When word hit that Christmas morning would bring with it a rare full moon (last one to happen on December 25: 1977), of course I got up in time so you wouldn’t have to and snapped it (click the pics below to enlargify) setting over the ridge to the west of our humble Silver Lake abode.
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This weekend was a terrifc weekend, if you forget the blazing heat and attended the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts 52nd Annual Celebrate the Arts and first ever ChalkFest.
Celebrate the Arts incorporated several first as I outlined the other day. What makes these events fun isn’t so much the terrific art, but the ability to see artists working on their art, demonstrating their technique. There year there were several artists doing just that. Glass blower Joshua Smilth wowed folks with his tecnhique. Metal sculpturist Bill Hyatt continued working on his horse head sculpture a painstaking process of welding dot by dot to build up the face and texture of the horse.
To learn more about ChalkFest and see those artists in their creative zone you need to make the jump. Read the rest of this entry →
This is a biggy for me. Something that I, as a board member, have been all but consumed with the last several weeks. Celebrate the Arts is in its 52nd year and its going to have quite a few firsts on top of the already terrific fine artists populating the park with their art.
Celebrate the Arts is held in Monrovia’s Library Park from 10AM – 6PM both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. There will be a lot of firsts at this show that we are really excited about on top of our usual host of Food Trucks, live music, extremely talented artists. Among our firsts this event:
- ChalkFest – a competitive street art event with Lori Escalera as our celebrity judge.
- Children’s Chalk Experience -designed for the 12 and under set to experiment with chalk
- Featured Artist Elizabeth Butterfield…her collage work is simply stunning
- The first appearance by students from Mt. Sierra College (11 fine artists and 2 chalk artists)
- The first appearance by 18 artists new to MAFA
- Glass Blowing demonstrations
- TIKI Bobbleheads from artist Rick Kess
- Authors exhibition with live book signing
- Photographer Author Stephen McCarthy will be selling his images, autographing his books including his newest “The Extra Virgin Spy Club”
To read more about this years Celebrate the Arts you need to make the jump. Read the rest of this entry →
Nope, I was downtown the other day with a camera set to too high an exposure, on a mission to acquire a parasol.
Almost every store in Chinatown around the rectangle created by Broadway and Hill / Cottage Home and Cesar Chavez sells parasols. But there’s only one I’ve ever encountered with a wide selection of diverse and lovely paper–not polyester, same-painting-on-every-pink-and-blue-version, parasols. After three years away, I wasn’t sure the parasol store would still be in the square at the intersection on Gin Ling and Mei Lin Way (yep, all those little pedestrian streets have names…check out the map here…helps when you’re looking for a specific gallery).
To my relief, Andy’s Gift Shop was still there, across from the lucky coin-toss fountain (a miniature landscape with different mountain-hermit homes sculpted into the waterfall rock, a different pagoda or edifice you can toss a coin into for prosperity and good luck in any area of life). After meandering past the weirdly cordoned-off statue of Bruce Lee and the skatepunk dudes trying to nail the (presently turned-off) waterfall’s house of Good Luck in Love with pennies, I made it into the gift shop and accessioned what was needed. Thanks Chinatown! It’s nice to know a few things haven’t changed.
I have a really crappy phone with an even crappier camera in it. The settings on the phone randomly re-set them depending on the phone’s own perverse mood swings. That day, it had set the exposure to what us photography-illiterate folks call “way too damn bright.” Oddly, the photos came out pretty, with a washed-out sort of lighting that perfectly showcased the lurid colors of the neighborhood.
The first is closed, the second is overgrown, but the third, in a metaphorical bear sense, is just right.
John W. Robinson, in his book “Trails of the Angeles: 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels,” calls it “the most storied gold prospect in the front range.”
But that’s not saying much.
Because no one has made their fortune from gold in the mountains overlooking the San Gabriel Valley, that doesn’t mean that a bunch of people haven’t tried.
The prospectors started to scratch the surface of Millard Canyon in 1895, and one of those prospectors, Bradford Peck, named the area near the top of the canyon after a friend’s daughter, Dawn Ehrenfeld.
It wasn’t until 1902 that the real mining began. Michael T. Ryan, an Australian, began the first tunneling into the cliffs on one side of the tiny stream, creating the tunnel that we can still enter.
But he came across one problem. How to carry the tons of ore, that needed to be crushed to extract the gold? Hiking the two and a half miles down boulder strewn Millard Canyon was difficult and time consuming. So he forged a trail up the side of the mountain to the Mt. Lowe Railway. Once there he loaded the ore onto the Mt. Lowe train and it headed down, via the funicular, to extract that beautiful gold.
After Mr. Ryan gave up, realizing that he, like the others, was not going to make his fortune, the mine changed hands many times. In the 1950’s the area became derelict, littered with mining equipment and abandoned shacks.
Over the years they became covered with graffiti and run down. Eventually all were removed except an old engine, which still sits as a marker to the mine entrance.
