Saturday, September 5, 2015

Painted Spheres - Community Art

Imagine this:  you are driving down Wilshire Blvd.,a major east-west artery in Los Angeles, wending your way through a dense mixture of commercial service stores and higher rise office buildings. As you round a slight bend in the road and glance to the right, the space opens up and you are greeted by an explosion of floating color. 

Well, that is exactly what happened to me last week. The surrounding area looks kind of like this:

The lake at Macarthur Park is filled with hundreds (one paper reported there were up to 3,000) large inflated floating spheres that have been painted with riotous color. 

The spheres range from 3’ to 6’ in diameter. This temporary public art was installed by a group called Portraits of Hope and will be available for viewing for another couple of weeks. 

This link will give you an idea of the size of the spheres and the painting process:

Portraits of Hope has been in existence since 1995 and has organized many of these exhibits, including painted panels on the outside of a local oil derrick at Beverly Hills High School, painted life-guard stations at the beach and even painted blimps!! The organization serves youth facing socio-economic, physical and mental challenges and has developed special brushes so that adults and children with physical limitations can participate in the team painting projects.

When a friend and I went to check out a new shopping center near us in El Segundo a week or so ago I spotted these panels that reminded me of the spheres. 

Sure enough, a quick Google search revealed that they were painted by Portraits of Hope, too!!!

Now, every time I see one of these installations, I smile!

If you live in the area, and haven't seen the spheres yet, I recommend taking a little drive so that you can experience the happy feeling, too!!  It might be a perfect Labor Day drive:)) And then, of course, try drawing/painting  some of these spheres when you get home!!


  1. Oh my gosh, how cool!! Love it!

    BUT... Macarthur Park? All I can think of when seeing that name is this, the most ridiculous song lyrics ever: "Someone left the cake out in the rain
    I don't think that I can take it
    'Cause it took so long to bake it
    And I'll never have that recipe again"

    1. HA!! I always think of that song, too. You would absolutely LOVE this display of color -- it is absolutely fanciful. Makes me want to get right out there with the spheres and touch them!! The newspaper had a photo of some people rowing around the spheres in a small boat -- I was jealous:))