With summer slowly coming to an end, beaches in Los Angeles are filled with tourists and religious sunbathers. With the crowds along the shore, you may be looking for another fun, indoor alternative. LA is home to a lot of cultural history, and it offers eclectic art exhibitions that showcase not only what makes the city great, but also the incredible moments that have formed American identity. From the evolution of Los Angeles’ hip-hop culture in the 1990s to the controversial concept of migration, here are five great art events in Los Angeles you can’t miss this August.
Take a trip to the stars at Lia Halloran’s Deep Sky Companion exhibit. Halloran classifies and reproduces objects found in the depths of outer space. In this exhibit, she provides an adaptation of the visual data comprising of Charles Messier's 110 astronomical findings in his attempt to chart comets. The Deep Sky Companion experience is enhanced with slanted ceilings and extreme planes. The cosmic bodies showcased in the exhibit are divided into two formats: self-animating blue ink on drafting film imitating light and matter traveling through space, and camera-less prints on photosensitive paper, reproducing the specs of light deep in space. The Deep Sky Companion enables viewers to observe and interpret the countless cosmic bodies nestled amongst the infinite space. (Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the California Institute of Technology, 1216 E California Blvd, Pasadena. Runs through Dec 18.)
Calling all lovers of hip hop! "Oh Snap! West Coast Hip Hop Photography" presents a collection of moving photographs from one of the most influential cultural movements of the last quarter century. The exhibition highlights hip-hop culture—particularly in California—and features dynamic artists who made a name for themselves in the 1990s, including Ice Cube, YoYo, Tupac and E-40. Plus, "Oh! Snap" is featuring more than 40 other well-known photographers known for their prevalence within the hip-hop community. This exhibition honors the influence of West Coast hip-hop music and gives guests a taste of the evolution of the scene. (California African American Museum, 600 State Dr. Runs through Sept 18.)
Baseball is one of the sports that defines American culture. Players of the sport have proved that it is more than just a game, and its former stars, like Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Ichiro Suzuki and several others served as role models to generation after generation. Organized by the National Museum of American Jewish History, this exhibition features more then 130 artifacts, original films and interactive experiences. Here, viewers can find out why people from all backgrounds identified with the sport and how it shaped the views of American identity. (Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd. Runs through Oct 30.)
The record is a major symbol in the history of American culture. Music as well as musicians are often associated with their album's cover art. Curated by Jason Ostro, this exhibition celebrates the record sleeve cover, one of the 20th century’s most influential forms of art. More than 80 local and international artists will be showcasing their designs for a real or fictional 12x12 record cover. DJ Jonathan Williams will be spinning at the exhibition’s opening night on August 20. (Gabba Gallery, 3126 Beverly Blvd. Opens August 20 at 7pm, runs through Sept 10.)
The Los de Abajo Printmaking Collective and guests artists explore humanizing migration and borders through printmaking. The exhibition looks into the issue of mass, undocumented migration in the world. Borders, barriers and divisions often come to mind when referencing the word “migration,” and this exhibition helps visitors question what manifests from these divisions. With the United States’ current issues with immigration, this exhibition is not only fitting for the time, but is a meaningful and educational experience. Its goal is to encourage people to take action and support those who are fighting for the rights of other people. (Social and Public Art Resource Center, 685 Venice Blvd, Venice. Runs through Aug 20)