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Monday, December 31, 2012

Holiday Reflection

The last of 2012.   Quiet.  In between the xmas parties and tonight, the last, fittingly at a neighbor's to celebrate the coming of the New Year.

New Years Eve Day seems a quiet day.  The frenzy is gone.  We've eaten quite enough.   In two days, our work year begins, again.  That's ok as for me, a new year is full of challenge and surprise and I would wish that for all of my friends and associates.

Today I am taking down our tree.  It was beautiful even though not as large nor as full as those of latter years when we filled our two story space with the biggest, bestest and freshest ever.

Development has robbed us of the xmas tree stands by the trainyards downtown where we would stand at auction with all of Los Angeles, vying for trees brought down from a mythical Northwest forest where there was actually snow, still caught in some fir branches.  Gone with this holiday trek is the annual breakfast at Vickmans before and, after our leisurely drive with tree atop car from Alameda west along Olympic Boulevard to the sea, watching the slow development of Koreatown, the continuing evolution of our city.

That part of our life, even the larger closer family that used to gather for the holidays, is no more as older friends and family are lost and younger generations ofttimes too fade away into other lives.  There remains a sadness and an ache for once was, yet we count ourselves lucky to remain included in communities that make up so much of the sustenance of life.

There remains throughout a continuous thread that binds all this together.

The year end is a reflective time and, as I remove ornaments from the tree, I am finding glittery mementos from the fabric of my life brightly shining here, permitting me once more some of those moments.
There are the beaded eggs - some now shattered, others faded - I so patiently threaded and carefully wrapped around blown shells over three decades ago, sitting in the "women's lounge" - hard to believe such a lounge would still exist - of my law school. And the next year there: the styrofoam covered balls, with long straight pins dangerously falling on the floor.  All so much more fun than law school... and definitely part of the reason I became a writer and photographer.
My handmade sachets and hand-sewn whimsical Marimekko-fabric'd animals that we hung on the tree or gave to friends in those years with little money to spend on presents.
In the halcyon music industry years, the time I used album label cutouts to decorate the tree.
Soon, the tree was filled with my children's art and photos, hung proudly year by happy year.
Throughout there were the holiday gift from friends, wonderful imaginative objets d'art, including delights from those with whom I worked, like the handmade crocheted stars from a co-worker at United Artists. 
A few of the lovely silk animal ornaments that would decorate Mom's little tree the years before she died remain for me to hang, a vivid simple reminder of her interests in Asian art and order.
Felt ornaments of Sesame Street & other characters found so long ago in New England craft fairs, traditional German glass decorations, and other beautiful or strange stuff that it just doesn't hurt to hang up there once more.

And always ribbons, some historic like the red decorative ones with gold threads that I grabbed when I. Magnin, a historic San Francisco and then Southern California retail chain, went out of business.  And the others, like the ones that my Aunt Lillian always scooped up to use for the next year.   My aunt is also gone and today I am the one saving ribbons, but not the used wrapping paper!


Opened up in the frenzy of holiday preparation, then more leisurely wrapped away in the same boxes, year to year, the ornaments return me to family and friends; lives, loves and experiences from year to year, many as tarnished and ragged as the boxes themselves, taped and re-taped but holding still.

Christmas and the start of the New Year gift us with the opportunity to remind ourselves what is the best of us, both when we reach out to others in support and good wishes and when we turn into ourselves to hold dear and strong what we have lived and learned and then, go forward to use those memories and actions to make our lives and those of others glitter throughout the next year.

A HAPPY NEW YEAR to all.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Best for the Holidays

It has been a busy year, filled with some fascinating photographic activity, participation in several terrific exhibitions and seeing others - Paris Photo, FIAC, Art Platform, PhotoLA among the biggies and local and friend's work and exhibitions among the even more important -  PLUS two very positive review sessions: Palm Springs Photo Festival and Lens/Culture/FotoFest/Paris.


Loved being in the community of photographers, curators, gallerists, writers and making new friends and loved doing the work.  Stay tuned for my Winter Update, reports from the Detroit:Definition project when I return to Detroit in the Spring and for some other exciting news!

Loved as well enjoying my friends and family as yet another year passes that has brought me memories to cherish and a future to look forward to.

Happy Holidays to All.

Sara Jane Boyers


Fall at Schloss Neuhaus, Austria  ©Copyright2012 Sara Jane Boyers

Friday, December 14, 2012

Traffic Jams, Solved

 While it is true I seem to be looking for traffic for my GRIDLOCK series, at the same time I am keenly intrigued by the many solutions to be found for this more than annoying issue, especially in my home city of Los Angeles where, depending upon the time of day and circumstances, a drive from the beach to downtown can take anywhere from twenty minutes to two hours....



Here, from a TEDx TALK about Stockholm:   Traffic Jams, Solved  http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2012/12/traffic-jams-solved/4160/

and the full TEDx Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/jonas_eliasson_how_to_solve_traffic_jams.html

The comments are also quite good.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

In the end though, it is worth reading the Los Angeles Times architectural critic, Christopher Hawthorne for his comparison of our parade events - the Rock to LACMA and the Shuttle to the Science Center - to Rome.

Something to think about and, without even knowing about the article, echoed by many today.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-shuttle-rock-parades-20121007,0,6348873.story



Let us hope that these two events, to which I add the spectacle of light, planning and engineering of the Mulholland Bridge takedown, will inspire a new generation to be the creative element that sparks all the rest.