To hike Dawn Mine, drive up the road called Chaney Trail (which is “closed” sunset to sunrise). Chaney Trail tees off West Alta Loma Drive, between Lincoln Ave and Fair Oaks Ave in Altadena.
Chaney Trail is a small winding road that leads up into the San Gabriels. At the end of this road is a car park — don’t park here, because this is the entrance to the closed section of the trail. Park instead at the highest point of Chaney Trail. It’s where the fire road leads up into the mountains. Parking is a problem, because there are so few spaces. It is usually full on weekends, so if you can, go on a weekday, or pray to the parking fairies.
The turn is the sign posted for The Sunset Ridge Trail. This trail leads down into Millard Canyon.
Note: There is a fork on this trail, but keep left, down toward the canyon floor. At 1.05 miles from the car park, the path reaches the gently flowing stream at the bottom of the canyon, which was, in this October 2014 drought, really just a trickle. The mine is near the top of Millard Canyon, so head upstream, north, away from civilization.
Note: Downstream from here the trail is closed, which leads to the car park you are not supposed to park in, as the forestry service is attempting to rehabilitate it after the Station fire in 2009.
My first attempt to find Dawn Mine was a failure, because I went the wrongway. Although on the plus side, I did come across a stunningly beautiful three tiered 40-foot waterfall.
Where is went wrong was not making a right turn, although it is probably worth it just to see the waterfalls.bIf you do want to see Dawn Mine make a right 1.25 miles from the parking lot. Or to put it another way, make a right 0.2 miles after reaching the tream; Once making this turn, follow the river another 1.6 miles upstream, or 2.85 miles from the parking lot to the mine itself.Note: Downstream from here the trail is closed, which leads to the car park you are not supposed to park in, as the forestry service is attempting to rehabilitate it after the Station fire in 2009.
My first attempt to find Dawn Mine was a failure, because I went the wrong way. Although on the plus side, I did come across a stunningly beautiful three tired
40-foot waterfall. Where is went wrong was not making a right turn, although it is probably worthnit just to see the waterfalls.
If you do want to see Dawn Mine make a right 1.25 miles from the parking lot. Or to put it another way, make a right 0.2 miles after reaching the stream. Once making this turn, follow the river another 1.6 miles upstream, or 2.85 miles from the parking lot to the mine itself.nAlmost all of this 1.6 miles is hopping over rocks, clambering over boulders, or ducking under fallen trees.
Note: While doing all this hopping, clambering, and ducking, pause for a momentnand enjoy the peaceful miles-away-from-the-city burbling stream, squirrel and bird sounds.
From here on out it is practically impossible to get lost, just follow the stream.nThere are spray-painted arrows along the way, but they are not really necessary; just follow the stream.
Because this is not a well traveled path a number of the stones are loose so be careful of twisting an ankle, but that is not the only danger. When the cliffs were towering on one side of the valley, there was a huge cracking noise 50 feet ahead. A stone the size of my head had fallen from the cliff face and I just saw it bounce and settle with the other stones in the stream bed. Sitting on a tree limb, near where the stone fell, were two squirrels staring at me.
Because I can speak to the animals, here is a translation of what one of them was saying: “Damn it Bob, you pushed it too early, I told you to wait, I get to push it next time, then we get to have hiker for dinner.”
Because of all the clambering the trail seems longer than it is, but keep going, and then eventually there is an abandoned piece of machinery up to your left. It’s an old engine, with a flywheel attached to each side. The entrance to the mine is hidden just the other side of the engine. On hands and knees, the first view into the mine is what everyone expects when looking into a mine, the classic wooden posts holding up a crosspiece. Althoughnlater, thinking about it, I think this is part of a door to keep people out, and just thenjamb is left. But I could be wrong.
Barring entrance to the cave is a small body of water, people had helpfully thrown in pieces of wood and tree branches to create a slippery unstable walking surface. But I was told by another hiker I met that day, when he had visited the mine the
previous year and had decided to not enter as the water was too deep. I don’t know if this was because of the drought, but like those signs at amusement park water rides, You Might Get Wet.
Thirty feet into the tunnel, just past the pond, is a dry area splitting off into two tunnels, with a huge open gallery above. The light grey rock is splattered with yellow, which reflects in the second pond. There are holes drilled for dynamite still visible in the rock.nYou will need a flashlight, as the mine is pitch black even so short a distance inside. I didn’t go any further than this, as mines and underground scare the hell out of me, but just this short distance inside it was cool and peaceful, in a I-might-die-from-a-cave-in, sort of way.
But remember kids, abandoned mines are dangerous, and while I went alone, anfriend knew where I was going, and was waiting for my back-to-civilization text.
