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DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES ART COMMUNITY TRANSFORMS RETAIL SPACE INTO GALLERY FOR MONTH-LONG ART EXHIBITION AND READING SERIES

 DownArt Show in South Park Celebrates City Life
 LOS ANGELES, May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A juried art exhibition and


poetry performance series, DownArt, will feature the work of downtown Los Angeles artists during the month of June as part of a multicultural celebration planned for the dedication of Grand Hope Park, the first urban park to serve the emerging downtown residential community of South Park and the first major park to open in the central city since Pershing Square.
 The DownArt Exhibition and Reading and Performance Series will open June 1 with a reception for artists from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the converted retail space of the Metropolitan Apartments, located at 949 S. Hope St., across from the entrance to Grand Hope Park. The DownArt Reading and Performance Series, featuring local poets, musicians and actors in performance will be staged in the converted gallery June 2 through June 9.
 The month-long exhibition, which continues through June 30, was installed by participating artists, who transformed 7,500 square feet of raw ground-floor storefront retail space of the Metropolitan Apartments into an "alternative" art and performance space. The DownArt exhibition will feature paintings, photographs, sculpture and installations by 36 downtown artists and a series of eight poetry readings and performances. Artists were selected for the exhibition by a three-member panel of jurors; Varnette Honeywood, Frank Romero and Shauna Snow.
 Use of the retail space was donated to the artists by Forest City Two Inc., developer of the Metropolitan apartments.
 The 2.5-acre Grand Hope Park, located at Ninth and Hope streets in the downtown community of South Park, shares a city block with the new Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and the nearly completed Renaissance Tower apartment complex.
 The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is providing $3 million for the construction of the park, the long-awaited centerpiece of the master-planned 24-hour urban and residential community of South Park.
 Located in the southern district of the central city, South Park is a 50-block area anchored by the Convention Center, Seventh Marketplace, California Medical Center and the city's downtown historic districts. South Park is a revitalization project of CRA's Central Business District Redevelopment Project.
 The art-themed Grand Hope Park, composed by renowned landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, is the collaboration of an ensemble of musicians, sculptors and poets who interpret the area's natural and cultural heritage.
 Visitors on winding pathways will be accompanied by original compositions of John Carter, Michael McNabb and Ushio Torikai. The compositions, arranged by New Music Innovator Carl Stone, emanate hourly from a colorful shard mosaic musical clock tower that dominates the entrance to the park. The clock tower is the work of Halprin, who also designed downtown's Bunker Hill Steps and San Francisco's Ghiradelli Square.
 Along the way, the sculptures of Lita Albuquerque capture the sun at the peak of a cascading fountain. Three life-size coyotes, a hawk and a snake, their likeness cast in bronze by artist Gwynn Merrill, keep a stealthy vigil on grassy knolls and pergolas.
 The work of Raul Guerrero transforms a lizard into a bench, ants into tiles, a snake into a fountain and pergolas into a tableau for celebrated poets Kate Braverman and Wanda Coleman.
 A full-day family festival celebrating the dedication of Grand Hope Park begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 12. Festivities include performances by L.A. Circus, ongoing musical entertainment including the world's largest concert of accordion players celebrating National Accordion Month, children's puppet shows and games, crafts and community service booths, a taste of South Park restaurants, the DownArt Exhibition and Performance Series and tours of the area's historic buildings led by the Los Angeles Conservancy. Mayor Tom Bradley will lead dedication ceremonies beginning at the clock tower at 2:30 p.m. on Ninth and Hope streets.
 DownArt Exhibition
 at The Metropolitan Apartments
 949 S. Hope St.
 Downtown Los Angeles
 DownArt Exhibition: Juried exhibition of downtown Los Angeles artists: Lisa Adams, Jill D'Agnenica, Martin Gantman, Richard Gerrish, Wayne Alaniz Healy, Habib Kherdyar, Terry Lenihan, Gloria Longval, Michael Barton Miller, Dorothy Taylor, Wojciech Voit Szaszor, Lea Whittington, others. Gallery at The Metropolitan Apartments, 949 S. Hope St. June 2-9, Noon-10 p.m.; (June 6, Noon-5 p.m.); June 10-30, Noon-7 p.m. Ends June 30. Free. 213-623-4263.
 DownArt Reading and Performance Series: June 2-9
 Wanda Coleman, Kate Braverman read poetry on June 2, 8 p.m.; Three members of USC Professional Writing Program and Director, Professor James Ragan present written works on June 3, 8 p.m.; "A Great Feast of Languages: Shakespeare in Translation," presented by Shakespeare Globe Center, produced by Louis Fantasia on June 4, 8 p.m.; "Members of Vivencia: A Bilingual Poetry Workshop," presented by Gloria Alvarez and Manuel Luna on June 5, noon; "Will He Bop, Will He Drop," a jazz play by Robert Alexander, presented by the Black Theatre Workshop, directed by Shabaka on June 5, 8 p.m.; The Warehome presents poetry readings by Keith Antar Mason, Lewis MacAdams, Jack Skelley, Plaster Pie on June 7, 8 p.m.; Suzanne Lummis, Richard Garcia, Dinah Berland, Ron Koertge read poetry on June 8, 8 p.m.; Mari Sunaida, Russell Leong, Chungmi Kim, Amy Uyematsu read poetry on June 9, 8 p.m. Free. Gallery of The Metropolitan Apartments, 949 S. Hope St., downtown Los Angeles, 213-623-4263,
 -0- 5/28/93
 /CONTACT: Gayle Anderson, public information officer of the Community Redevelopment Agency, 213-977-1949/


CO: Community Redevelopment Agency ST: California IN: ENT SU:

JL-BP -- LA028 -- 3618 05/28/93 21:09 EDT
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