refugees.

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Detail of Omoide No Shotokyo Little Tokyo sidewalk art installation. Photo by The City Project

4. Omoide No Shotokyo (Remembering Old Little Tokyo)
1996, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville with Sonya Ishii
sidewalk installation on First Street from San Pedro Street to Central Avenue

Remembering Old Little Tokyo is an excellent subtle piece embedded in the sidewalk along a row of storefronts. It tells the stories and histories, great and small, that transpired to make these storefronts what they are today. It’s definitely targeted toward pedestrians – if you drive, you’ll probably miss it!

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Detail of Peter Shelton 8-piece sculpture series at LAPD Headquarters

5. sixbeaststwomonkeys (series of 8 abstract sculptures)
2009, Peter Shelton
at Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters,

According to L.A. Times, one famous person (a former art critic, we think?) called these “Bisons and hippos maybe. I haven’t the faintest idea what the two tallest things are on either side.” More photos at Public Art in L.A.

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Bas-relief sculpture mural on L.A. Times parking structure. Photo by Jenn Su

6. Evolution of Printing
1988, Tony Sheets
Parking Structure facing Spring Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets

The Evolution of Printing is a large-scale relief mural that that depicts various developments in the history of printing which all culminate in the production of the Los Angeles Times. Look for multiple burning buildings depicted as news events, perhaps referring to the 1910 fire-bombing of the L.A. Times. The piece and its L.A. history companion (which faces Broadway) are shown in detail at the USC Libraries’ Public Art in L.A. website. Can anyone out there name another Tony Sheets public art piece along the CicLAvia route?

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Corporate Head, photo by Jenn Su

7. Corporate Head
1991-1992, Terry Allen and Philip Levine
at Citicorp Plaza, facing 7th Street at Figueroa Street 

This playfully anti-corporate artwork depicts a slightly-larger-than-life-size businessman, with suitcase, suit, and tie, whose head has diappeared, stuck into the first floor of this downtown office building. According to Angel’s Walk: “Though at first resentful, workers in the area have grown quite fond of the piece, and when entering the office tower, tend to pat it for good luck.” There’s additional “Poet’s Walk” artwork at the site, but Corporate Head is… er… at least, shoulders above the rest. 

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Paolo Maldini, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho - detail of Hector Ponce's soccer mural at Niky's Sports

8. Untitled (Niky’s Sports soccer greats mural)
nd, Hector Ponce
1536 West 7th Street

There are quite a few pieces by Hector Ponce along the TEN-TEN-TEN route – both commercial and larger-scale public art murals, especially around MacArthur Park – including large scale. At Niky’s Sports on 7th, Ponce has assembled an impressive array of the world’s great footballers. Get your picture taken with Pele during the October CicLAvia event! 

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Ride On! by cache. Photo by eastsideliving.com

9. Ride On (mural)
2008, cache
at Orange 20, 4351 Melrose Avenue at Heliotrope

Cache’s chickens, zapatistas and octopus-ista aliens are read to ready ride CicLAvia. This is the second version of this Bicycle District mural, since a furniture story owner had the earlier one buffed the week he closed his doors. The shop location shortly thereafter re-opened as Orange 20 bike shop.

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Detail of Francisco Letelier's El Sol/The Sun at Westlake MacArthur Park Metro Red-Purple Line Station

10. Various Metro Station Art Installations

One of the great ways to get to CicLAvia on Ten-Ten-Ten is to take Metro Rail. There are very convenient Red, Yellow and Blue Line Metro stations on the route, and each one features art installations. Click for more examples at Public Art in LA or Metro’s art page.

We're not sure of the name of the artist responsible for the recently-installed shoes mosaic at the Vermont-Beverly Metro Red Line station

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CicLAvia out and about this weekend! TEN Things To Do At CicLAvia

3 Comments Add your own

  • […] public art works along the planned CicLAvia route. Green LA Girl offers a look at Sunday’s Tour da Arts, and says […]

  • 2. eyeone  |  October 8, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Just a minor correction. Item 9 (ride on!) is a collaboration mural by Cache and Eyeone (that’s me.) I developed the Zapatista characters originally for their La Otra Campaña movilization, and Cache encouraged me to begin painting them interacting with his chickens on murals around town.

    CicLAvia looks like a great ride!

  • 3. 10 Kid-Friendly Things to do at CicLAvia |  |  April 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    […] art in Metro stations and unique sculptures around Downtown. CicLAvia’s site has a great guide here or see if you can find your own […]


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