If you are looking for some places in and around Los Angeles to enjoy some free art while also becoming more familiar with the local culture, here are a few areas that you might want to explore.

Hollywood Pop! Park Offers Opportunity to Relax

A new pop-up park called Hollywood Pop! has recently appeared on the southwest corner of Selma and Ivar avenues in Hollywood. Situated just up the block from Space 15 Twenty and Amoeba, the little park features wayfinding signage, tables, seating and shade provided by colorful tree sculptures. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops in the area, as well as schools and residential properties. On Sundays, the little park is right in the middle of the Hollywood Farmer’s Market, providing a nice place to relax while enjoying the market.

Paid for by the Sunset & Vine Business Improvement District and designed by the non-profit design group La-Mas, the pop-up park is expected to remain in its location through 2016. Prior to the park upgrade, the space was nothing more than a patchy brown lawn strip with no place to sit or to get under the shade. Those who are behind the unveiling of the park hope it will show the public that there are simple ways to improve the space throughout Hollywood.

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Candy-Colored Boulders Beautify the Desert

Just as the Hollywood Pop! park has added beauty to an area that was once nothing more than dirt, the art pieces of Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone, have spiced up the scene. Located off I-15 in an area that is about one hour outside of Las Vegas and about halfway between the Nevada desert towns of Jean and Sloan, the sculptures are made from locally sourced rocks that have been painted in eye-catching colors and stacked along the roadside.

Called “Seven Magic Mountains,” the project consists of seven totems made from boulders weighing anywhere from 20,000 pounds to 25 tons. The land on which the piece sits is controlled by the Bureau of Land Management. According to Rondinone, the location was chosen because it physically and symbolically represents the mid-way between the natural and the artificial. The artificial is represented by the highway and the flow of traffic between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, while the natural is represented by the desert, mountain ranges and Jean Dry Lake. The piece is expected to remain on display until May 2018.

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Classic Neon Signs Making a Comeback in Los Angeles

Roadside sculptures aren’t the only art you can spot in the area. Once considered the signature look of Los Angeles, classic neon signs have been out of style since the 90s as they were replaced by less-costly LED lighting. Once viewed as tacky, neon lights are now considered charming, timeless and nostalgic. Neon lights also represent craftsmanship as they are shaped and created by artists who specialize in bending the glass in just the right way to create the desired look. In fact, the resurgence of neon lights has been so significant that some local craftspeople are reporting that they are having difficulty finding enough glass to meet the current demand. Even the Museum of Neon Art recently reopened in Glendale to help foster an appreciation for the workmanship that goes into classic neon signs.

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(all data current as of 5/29/2017)

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