Gridlock, Bridges & Shuttles, oh my... PartTwo


Yesterday, with a friend who had to get somewhere in the evening, we waited until the last moment but the Shuttle never came.  A tire breakdown, a tree to be cut.  I didn't understand how much this could delay until this morning when I parked on Gramercy, a few blocks west of Western and a few blocks north of Martin Luther King.

Although it was just 7:45 am when I arrived, people were already there or walking toward MLK, watching the overhead helicopters to position themselves to see it.

A tremendous behemoth was ensconsed on our paltry boulevards, shifting right then left, almost never straight ahead to avoid the trees, especially on Martin Luther King Boulevard where the pines were planted in the Reverend's memory and could not be cut down.   The light was extremely direct and the photos contrasty, trying to catch detail in the large white space of the shuttle while at the same time trying to preserve the fascinating tiles of so much of its surface.  All one could think about was the engineering, of this object itself - and a clearer understanding of the Challenger tragedy when the tiles fell off - and then today, of just getting this down the street.















 
















Great to be there, but also love watching this timelapse video of Endeavor's LA journey on the LA Times site:  http://framework.latimes.com/2012/10/15/time-lapse-video-space-shuttle-endeavours-trek-across-l-a/



Gridlock, Bridges & Shuttles, oh my... PartOne



So much of our Los Angeles streets have been laid bare, literally and figuratively, this past month in Los Angeles.  From Carmageddon II to the magnificent entrance of the Space Shuttle Endeavor, when people stopped on the freeways to see its last flyby, and today, its final journey, earthbound at two miles per hour, to the Space Center where it will be forever housed.

Whether the concerns of incredibly awful traffic -the condition in which I have been photographing all these many years while stuck in it, in my car, on my shift and out my window - to the absence thereof leading up to the closing of the 405 to demolish the old Mulholland Bridge to amazing plans and works from municipal, electrical, aeronautic and other agencies to put together this last final parade of this beloved of space shuttles, Los Angeles has drawn together as one community these days.  It is exhilarating.

I walked the streets yesterday and today - Crenshaw and Martin Luther King - streets that radiated neighborliness, talking to people from within and without, all entranced by the shuttle's passage.  Adults brought their mothers and fathers.  Parents brought their children.  Cameras and mobiles recorded pics and through it all, the space shuttle moved ever so slightly, to the right, to the left, to avoid a tree branch here, an electric light pole there.

I heard talk of the history of what we now call "South LA" and could see vestiges of that even as I walked: the old Jewish temple now a baptist ministry.   The reminder that what was once called "West" in the early days of the city, a place filled with magnificent homes - many still beautifully preserved and others now being revived - and orderly communities - was name-changed to South Central after the Watts riots of 65.  Now changed further to South LA.   The shuttle passed Leimart Park, a gathering of intellectuals and jazz clubs in the 20th century, started out African American but appealing to smart people all over the city.  A fought for new Metro stop brings us there again.

I met those who had worked at some of our fabled rocket plants - Hughes, Rocketdyne, Lockheed...

For now - perhaps more later - some pics from yesterday on Crenshaw below Martin Luther King Bouldvard, people waiting for the shuttle and today, starting at 8:30 am, there it was...

below:  a somewhat chronological order and this first set, people watching...







 












 

 

 


Friday, September 21, 2012

Wow, a new post!

Been the busiest year - with some incredible highs and a couple of lows .....

More to come with an update but today is about Los Angeles, and its history of aerospace and flight.

A child of Los Angeles with childhood memories of visits to my parents' friends, the husband of which invented the atomic clock that was essential to space flight, I sat today on the beach - where else! - to watch the last flight of the Endeavor, cradled on a 747, a plane now dear to my heart (see my 747 Wing House series), do its last ever fly over.

Some quick pics...



Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Year in Review - So Far in Installation

Working on my website with installation shots of the year's exhibits, I realize that I have been in exhibits averaging one per month since January.  Plus other awards and good news, it has been a good and busy almost 1/2 year.  More to come on acitivities soon in my periodic email news report but, thought it would be nice to post the installation pictures right now.

January 2012: starting off with 'ROUND THE CLOCK: CHINESE AMERICAN ARTISTS WORKING IN LOS ANGELES at the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College, a Getty sponsored Pacific Standard Time Exhibtion.   The beautiful and important exhibit by independant curator, Sonia Mak, bringing into the well-deserved spotlight these fine artists, lessor known possibly because of their ethnicity, but known within important artist circles, who worked commercially but showed spectacularly.

I was privileged to have included my photographs (in a print and a photo flipbook) of Tyrus Wong in his retirement, flying his amazing handmade kites for the past 30 years at the beach.






February2012: At Morono Kiang Gallery, Los Angeles Downtown, curated by Shervin Shahbazi:  FAR AWAY, SO CLOSE.  Photographs by LA Artists of Los Angeles in the l980s.



MARCH 2012: Along with occasional artist collaborator, Martin Cox, our project WEST COAST/WEST COAST was exhibited along with other international artists at the Western Australia photo biennial in Perth, FOTO FREO in the DIVERGENCE exhibit at Midland Atelier .






MAY2012:  LOOKING GLASS, my first ever exhibition of work from my DETROIT: DEFINITION project, included in an exhibit curated by Shana Nys Dambrot at the Analog Salon, Culver City.





MAY2012:  Chosen in a juried competition and exhibited at the annual AIA National Convention in DC, my photograph of the 747 Wing House, representing one of the "Best of the Year: ASMP/Architecture."