I was on Spring Break from my job last week and had plans for dinner up in L.A. with both of my sisters & brother-in-law at a friend’s beautiful new home. If I’m making the hour-and-a- half trek up there by car, and not my usual fun train ride, then I like to take the opportunity to visit some new place instead of just driving through at 70 mph. I’ve had the Annenberg Space for Photography on my “go to” list for awhile and never seem to have time to stop…but this time I did!
You should go! There are two nice venues, The Annenberg Space for Photography and Skylight Studios, both with interesting exhibits through May 3…and both are FREE ($3.50 for 3 hours of parking on weekdays..I think it’s a dollar on weekends.) The Annenberg was opened in Century City, across from the Century Plaza Hotel on the former site of the Shubert Theatre, in 2013 as a “cultural destination dedicated to exhibiting compelling photography.” The current exhibit on view is called “Sink or Swim, Designing for a Sea Change” and takes you on a journey to some of the world’s coastal communities to explore how these specific populations are adapting to the rising sea levels through ingenious architectural innovations. There are some interesting stories accompanying the photographs detailing some architectural challenges and their ultimate solutions. There’s also a short documentary that shows new design concepts that have come to fruition in the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and more new ideas in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Lastly, there was a really interesting video in their small lecture room of a TedTalk titled “Ingenious Homes in Unexpected Places” by Iwan Baan (those TedTalks can really suck you in!)
The 5000 square foot Skylight Studios is located across a park from The Annenberg and is used for viewing short documentaries during it’s daytime hours, but it is primarily for the Iris Nights Lecture Series, showcasing the stories behind some amazing images. The current documentary on view is titled “Inside Tracks: Behind the Lens on the Assignment of a Lifetime.” It tells the compelling story of Rick Smolan, a National Geographic photographer, and his assignment to document the gripping 9 month, 1700 mile journey of Robyn Davidson across the Australian Outback. The photography is stunning, but the story is equally captivating. I’d like to see the movie, based on the book.
I initially thought I’d just stop in for a quick visit to both of these small exhibition spaces, and be on my way. Instead, I took advantage of the beautiful park, with it’s built in benches and vignettes of bistro tables and chairs, and had lunch at one of the really yummy adjacent restaurants. There’s the pricier, nicer, Cuvee Restaurant or a few casual restaurants…I went to Sen Asian. I arrived around 11:30 and didn’t leave until 2. So much fun!
Both exhibits close May 3, but I’ll be back when I’m on Summer break to see their next exhibit titled “Emerging” which opens June 6th. Maybe I’ll even be able to catch one of the Iris Nights Lectures?
I also went to see the interesting movie, Salt of the Earth, about photographer Sebastião Salgado. It was a photography themed week!
You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!