“All the Saints of Los Angeles” nominated for book award

Artist and writer J. Michael Walker, whose giant art endeavor “All the Saints of the City of Angels” (NOT the Motley Crue album) first started out with a tiny show in Highland Park’s Avenue 50 Studio, and then before I knew it he was showing at the Autry Museum. His realistic and mystical depictions of each of the saints associated with every “St.” street in the city are haunting, beautiful and steeped in local legend as well as the original stories of the individual saints. Honestly, this was a project I’d always wanted to do but I’d never really fleshed out the idea, so when I saw his work it was this shock of recognition & appreciation.

And now his catalogue/nonfiction work that goes along with the project has been nominated for the nonfiction book of the year award by the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association! The awards are voted on only by indie booksellers. He’s one of five finalists.

Word up to our boy J. Michael, and to all the other awesome local finalists. You are literary rock stars. No matter who wins, hats off to you all!

Spotted in the Wild: Yanni Graffiti

yanni.jpg

Somewhere in northeast LA, there’s a graffiti artist that actually invested the time and energy required to illustrate, cut and spray a stencil of raven-maned and virilely mustachioed new age maestro Yanni on an otherwise unassuming wooden fence on Eagle Rock Boulevard near Auntie Em’s Kitchen (who, on an unrelated note, are still the purveyors of the finest biscuits and gravy in the tri-county area). Anonymous Yannificiando, we here at Metroblogging salute your dedication to mediocrity and, if we may be so bold as to suggest a contender for the second in what’s sure to be a long running series, humbly submit the name of the one and only Mr. John Tesh.

Yoko Ono’s Wish Trees in the ‘Dena

wishtreelarge.jpgI just came across a press release and was reminded that as of Aug. 2nd, 21 live crape myrtles are now in the courtyard at One Colorado–just so you can make a wish. Regardless of what you think about Yoko’s tumultuous relationship with That Band, it’s important to acknowledge her significance as a great figure in the contemporary conceptual art world. Shes a pioneering feminist artist. She’s a force of nature. She makes good stuff happen. If she had a motto, it would be Git ‘Er Done, I’m sure of it.

So check out the flowering trees installed amongst the cafe tables in the courtyard of One Colorado. Visitors are invited to write their wishes on pieces of paper and hang them on the tree branches, a traditional Japanese way of making a wish (and especially fun for kids). Wishes from Wish Tree Pasadena will be joined with others from around the world and placed into Ono’s”Imagine Peace” Tower on Videy Island, off the coast of Reykjavik, Iceland. The artwork is dedicated to the memory of John Lennon. The trees are up until November 9, at which point they’ll prolly be so full of wishes the trees will appear to be constructed out of paper. More info is here.