Saturday, January 26, 2013

#252: UCLA's Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden

Where in L.A. can you sit on a beautifully manicured lawn and enjoy a picnic while taking in world class art? Did I mention that there are naked women? And it's free?

The place is none other than the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, which spans nearly 5 acres of the UCLA campus. The Garden is home to over 70 sculptures by artists such as Auguste Rodin, Isamu Noguchi, Henri Matisse, Jacques Lipchitz and Henry Moore

Before there was the running man, there was The Walking Man by Auguste Rodin

We headed out to the quiet campus on the last day of 2012, and it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. We snagged prime parking ($3/hour), which was the only thing we had to pay for because the garden is free to view!

Queen of Sheba by Alexander Archipenko

Dynamic Rhythms Orange (Phase III) by Fletcher Benton

Brad noted that 90% of the sculptures are of naked women, and he's pretty accurate. Here's just a sampling of the nakedness:

I don't think you're ready for this jelly.
Dance Columns by Robert Graham

Automne by Henri Laurent

Freya by Gerhard Marces

Standing Woman by Gaston Lachaise

Even surrounded by gorgeous statuesque women, Brad said his favorite pieces were of this horse:

Pensive by Deborah Butterfield

and this thing which he called an alien face:

Ptolemy III by Jean Arp

My favorite pieces were the ones depicting mother and child. Some were easy to see such as this one from Costa Rica:

Mother with Child at her Hip by Francisco Zuniga

Others you had to kind of look at and use your imagination:

Mother and Child by Sorel Etroo

I also liked these pieces:

Point as a Set, No. 25 by Claire Falkenstein

War Remembrance by Sorel Etrog

Man contemplating where to go for lunch. (So lifelike!)

Have you been to the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

#251: Venice Mosaic Tile House

The Mosaic Tile House in Venice is a house built on a foundation of love. Artists Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran transformed the house, covering the inside and outside with beautiful mosaic tile. The house also contains their artist studios and their own homage to the Watts Towers (#75).  

the side of the house

Unlike the mosaic house in Santa Monica (#235), this one is open regularly for tours. To schedule one, just call Cheri on the number listed on their website. When I called, Cheri was very flexible with what time I could come in, and we set up a private tour that same day. The tour lasts an hour and is $10 a person. 

A tiled fortune cookie in their front yard

one of the fortunes

the kitchen

In addition to tile, there is another form of art on display: paintings.  The love that Cheri and Gonzalo share emanates through these paintings and tells the tale of how they met and the journey of their relationship.

Cheri's painting of her and Gonzalo

We had a really great experience at the Venice Tile House. Our little girl loved the house as well, and even enjoyed a good tummy time session on their tiled kitchen table. Cheri is a warm and inviting host, and really makes you feel at home. Follow the tiled rainbow to this pot of gold!

a bathtub full of veggies and herbs in their front yard

bottles coming out of a water faucet

the front porch

Cheri's amazing portraits of Gonzalo

Have you been to the Venice Mosaic House? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!

Friday, January 4, 2013

#250: Orchid Fever

Happy 2013 L.A. adventurers! Our first post of the new year is for all you crazy horticulturists. 

It's a jungle in Culver City... If you loved the wildlife at STAR Eco Station (#247), head over to Orchid Fever, Culver City's greenhouse jungle paradise. Here you'll find koi fish, turtles, a fake crocodilian, and orchids galore.

 Roar! (or whatever sound crocodilians make)

Orchid Fever is known for producing the best, longest lasting orchids in L.A.. I'd seriously never seen such beautiful orchids. Every plant there looked fake (that's meant to be a compliment). 

I recently took my mom here because my parents grow orchids at home, and she was in heaven. 

We didn't buy anything on this trip, but I really enjoyed just walking around the spacious store. Next time I need to get a gift for someone, they're getting an orchid! Oh, and for all you guys out there, Valentine's Day is coming up next month, so if you were planning on getting your gal roses, why not step out of the box a little and give her an orchid? 

Have you been to Orchid Fever? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!

Orchid Fever