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. While keeping us healthy and safe, social distancing has also 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 2020, 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 2020. Taking advantage of unique locations across the City, artists will perform, create, or install 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).
The exhibition will include a variety of artworks such as:
Pop-up performances including 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 N. Doheny Drive, a dance and spoken word performance at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and N. San Vicente Boulevard;
Temporary public art installations including masks on the trunks of trees on Santa Monica Boulevard (only October 4-12), 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 performances including documentary short films, photography, poetry readings, and a big band concert will stream on the City’s website at www.weho.org/artful.
Participating artists include: 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. For additional information about the artists and their projects, please visit www.weho.org/community/arts-and-culture/visual-arts/art-on-the-outside/artfuldistancing. For more information, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Acting Arts Manager, Rebecca Ehemann, at [email protected] or at (323) 848-6846. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.
The City of West Hollywood is committed to providing accessible arts programming for residents and visitors. The City delivers a broad array of arts programs through its Arts Division including: Art on the Outside (temporary public art), Urban Art Program (permanent public art), Summer Sounds, Winter Sounds, WeHo Reads, Free Theatre in the Parks, Arts Grants for Nonprofit Arts Organizations, Library Exhibits and Programming, the City Poet Laureate Program, Human Rights Speakers Series, and the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/arts
The City of West Hollywood remains in a declared local emergency in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. While Los Angeles County is allowing for a phased reopening of some businesses and activities, coronavirus transmission and COVID-19 disease remain a serious risk. West Hollywood City Hall is currently closed to in-person transactions, but City Hall services remain accessible by phone at (323) 848-6400 and via the City’s website at www.weho.org. City of West Hollywood coronavirus information is available at www.weho.org/coronavirus.
For up-to-date news and events, follow the City of West Hollywood on social media @WeHoCity, sign up for news updates at www.weho.org/email, and visit the City’s calendar of meetings and events at www.weho.org/calendar.
For reporters and members of the media seeking additional information about the City of West Hollywood, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Public Information Officer, Sheri A. Lunn, at (323) 848-6391 or [email protected]
This press release was produced by the City of West Hollywood. The views expressed here are the author’s own.