24 free museums this weekend

CAFAMThis weekend will be a good time to explore a museum that’s on your cultural to-do list, or to discover one you weren’t aware of, thanks to the straightforwardly named Museum Marketing Roundtable, an organization formed by museum marketing professionals in the LA metro area.

Twenty-four museums in Los Angeles and surrounding areas will offer free admission this Saturday and Sunday, October 3rd and 4th. Some will participate on both days, while others will offer free admission on only one of the days. Check MuseumsLA.org for details.

Some of the museums in LA offering the deal are MOCA, Autry National Center, California African American Museum, CA Science Center, Craft and Folk Art Museum, Fowler and Hammer Museums at UCLA, Museum of Latin American Art, Natural History Museum of LA County, Paley Center for Media and the Skirball; as well as the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena.

The most tempting for me? Myth and Manpower: Graphics and the California Dream, at the Craft and Folk Art Museum (across Wilshire from LACMA,) looks at the role of graphic design to “communicate ideas and shape human behavior” vis à vis “myths surrounding the Golden State.”

Mobile Gourmet Rodeo: “Square Meal on Wheels” @ MOCA

Holy roving gourmet trucks, Batman! In conjunction with their Movie Night on the 27th, Dwell On Design‘s hosting a mass meet-up of some of LA’s hottest mobile food vendors. Kogi is rumored to show although not confirmed; but I’m most smitten by the Sprinkles truck, which, if I ever see it en-route, I will follow across the city like a crazy stalker.

There’s also Locali’s Icicyle, Barbie’s Q BBQ, Let’s Be Frank, CoolHaus ice cream, Tacos Ariza and the Green Truck. Here’s all the info on the mobile restaurant row; to check out the movie night (which for better or worse will prolly be overshadowed, at least among the twitterati & the blogospheroids, by the food trucks) go here. Dwell on Design is a design conference & exhibition, incorporating home tours, restaurant design spotlights, film screenings and seminars. And also, apparently, cupcakes.

Hat tip to Jeff & his peeps over at Thrillist for beating me to the punch on this one.

Mark Ryden Signs at MOCA on Saturday

I joined MOCA for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is their BCAM collection, but this post isn’t about that.

This post is about a book signing there this Saturday from 1-3pm.

Mark Ryden will be at MOCA signing copies of his newest release The Tree Show (2009), a hardcover collection of recent works. Through paintings and sculpture inspired by the Roman poet Ovid’s tales of transformation in Metamorphoses, Ryden explores the mythological and transformative properties of trees, offering familiar preoccupations in new settings. MOCA members receive a 10% discount on the publication.

In addition, Silence (2008), a framed 24 x 18-inch limited-edition silkscreen will be available for purchase, with all proceeds benefiting MOCA. This print was commissioned by the MOCA Projects Council, a major support group comprised of women collectors and patrons of the arts.

INFO 213/621-1710
FREE

Please note:
Ryden will only sign copies of The Tree Show purchased from the MOCA Store (proof of purchase required) on a first come, first served basis. Due to high demand, early arrival is recommended; the signing will end promptly at 5pm.

The galleries at MOCA Grand Avenue will be closed to the public January 26 through February 14, 2009, for the installation of Dan Graham: Beyond.

LA Museums: In trouble? Got solutions?

So I (over)heard a conversation recently between some relatively high-powered ad-type people, and the topic was LA’s museums. And how they were suffering from record-low attendance. The situation was so dire, in fact, that these ad-type people were working with a cultural organization of some sort (I have no idea which one) to possibly create a giant ad campaign that would raise awareness about LA’s museums, and that would drive people back through the gallery doors.

Of course, this is all hearsay, and prudence requires I not go into detail about the idea or the campaign, but it did make me stop and think–why don’t (most) people go to museums any more? What could get people back in the door?

My first suggestion is to drop membership fees. I mean, I used to work at LACMA and even with my disturbingly detailed awareness of that institution’s holdings and the importance of its collections, I still don’t have a membership–let alone the Muse membership I wish I could afford, that would grant me access to all the museum’s coolest events.

Clearly LACMA’s hungry for members: just take a gander at all the carrots they’ve added in to this membership pitch I recently found in my inbox (click to embiggen). But in this economic climate, it’s unrealistic to expect folks to drop a cool $90 for the basic membership–and an additional $50 for Muse. Muse events, like their costume ball, Young Directors’ Night, Muse ’til Midnight and more–are designed to appeal to a younger, hipper crowd and innoculate the museum against the attrition caused by the rapid graying of its members; (click thru to continue)

Continue reading “LA Museums: In trouble? Got solutions?”