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Vasquez Rocks Artmaking Workshop Moved To June 16-17

DidierHessThe artmaking workshop originally scheduled at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area for June 2 and 3 has been rescheduled to June 16 and 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. A new introductory session to the workshop has been scheduled for May 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Scrubjay Studios in Altadena. Attendance at the introductory session is not required to attend the workshop but it is advisable.

The workshop series invites the public to make rammed earth time capsules and work on the construction of a new public art sculpture for the new interpretive center at Vasquez Rocks. The series is free to the public; no experience is necessary. To register (required) and get location details please contact jenna@emanate.org or 323-913-0915.


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The series led by rammed earth expert Andreas Hessing of Scrubjay Studios and Didier Hess (Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess, pictured above), creators of the sculpture, offers hands-on teaching of this ancient sustainable building technology in which earth is combined with a small amount of concrete. Participants will learn what applications are appropriate for rammed earth, how to test soil to see if it is feasible for use in construction, how to amend soil, build forms and tamp soil into load-bearing walls and benches in the production of a permanent public artwork.

Workshop #1: May 26th 9am - 1pm at Scrubjay Studios, Altadena: Introduction to the basics of rammed earth construction. Hessing will cover soil testing, review form construction and how to create test blocks; participants can make their own time capsule blocks to take home with them!

Workshop #2: June 16-17, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. both days at Vasquez Rocks Interpretive Center construction site, Agua Dulce, CA: full-scale construction of rammed earth project, participants can bring objects of their own to place in the rammed earth / time capsule.

Bag lunch Noontime lectures by experts, June 16-17, 12:00 p.m., on local pre-history, ancient rock art and geology. The public is welcome to attend these, bring a bag lunch, see the progress of the sculpture as it is being constructed on-site and bring an artifact to drop into the rammed earth time-capsule!

BRING: sunhats, water, sunblock, notebook, close-toed shoes and artifacts to add to the rammed earth time capsule

The sculpture, designed by artist team Didier Hess (Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess) and commissioned by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s Civic Art Program, reflects, on a small scale, the geological forces that shaped the monumental formations of Vasquez Rocks. Encased within the earthen sculpture will be a bronze sculpture that will gradually be revealed over time as the softer rammed earth erodes away.

“We hope through our work to not only shift the scale of the geological forces to a more comprehensible size for visitors,” say Didier and Hess, ”but also to show that just beneath, or even on the surface of our surroundings, there are traces of people who were here before us.”

Under the Civic Art Program, one percent of construction costs of all Los Angeles County capital projects over $500,000 are set aside for the incorporation of civic art. Since its inception in 2004, The Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Art Program has implemented scores of projects for a variety of County facilities and manages the growing number of artworks that are included in the County’s collection. Rebecca Ansert is the project manager for the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park Interpretive Center artwork. For more information about the Civic Art Program: http://www.lacountyarts.org/civicart.htm.

The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Laura Zucker, Executive Director, provides leadership in cultural services of all disciplines for the largest county in the United States, encompassing 88 municipalities. In addition to overseeing the County’s Civic Art Program for capital projects, the Arts Commission provides leadership and staffing to support the County-wide collaboration for arts education, Arts for All; administers a grants program that funds almost 400 nonprofit arts organizations annually;; funds the largest arts internship program in the country in conjunction with the Getty Foundation; programs the John Anson Ford Theatres and supports the Los Angeles County Cultural Calendar on ExperienceLA.com and SpacefinderLA.org, Creative Spaces for Creative People. The Arts Commission also produces free community programs, including the L.A. County Holiday Celebration broadcast nationally, and a year-round music program that funds more than 140 free concerts and participatory arts events each year in public sites.