‘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.

5 1 vote
Article Rating

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

14 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Vincent Campisi
Vincent Campisi
1 year ago

Completely ridiculous program. Just like painting PREP all over the sidewalks. More government propaganda. Are we not adults, can we not think for ourselves? Big brother always in the mix.

Jay
Jay
1 year ago

Ham-

Your are entitled to your opinion but your use of ‘we’ is presumptuous.

Ham and Leo-

Benefits:

Artistic outlet for our creatives- so supports their mental and physical health.

Mental stimulation for viewers, in addition to uplifting words and images and actions, so benefits community mental and physical health, especially if inspires viewers to action and creation themselves.

Your negativity? Not so beneficial.

Class dismissed.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay

Here we are again, Jay, the defenders of creativity in the Creative City! You nail it in terms of providing opportunities for artists to do their thing and the public to enjoy it. There are West Hollywood artists who are impacted by this pandemic and the shutdowns and this gives some very small support to their livelihood. (And it appears very little money has been spent on this project – the City actually has a special fund that is restricted to use for arts projects only in order to enhance the City’s unique cultural landscape. No general fund dollars were… Read more »

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

The truth is…..I’m not the exception. Many people (friends and neighbors I know) have a similar opinion. For too long…..professionals living here have just tolerated the silliness of WH.
Clearly there are people who view events like this positively, however just know many don’t.

Jay
Jay
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

Well stated and thank you for the kind words Drew!

Jay
Jay
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

…And it’s nice you gave the shout out to Wayne and Paul- I enjoyed their singing too! Now I need to go eat my fish dinner!

Observer
Observer
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay

Agreed !!

Jay
Jay
1 year ago
Reply to  Observer

Thank you for your support Observer and Drew put it far more eloquently than I!

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay

Some fair points. However my criticisms of WH …..stem from its inability to focus on the services “ALL” of the residents require. It’s had a common viewpoint for so long….the city council continues to spend tax dollars on projects (however small) affecting a small percentage of the residents.

WH is a city….not a company. It doesn’t have a “brand” to reinforce. When the roads are paved, homeless issues addressed, policing visible, trash and litter removed daily……..perhaps $$ could be spent on events that all residents would enjoy.

Jay
Jay
1 year ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

Hi Ham (and Steve below)- I very much appreciate the tone you strike in your reply. I agree with you that physical safety and infrastructure, which affect every resident and visitor, should be of paramount concern to the City Council, and that there are ongoing areas for improvement. At the same time, I don’t see how scrapping an obviously inexpensive and logistically straight-forward artistic socially-distant mental health program in these testing times would increase the city’s ability to focus. And if the arts program keeps even one resident from acting out in a negative way towards themself or another, the… Read more »

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 year ago

I guess if you were not impressed by the fact that President Trump and three Republican Senators have caught COVID 19 after scoffing at the need for precautions, nothing will convince you. While I understand the City wants to employ artists during this time, we have a lot of needs to be met to help people pay their rents and provide legal fees for tenants being unjustly evicted. We keep hearing we need to re-elect the incumbents as West Hollywood is a COVID inspired budget crisis but silly gimmick campaigns don’t reflect the need to spend our tax dollars effectively.… Read more »

Jay
Jay
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Hi Steve (and Ham above)-

I also have thoughts about the utility of West Hollywood branding itself.

Given that West Hollywood heavily depends on visitors vacationing and dining etc. here for its tax revenues, it makes sense to me that the City should and would take an active interest in its image and promotion as a destination meriting consideration.

I agree with Steve that they may not always get it right, but I do see the value in their efforts in this regard.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
1 year ago

yeah……we can live without any of this. should do something constructive instead.

Leo
Leo
1 year ago

I don’t understand the art aspect if no one can share their opinions or thoughts of what is going on. You are only left with your thoughts and not able to share anything that you see or feel. Almost pointless.

Not to mention no context on any of the “art” helps with anything.

Click to Hide Advanced Floating Content

5
1
vote
Article Rating
14
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x