Now the facts: Starting elevation: 2000 ft. Ending elevation: 3135 ft. The total time of my hike, from car to car was three and a half hours, with a total of 5.7 miles,
all according to my phone. When hiking up Millard Canyon to Dawn Mine, it feels like sprawling Los Angeles is hundreds of miles away, with the silent trees and the burbling stream and the imposing canyon walls and the murderous chattering squirrels it’s a moment of quiet in a noisy city.
P.S. I mentioned that there were three ways to reach Dawn Mine, and just for balance sake, I will mention the abandoned trail, although I don’t recommend it, unless you like long hikes in the sun and wielding a machete. It is the trail that the Australian forged from the mine up to the Mt. Lowe Railway. Start at the same place, but follow the tarmacked fire road up the ridge of the mountain for three miles. Unlike down in the shaded valley, it is in the harsh sun all the way, but the road is smooth underfoot,neven if it is steep uphill most of the way. After the three miles there is a historical marker pointing out that this was a stop of the Mt. Lowe Railway and passengers used to disembark and hike down to Dawn Mine.
I attempted hiking down the trail, but after 50 feet it was almost completely overgrown and difficult to discern, so I left it for someone else, with an adventurous spirit, and a machete.
Today was Public Days of the L.A. Auto Show. I brought my son and a neighborhood kid I’ve known since he could barely walk. Its our annual tradition.
We left to grab a bite to eat at L.A. Live, Yard House to be precise, and exited to find this vista. The sun bouncing off the Marriot/Ritz Carlton illuminating the ultimate L.A. icon, the Palm Tree. It was otherworldly.
Add in it was 80+ degrees outside in November and it couldn’t be a better reminder of why I love Los Angeles. Click the pic to see it full-size.
LACDA “Snap to Grid”- every entry shown
Yes, you read that right. Rex Bruce the owner of the LACDA prints and shows every single piece of digital art and digital photography that is submitted for this show. This is like close to its 10th year he is doing this. There is no jury you simply submit your work. There is no limit to subject matter or how many images you show. Just put your best foot forward as LACDA culls future artists for its big shows from these submissions.
I love this show as its a wonderful snap shot of the world as seen by digital artists and photographers at this moment in history. There is no curation, but as a whole it tells a wonderful story of where we are artistically.
Entry Deadline is December 1, 2014. The opening of the show will be tied with the Downtown Los Angles Art Walk on December 11,2014.
DEETS:L.A. Center for Digital Art | 104 East Fourth Street | Los Angeles | CA | 90013 MAP HERE
ACT-SO? Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. Its a program within the NAACP where young people are mentored by pro’s in a field to help them grow and develop their talents. Its about grooming the next generation to go forth and do great things.
Saturday was fun, different for me. It all started 10 days ago when Lois Gaston of the Pasadena chapter of the NAACP contacted Lisa Barrios, the Vice President of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) for help in locating photographers to judge a coming competition. Lisa referred her to me and before you know it I had rounded up other photographers to help me with the judging.
In short order I had the needed photographers in line to do the judging. First up was Enilde “Ginger” Van Hook, a fine art photographer from Otis College of Arts and Design graduate as well as teacher. Next up was Joseph R Davis artist, digital artist and photographer. Rounding out the judges was yours truly. Read the rest of this entry →
Its a NASA fun event. You know the folks that track a bajillion sattelites in orbit around us taking pictures of us night and day. They have a fun promotion, game if you will for Earth Day today. Take a selfie, post it with the hashtag #GlobalSelfie and they’ll in turn use all of the images into a giant mosaic of earth.
The subject doesn’t matter, mountains, rivers, oceans, forest…just include you with a sign naming your location. The sign can be downloaded in numerous languages HERE. Your snap then can be uploaded to twitter, instagram or google+ with the hashtag and its on it will get captured for the mosaic.
A rather large group of Los Angeles news photographers and a few hand picked others will be showing their fine art photographs of Southern California at a reception they will host Saturday 4/19 starting at 7PM. There will be light refreshments and wine served at the reception.
Among the photographers there will be Stephen Coleman, a KABC 7 cameraman who has been documenting Los Angeles for years and has many drop dead gorgeous images.
Deets: Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery, 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016 626-258-4848 MAP HERE
Yikes, I don’ know how I slept through this one, maybe it was Auto Show Frenzy of the last few weeks. Regardless. The Snap To Grid show at LACDA has got to be my absolute favorite show. Why? Its a take all comers show that gives you a wonderful snapshot of where we are as artists and what we are doing right now with digital photography and digital art. The stuff is amazing.
If you are interested in showing at this show all you have to do is fill out an registration form (you won’t be rejected) pay your $35 admission and upload your images. Simple as that. You register HERE. You upload HERE. The deadline is today to do so.
Some important information:
- Show Dates: December 12, 2013-January 4, 2014
- Deadline for entries: December 2, 2013
- Opening Reception: December 12, 7-9pm, 7-9pm
L.A. Center for Digital Art, 104 East Fourth Street Los Angeles, CA 90013