Summer 2011 was the busiest and most dynamic season yet for Watts House Project’s Family Arts and Education Programs. While Artist-in-Resident Raul Curiel worked with neighborhood youth to create dazzling designs in a 4-week mosaic making class, artist and WHP Executive Director Edgar Arceneaux made great fun out of building homes for small families of baby birds by leading a class with local art student volunteers on birdhouse making.
This summer also saw the completion of some terrific artist-driven projects on E.107th Street. In addition to teaching his mosaic class, Raul worked on a deeply detailed and beautiful mosaic for a bench at the “Flower House,” one of WHP’s collaborative housing projects and home to resident and WHP Resident Coordinator Rosa Gutierrez. Facing the towers, “The Bench of Alca”, with its labor intensive design, is a testament to the creative contributions of immigrants to Los Angeles.
Another exciting project we completed in July is our new fence at The Platform, WHP’s community center and organization hub. Created by noted architect and USC Professor Victor Jones, the fence is a beautiful and simple design that both complements the local architecture and warmly greets the community to The Platform, and to WHP. The installation of this fence would have not been possible without the help of our committed and fantastic volunteer corps – so thank you, guys!
Though we will fondly remember this summer’s wonderful memories of hands-on creation, storytelling and drawing with the local youth, who are now back in school, WHP is more excited than ever to collaborate with ArtPlace to fully renovate The Platform. With the help of ArtPlace, WHP will now transform The Platform into a fully productive site where we can continue to run our innovative, artist-taught summer classes for neighborhood families in addition to providing a space for an artist-in-residence, exhibition space and administrative offices. In collaboration with WHP, ArtPlace is placing its imprint on this community and improving the overall quality of life for its residents.
To learn more about what we’re up to, please visit our brand new website, designed by Margo Graxeda and Sandra Rosales at LMSY, at www.wattshouseproject.org