‘Artful Distancing’ — Breaking the Social Barriers in WeHo and Still Staying Safe

The Creative City has launched a creative way for West Hollywood residents to break through some of the social and psychological barriers of “social distancing” while still maintaining the actual physical distancing that is key to reducing the COVID-19 transmission rate.

This month’s #Artful Distancing program will feature artists performing, creating, or installing artworks in and around West Hollywood related to this moment of social distancing. In compliance with social distancing guidelines, audiences are not invited to attend live events to assure that groups do not gather at any given artwork. All artworks will be video-recorded and/or photographed and presented online for viewers to experience safely from their own homes. The best way to experience #ArtfulDistancing is virtually, through the city’s website, www.weho.org/artful, and through social media platforms (@WeHoCity and @WeHoArts.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the practice of “social distancing” was introduced by public health officials as a means to control the spread of the coronavirus. But while keeping us healthy and safe, social distancing also has given rise to a feeling of isolation that has permeated into all aspects of life, including the ways in which we interact with and connect to one another, and to arts and culture.

In May, the City of West Hollywood invited artists of all media types to propose temporary artworks, experiences, and performances, for an exhibition titled #ArtfulDistancing, with the goal of helping community members remain engaged in the arts, while fostering safe, creative ways to reconnect, recover, and realign to the new normal of our temporarily separated existence.

#ArtfulDistancing will run the entire month of October. The exhibition will include a variety of artworks such as:

Pop-up performancesincluding live dance on the back of a flatbed truck,an acapella opera duet singing on the steps of the West Hollywood Library,a musical revue on the traffic median at Santa Monica Boulevard and North Doheny Drive, a dance and spoken word performance at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and North San Vicente Boulevard;

Temporary public art installationsincluding masks on the trunks of trees on Santa Monica Boulevard (only from Oct. 4 to 12), a mural commemorating #ArtfulDistancing on the Sunset Strip, and an Augmented Reality face filter to use on your own social media stories;

Virtual exhibitions and performancesincluding documentary short films, photography, poetry readings, and a big band concert will stream on the city’s website at www.weho.org/artful.

Participating artistsinclude: Caleb Alexander, Brockus Project Dance Company, RaeAnne Chanelle, Ari DeSano, Lisa Kenner Grissom, Minita Gandhi, Wesley Middleton, The LA OperaBabes, Andrew Putschoegl, Steven Rahbany, Linda Ravenswood, CK Reed, Wayne Smith and Paul Del Vecchio, Two Button Brass, Victor Yates, and Sarah Zucker.

Additional information about the artists and their projects can be found online.

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