L.A. Museum Love

It’s finally spring break! After a week of midterms + misery, I finally have some time to myself, and that means sitting outside enjoying the lovely SoCal weather and writing to you, dear reader, about the stuff I’ve been up to.

Turrell sketches
Turrell sketches
Annie and Emily with “Urban Light”








As Daniel mentioned in his last post, Pomona does an awesome job subsidizing trips to make transportation (and events) more affordable. Last Friday, I took a trip to the LA County Museum of Art, or LACMA, with the Pomona Museum of Art (check them out here). They managed to get free tickets for a busload of Pomona kids for both general admission and special admission to the James Turrell (PO ’65) retrospective and a Calder exhibit. So instead of just standing outside and looking at the lamp post piece outside the museum like I did last time – which is incidentally a Chris Burden (PO ’69) – I actually got to go inside! And it was amazing.

Two Turrell installations. Images courtesy of the LACMA:

James Turrell’s work is centered on the conceptualization and experience of light. The pieces are gorgeous explorations of shape and visual perception and how both are entirely dependent on the light we’re perceiving. One particularly memorable piece was a room with entirely white walls, except for the back one, which was a screen or projection of pure light which slowly changed colors. From the outside, the room actually looked like a flat screen, and once inside it was like a womb without edges or surfaces. We weren’t allowed to take photos, but to the left are two from the LACMA website.

Pomona College Skyspace
Pomona College Skyspace





Another interesting part of the exhibit was the room on Skyspaces, because, of course, Pomona College has a Skyspace. The first time I visited it I felt sort of neutral, probably because it was summer and quite hot and I wanted to be inside – but since then it’s become one of my favorite places on campus. The deceptively deep fountain makes a really beautiful soothing background burbling, and especially at night, the roof of the piece frames the sky beautifully. So seeing the other ways this piece has been created across the world, adapted to its environment, was really interesting.

And of course, there was the entire rest of the museum. I enjoyed the Turrell exhibit so much that I had to skimp on the rest, but I did stop through the Calder exhibit (reminded me of fish skeletons in the best way; I don’t know much about his work but it does look cool), Islamic art (which I’ve always loved) and Native American art. There was also a small, very profound photography exhibit by John Divola called “As Far a I Could Get.”

The best part of the day: I didn’t go on the trip with anyone specifically, so I got the chance to meet new people and to hang out with others that I usually don’t get to, including my fellow blogger Annie (pictured above). She was my bus buddy on the way home, when we got stuck in traffic for three hours (the real L.A.). At least we got to see the sun set over the city. Altogether, it was another wonderful experience in the City of Angels.