Location has a great impact on our passions and interactions with each other, and the four distinct LA neighborhoods explored highlight the vast multiplicity of human experiences and perspectives offered by Los Angeles’ diverse neighborhoods. Restructure artists Sergio Villalpando, Amanda Kim, and Punto Lairs Inc. explore how Angelenos are beginning an investigation of the external built environment and the reengagement with their city again.

During the past year’s limited contact, and more recently upon re-entry, many artists, like Mike Hyland, Eddy Lee, and Francesca Lalanne, are noticing elements of their built environment they previously were not aware of, or not examined closely. Whether some of this (re)discovery came about due to a photography practice that suddenly lacked subjects for work, or finding new points of interest on their re-established daily commutes to and from work, many are finding the city anew again, from the electrical boxes by the Sherman Oaks Chamber Foundation, to the maintenance hole covers to the fire escapes in Julia Lofstrand and Jens Köhler’s work. Restructure explores the built environment of the once familiar (our city, our commutes, our neighborhoods) in a new light, given recent circumstances and contexts during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. What is a new location or familiar public space in YOUR neighborhood that you look forward to exploring?

On Community and Public Art

A guiding question posed to artists for Reimagine Public Art: Vol 2 included: What do you look forward to exploring in your neighborhood in terms of public art and/or community as the city reopens? Their answers are highlighted in the showcase below.

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Study in Light 01, 2020
Digital Photography

Study in Light is a project that originated in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unable to work in studio and maintaining social distancing, the project centered itself on creating images that served as photographic sketches. Using only outdoor areas in Los Angeles, the photographer’s hand is pictured creating a record of the quality of light as it appears unmodified in the location and on skin. The series resulted in more than references and instead began to suggest a world constantly out of reach. Each time shown as focused no further than arm’s length.

On Community and Public Art

“The pandemic has created the opportunity to take to the streets, not only as individuals but also as establishments [in Hollywood]. I look forward to exploring areas that embrace road closures and extended platforms on parking lots. Making Los Angeles more pedestrian friendly is the right step in cultivating public art and community.”


Charles, 2020

The majority of my work involves working in very large crowds of people. The pandemic made it impossible to be at concerts or large events. I came up with the idea to take socially-distanced portraits of people at their homes during quarantine, as a way to try and stay creative and busy and to connect with people in whatever way was safe and possible. All of the shoots were done outside, around people’s homes, in a safe and comfortable environment. They weren’t overthought or planned, and I didn’t use any special lighting or fancy studio equipment. It was also a way to push myself out of my comfort zone.

On Community and Public Art

“I’m looking forward to seeing people come together as a community [in North Hollywood], we’ve been missing out on that for so long during the pandemic. Art shows and concerts and theatre are creative outlets for so many of us, but also a way for people to connect and share experiences.”

Elena Brocade
& Darielle Williams

Corde Aerienne, 2020
Video, Performing Arts
Image courtesy of Paula Neves

Darielle and I both lost all our performing and choreography work mid-March 2020 when everything closed for the pandemic. It was not just difficult financially but it was also difficult physically. We both had full time training and performing schedules that were interrupted and it was really difficult to maintain the physical strength and agility we need for our careers. We weren’t able to train together at all until the summer and even then it was minimal since the circus studios were also closed.


Lament 7, 2020
Engraved oxidized steel, stainless steel cord, wood, granite
Images courtesy Pascal Giacomini

Lament 9, 2020
Engraved oxidized steel, stainless steel cord, wood, granite

My current artwork was ignited by the pandemic. The continued announcement of covid victims took a toll on my spirit. I had to find an outlet to process the layers of information by the media, including the George Floyd murder. This series of work is to honor those who have lost their lives in 2020 in a permanent and artistic way.


