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Next Round of Art of Recovery Projects Connect the Community and Brighten Santa Monica Streets

The City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Division’s next round of Art of Recovery projects will be implemented throughout Santa Monica in the coming weeks and months. A variety of projects by Los Angeles-based artists will be unveiled and will focus on celebrating Black History Month, commemorating lives lost to COVID-19, fostering connection and sharing the experiences of physical distancing over the last year, and giving life to imagined written choreographies from inside the walls of the California Rehabilitation Center.

Art of Recovery was launched in November of 2020 by Cultural Affairs as part of the City of Santa Monica’s Economic Recovery Task Force to harness the power of the arts in the City’s economic, community, and health recovery efforts by funding artistic works and creative projects that strengthen and connect Santa Monica.

Since then, local artists have been transforming some of the City’s most iconic landmarks and public spaces into vibrant works of art that focus on three main priorities: economic recovery, community connectedness & restorative justice, and public health & safety. Plain concrete safety barriers lining the al fresco dining and retail experience along Main Street were transformed into public galleries of art, storefronts along the Third Street Promenade were reimagined as holiday works of art, and the Santa Monica Pier’s iconic Merry-Go-Round windows were brought to life by the famous Bob Baker Marionette Theater and their puppets.

This month, in partnership with Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM), public art installations created by local Black artists will celebrate Black History Month by honoring the Black experience and contributions made by African-Americans and those of African descent on Third Street Promenade. Three art installations by A Brilliant Dummy, SHpLinton, and Mira Gandy will highlight the history, diversity, achievements, and creativity of Santa Monica’s Black community and will be on view from Wednesday, February 10 to Monday, March 12, 2021.

Bergamot Station Arts Center features the art installation Rose River Memorial, a project initiated by Building Bridges Art Exchange in collaboration with other Bergamot businesses. The art project was conceived by renowned experiential artist Marcos Lutyens. This exhibition is a collective memorial composed of felt roses made by community members. Each rose honors and acknowledges someone from the Westside of Los Angeles lost to COVID-19. Currently, the exhibition is indoors only, but come March, the exhibition will also be featured outdoors in the parking lot. The Bergamot Station Arts Center installation will become part of a national installation, planned for 2022, which will commemorate all of the American lives lost. The installation is free and open to the public by appointment. Community members are invited to contribute to the art piece by picking up a free rose making kit and making roses that will be added to the installation. To make an appointment or to collect a rose making kit, visit Building Bridges Art Exchange Rose River Memorial website.