by TOMMY JARRELL
You don’t have to spend much time in Los Angeles to recognize that it is home to a rich and vibrant art scene. The city is home to dozens of wonderful museums and galleries dedicated to traditional, visual arts. But it also features an eclectic mix of critically acclaimed restaurants that are being led by inventive chefs into new, exciting territory. LA has been home to a colorful literary community that is full of witty, weird, and poignant writers who can adeptly frame the world in words. Because of LA’s identity as a mecca for entertainment, it’s not surprising that it is also home to an array of musicians, actors, and other performing artists who have reached varying degrees of fame and success. By simply walking, biking, or even driving around the city, it’s apparent that LA has an abundance of talented street artists who have decorated its many walls with vibrant, captivating murals for our amusement.
Now, while The Art Exhibit LA will sometimes cover museums and their exhibits, or culinary ventures, performances, or events related to literary arts, I primarily want to use this as a platform to highlight and uplift some of LA’s talented street artists who help contribute to the city’s charm and character. When I first moved to LA, the ever-present murals, graffiti, and street art helped me to orient myself and form an intimate connection with my new home.
It is my hope that The Art Exhibit will help reshape how people feel about art and their relationship to it. Art, especially street art, is something that is incredibly democratic and accessible to people from all walks of life. You do not need an arts degree to appreciate it, nor do you need to clear out an entire afternoon to visit a museum to experience good art, though that is something I enjoy and encourage other people to do when they have the opportunity. In Los Angeles you can increasingly have encounters with quality art by walking to the bodega, jogging around your neighborhood, or visiting a bar or cafe that features the works of local artists.
My point is, consuming art can and should be fun. Art can be comical, whimsical, and transformative. A good work of art can transport us, even if only briefly, to a new world that we could have never imagined on our own. Art allows us to see into the mind and imagination of another human, and to connect with them through their passionate work. And if done well art has the power to stimulate our minds, nurture our souls, and teach us something about ourselves, and aren’t we as Angelenos fortunate to have a wealth of it?
Tommy Jarrell is a poet, writer, and artist who lives in Los Angeles. He has previously written for Bleacher Report and Throwback. His poems have appeared in The Squaw Valley Review and 805.