Untitled, 2021
Acrylic paint, flashe and soft pastel on canvas

Wright’s paintings collage architectural features and facades to build mise-en-scenes that exist around the everyday landscape. In recent years they have focused on subjects shown in a manner that is simultaneously surreal and familiar. These common elements are often placed in tragic and alien settings. Each painting is an exercise in technique: the works mimic the machine-made quality of an architectural rendering through isometric posturing and applied textures. Their work invites intimate viewing and challenges the notion of scale through the absence of figures. The paintings aim to challenge the often sober, visual code that exists in architecture by exploring the surreal through materiality and composition.

Off The Wall

M2Art & Design Online, 2020
Hybrid of drawing on paper with pencil and pen and Google slides
Image courtesy Maura McLaughlin

Once COVID hit we quickly reconfigured our program to an online, digital design class with a hybrid visual arts component. We filmed 30 videos as remote assistance for the students and began zooming as soon as the school was ready. We studied the work of Henri Matisse and explored drawing, composition, color, communication, photography and character design. The end resulted in portfolios for the students and assets for our final mural.surreal through materiality and composition.


New Reflections, 2021
Photoshop Collage, Rhino Rendering

New Reflections is a public artwork visualization that reimagines interactions in our world influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. It features mirrored surfaces that sway distorting the surrounding environment and participant’s reflections. A tint of color to the mirrors brightens the environment. It only takes a glance and your world is transformed. As other participants enter the space near you, your realities become interwoven. The artwork is about reflection and finding a form that responds to context while inspiring the community. As our world has forever changed, *New Reflection*s is an artwork and visual metaphor to help understand our new world.

On Community and Public Art

“As an artist and community member [of Mid-Wilshire], I am looking forward to exploring how community engagement has changed as the city reopens. I am interested in observing how the fabric and dynamic of the community has shifted since this period of immense change in our lives.”


Breathe, 2020
Dance, Live Performance, Site Specific
Image courtesy of Denise Leitner

Breathe was conceived, directed and choreographed in 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Created with social distancing in mind, audience members stayed in their parked cars during the performance, safe and socially distanced from the performers and other audience members. The audience participated in the performance by lending their headlights to illuminate the performance. Breathe centered around our communal experience of the shut down due to the pandemic and the 2020 protests. During these unprecedented times, now more than ever, art must be an action of change and provide an opportunity to confront our humanity.


Lacuna, 2021
Acrylic on birch wood

During the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020/21 the entire film industry was shuttered. Productions of TV/Film and I wanted to paint a portrait of quiet introspection, encapsulating the feeling of void and numbness that may have been felt during the onset of the pandemic last year. I imagined this was a moment and feeling that replayed itself in different corners of the city.

On Community and Public Art

“I’d like to see a sense of normalcy return for everyday people [in Koreatown], so they can enjoy public art in public spaces as intended.”

Upcoming Event

OC Nightmarket 
October 22-24, 5pm-12am
OC Fair & Event Center
Event information
Get directions


The Quiet Before the Music, 2019

The pandemic nearly brought Make Music LA to a halt as venues were shuttered and large gatherings were forbidden. We pivoted by offering musicians the opportunity to live-stream their performances, but many participants didn’t feel tech-savvy enough and virtual performances felt like the antithesis of what Make Music Day is about. Although grateful that technology allowed the music to continue, we are thrilled that people can gather again. Make Music Day offers a unique way to reach out to communities through the universal language of music, to rise together and make our collaborative voices heard.

Mui Ito
with The Sherman Oaks
Chamber Foundation

Resist Hate, Spread Love, 2021

The Sherman Oaks Chamber Foundation coordinates the painting of all of the LADOT utility boxes located in Sherman Oaks. The boxes are each painted by different local artists. Artists submit their work to our Board who selects the best ones which we believe will enhance the beauty of our community.

On Community and Public Art

“The Sherman Oaks Chamber Foundation continues to paint and maintain all the LADOT utility boxes in Sherman Oaks. The boxes enhance the beauty of our community and help them appreciate and support the idea of public art. It also helps showcase and support our local artists.

[Public Art is:] Beauty, Community, Inclusion.”


