Angel sculpture with City Hall as background as part of We Are Los Angeles temporary art exhibit at Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Ernesto Orozco

By Alex Medina

Four artists from Boyle Heights created sculptures and are featured in the temporary public art display “We Are Los Angeles”.

Angel sculptures as part of ‘We Are Los Angeles’ temporary art exhibit at Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles.

The public art exhibit, which features 31 angel sculptures created by local artists, is the celebration of the California Community Foundation’s 100 years of service to Los Angeles County. It is on view through November 17th at Grand Park in Downtown L.A.

Laura Marano, a singer and actress from Los Angeles, served as the emcee and host of the exhibit’s kickoff event Saturday. She has been working with the California Community Foundation (CCF) by visiting permanent housing for Los Angeles’ homeless and she said she was delighted to be a part of the celebration.

Marano said that each of the angels conveys a powerful message. “They make me want to cry,” said the 20-year-old describing the featured sculptures. “They’re so emotional and beautiful and each artist has a different story.”

The exhibit continues through Nov. 17.

Artists featured in the show come from all corners of the county. Their art pieces, displayed throughout Grand Park, vary in appearance and meaning. The sculptures are meant to convey issues that face the county.

The angel sculpture design was inspired by “Community of Angels,” a large-scale temporary art installation that took place from the year 2000 to 2002 in Los Angeles.

Jennifer Gutiérrez Morgan, the artist behind the “Chasing Flora: The Pursuit of Health” sculpture, said she was honored to be featured at the event.

“As an artist it’s both an honor and responsibility to represent important ideas and issues within our community,” stated the the 35-year-old artist from L.A. “It’s a really special opportunity to represent the city I grew up in.”

Morgan said she wants those who see her art piece to have “an appreciation and increase in awareness that our well-being is very much so dependent upon and linked to our natural environment”.

John E. Kobara, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of CCF, explained that “We Are Los Angeles” is a good way for people to get together and talk about what can be done as a community to make Los Angeles a better place for everybody.

“We want people to be inspired by art and think about the future of Los Angeles,” said Kobara. “In the end, it’s about being engaged in the community and pursuing what’s most important for people.”

Vyal Reyes with his ‘Guardian of the Arts’ sculpture.

Kobara said the kickoff event and show were open to all people of the community so that they could come together and have open discussions while enjoying the art and entertainment.

“They can be from a different part of town, have different kinds of jobs, and different types of ideas about the world, but they all come together and discover each other,” he said.

Vyal Reyes, the Boyle Heights artist who created the “Guardian of the Arts” sculpture, said he wanted to create a piece that shows young artists that there is someone looking out for them.

“I’ve always worked with youth. I try to help them realize their potential and their value with what they can do with art,” said Reyes. “To be an artist and to take what I’ve learned on the street and teach it to the youth is something I always try to do.”

Joel García of Self Help Graphics with his angel.

Reyes added that his angel sculpture is meant to watch over and protect public artists and their work.

Other Boyle Heights artists that are featured include: Fabián Debora, Víctor Rosa and Joel García & Self Help Graphics.

On the performance stage of the event, a variety of people and groups came together Saturday to offer not only entertainment, but also a message about what makes Los Angeles great.

Entertainment included a drum performance by the Los Angeles Taiko Institute, the Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodriguez, the group Mariachi México en America, a theatrical performance by the Cornerstone Theater Company, and Culture Shock Los Angeles, a Hip Hop dance organization.

The CCF is a nonprofit organization committed to improving the lives of all L.A. County residents. The foundation has served as a charitable organization since 1915 with the goal of leading positive systemic change in order to strengthen L.A. communities, according to CCF.

Boyle Heights Beat youth reporters Katelyn Valdez, Xochil Ramírez, Josh Solís, Saúl Soto, Adelmi Ysita, Zola Cervantes, Adalberto Marín, Diego Flores, Rosario Bonilla, Daniela Barranco, Liberty González and Andrea Galdámez contributed to this article.

Photo above: An angel sculpture overlooks Grand Park and City Hall in downtown Los Angeles as part of the ‘We Are Los Angeles’ temporary art exhibit at Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles. All photos by Ernesto Orozco

Alex Medina

Alex Medina is a graduate of Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School and 2018 alumnus of the Boyle Heights Beat. He is a recent graduate of Hamilton College in Central New York where he majored in Hispanic...

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