The Cypress Village Tunnel in Highland Park, one of many pedestrian underpasses throughout the L.A. area that were deemed dangerous decades ago by the city and so locked up for decades, has a new life thanks to some creative community effort. It has become an underground art gallery. I went to see this public art space as it was preparing for this Saturday's opening reception for a new exhibition featuring Shepard Fairey posters along with other art lining the walls of the 100 foot long tunnel and was greeted by Luna George (the project manager) and SEL(one of the artists) who were busy preparing the new exhibit.
|Luna prepares to wheatpaste an art piece with SEL's assistance|
Yancey Quiñones, proprietor of the Antiqua Coffee House across the street, had an idea and contacted the city to see about opening the tunnel occasionally as a public art space and was told it costs around $10,000 to rehab it enough for use and the city wasn't able to do that. So Yancey proposed splitting the cost, the city agreed, and then he proceeded to hold community fundraisers to gather the necessary $5,000. Yancey, who grew up in the area and then opened his business there, is a firm believer in community involvement and he keeps busy making a success of it for himself and his neighbors.
|SEL, one of several artists exhibiting, works on his painting. |
Shepard Fairey posters are on the opposite wall.
|The entrance to the tunnel should look quite different Saturday night.|
|Art outside Antigua Coffee|
Modern Multiples (modernmultiples.com ) is presenting "The Gift of Public Art", this month's holiday themed exhibition inside the Cypress Village Underground Tunnel in Highland Park. Featuring work by local artists, street campaign posters from 2007 – 2013 by Shepard Fairey and joined together with posters by Haunted Euth, Tfail, John Carr, Felix, Wheatpeace, Jaber, Enik, Mars Bravo and others.
Adjacent to the wheatpaste installation, holiday themed mini murals by SEL, Ezra, Zender, Felix, Gianni Arone, Swan and others.
Special to the exhibition, the very first public art painted by two young artists, Jake Hendrix Hakim (Age 15) and Catalina Bolivar (Age 15).
The opening reception takes place from 6 pm to 12 am during the Tunnel Artwalk located across the street from the Antigua Coffee House at 3400 N. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90065 and is in conjunction with December's NELA Artwalk (nelaart.org) held on the 2nd Saturday of each month.
Also exhibiting on the same night and inside the Antigua Coffee House , works by Pola Lopez, Catalina Bolivar and Heriberto Luna. The community is invited to come out and enjoy a night full of holiday spirit, public art, vendors, food, coffee and creative joy.