Love is Love, 2021
Cross stitch

Wow. I was supposed to have a show last April that has been pushed to this November; and it’s a whole different show. I didn’t want to say the same things. also, making public art helped me get through this year. I needed to find a healthy rebellion and spreading joy seemed the best way. I have plans for many more projects, because of things that I wound up doing during the pandemic.

On Community and Public Art

“[Public Art is:] inclusive, inspiring, encompassing.”


L.A. Water (Covid), 2021
Mixed Media
Image courtesy of Michael Patrick Bailey

During lockdown, we learned about what did not work in our society. But do you know what DID work? The water. To wash hands. To shower before Zooming. To do the dishes when we needed a break from our family. To put out fires. The water connected us in a great network of pipes and pumps. It worked so well we didn’t even talk about it. Thanks, LADWP. On my walks I made the sidewalks my studio… crouching down to touch the City, to grab words and images and meaning and textures from contractor stamps and utility meter covers.

On Community and Public Art

“I am looking forward to once again collaborating face to face with artistic partners in studios and rehearsal rooms and kitchens, peering over shoulders and pointing at InDesign files onscreen, passing materials back and forth over a dining room table [in Los Feliz]. I can’t wait to drop in and see what people are working on up close, seeing how they organize their workspace, and making plans. It will be great to participate in salons, readings, neighborhood council meetings, and performances.

[Public Art:] Orient, Connect, Suggest.”

Upcoming Event

New Art Product Drop! 
January 1, 2022, 12am
Event information


Outside In, 2020
Manzanita branch, twine and electrical

My performers heart turned inward during covid and wrung out through my hands. I am a performing artist and lighting designer. With little outlet for performance over the last year, I set my hands and creator mind to making chandeliers out of manzanita branches.

Rochele Gomez &
Nick Lowe
with coordination by
Punto Lairs inc

Untitled, Installation view, 2020
Image courtesy of Theresa Chavez

Punto Lairs inc stems from artist Gabriel Garza’s time developing a sculpture yard and presentation venue based around a buried sculpture in his yard. After an accidental removal of the work, the yard became free to fully invite participation from outside artists–the only stipulation being that they allow the work to be installed outside. Our two-person program has resulted in collaborations with 30 artists in person, as well as additional programming through email and our website that included 6 writers, and 3 digital artists. These images are of a stained glass sculpture by Rochele Gomez, and a painting by Nick Lowe. This was the 9th show in our program.


Hollow Earth, 2021
Video, sound, movement

Hollow Earth is a meditation on land and legacy. […] To work with the body there is an acknowledgement of the importance of form. Form to a visually guided culture is language. In my work I often wonder what my form speaks. I allow my form to tell a tale, an embedded story in the body. What does my Pipil heritage tell others or myself?

In 2010 I started practicing Ankoku-Butoh with Koichi and Hiroko Tamano, second generation Butoh masters. This has colored the rest of my work to solidify it more and more along a esoteric body based approach. In Butoh, I found the same freedom that I saw in the avant-garde performance art scene and the ritualistic endeavors of the spiritual.

On Community and Public Art

“As our indoor space became hazardous to our health we sought the public outdoor space for refuge. I feel this was a much needed and wonderful movement toward reclaiming a space which promotes union and well being. I hope and will support any outdoor use and outdoor meeting grounds, especially ones that unite art and public access [in Jefferson Park/ Exposition Park].”

Upcoming Event

Marfa Open Arts Festival
September 22–October 13
Marfa Open, Marfa, TX
Event information
Get directions

Bryan A.

Project Free Me, Website detail, 2021

Project Free Me, Installation view, 2021

The start of the pandemic coincided with the grand opening of my creative business. Suffering almost a complete loss in creative opportunities across my mediums of expression, I was severely depressed and demotivated. Forced to think about what I wanted, how to get it and why it was important, I realized I had to continue creating for the sake of the work itself. It helped push me out of depression and into a life I thought was impossible.

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