WEST HOLLYWOOD — The latest installation of public art in the city has been unveiled at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard and Melrose Avenue at the Center for Early Education.
The installation, “Wake Up and Dream” by artist Friedrich Kunath, is part of the city’s Urban Art Program.
The Urban Art Program began in 1987. It requires developers of certain projects to contribute one percent of the project cost to on-site public art or to contribute a commensurate amount to the city’s Public Art and Beautification Fund. The program is committed to promoting interest in the arts and adding vibrancy to West Hollywood’s urban fabric.
The mixed-media installation, “Wake Up and Dream,” was commissioned to fulfill the urban art program requirement due to new construction at the Center for Early Education. The installation prominently incorporates work inspired by students aged 2-12 who worked with the artist to inspire a series of original emojis, a city spokesperson said. The students then voted for their favorites for production and installation.
The work creates a striking visual presence, utilizing styrofoam, aqua resin, gesso, glass, acrylic and latex paint, and neon glass bulbs to portray the dream-like state between sleep and wakefulness. The sculptural elements, including a bird wearing shoes and a large hand holding a rainbow, along with the “otter playing with a tennis ball” and “cloud with a cloud beard” emojis inspired by the students could be viewed as a physical manifestation of a child’s imagination.
The artwork is fun, funky, and unlike anything else in the city’s urban art collection, the spokesperson said.
The Center for Early Education celebrated the installation with an unveiling ceremony March 29. Kunath was on hand to pull back the curtain.
Attendees included members of the City Council and members of the city’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission and community members.
The Center for Early Education is an independent school for toddlers and children through grade six. It strives to graduate students who are joyful, resilient, life-long learners and embraces a philosophy of education that combines a nurturing, inclusive learning environment with an increasingly challenging academic program that addresses the developmental needs of each child.