Mitchell de Jarnett: How Public Art Ruined My Life – June 25

The “View from the Edge” lecture series on modern art welcomes designer and public artist Mitchell de Jarnett to a free lecture this Thursday, “How Public Art Ruined My Life.”  6:30PM at the Downey City Library (11121 Brookshire Ave, 90241).

Downey has had a rocky relationship with its 7-year-old “Arts in Public Places” ordinance, which has funded a handful of things, such as memorials to the Police and Veterans outside of city hall, as well as murals around town on utility boxes and the front of the Avenue Theatre.  Funds have also been used to help Stay Gallery on Downey Avenue open its doors to become a community arts & culture hub.

De Jarnett is a veteran of the public art scene.  He designed, along with his artist partner Lita Albuquerque the largest, most expensive piece of public art that has ever been commissioned by the State of California.  Located outside the State Capitol building in Sacramento, “Golden State” is a walking exhibition through the history of gold, science and astrophysics, and is visually combined with the history of California in a two block long permanent installation. The project completed without much fanfare because then governor Gray Davis was in the midst of a recall election.

Mitchell De Jarnett graduated from the California State University, Long Beach School of Fine Arts and the UCLA Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning. He has practiced in the USA, France, Germany, India, and Egypt where he managed the design of the interiors for the Library of Alexandria for Snohetta Architects. His current practice spans multiple design fields including new media, public art, and architectural design. He has recently completed construction of a large public plaza / environmental artwork (with partner, artist Lita Albuquerque) at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Grand Central Art Forum. He has taught at SCI-Arc, Otis College of Art and Design, UCLA, and the California State Polytechnic University at Pomona.

“View From the Edge” is curated by Roy Anthony Shabla and co-sponsored by the Downey Museum of Art.  This is a free lecture provided to the community by the Downey Arts Coalition.  A salon is held afterward at a private home, which attendees are welcome to attend.

Art lovers are also welcome to “View From the Edge TV Night” at Casa La Reina (home of curator Roy Anthony Shabla), Tuesday night the 25th at 6:30PM, for a relaxed evening screening of the film “Pollack” about abstract expressionist artist Jackson Pollack.  For more information or directions on either event, email .

By Downey Arts Coalition

Downey Arts Coalition is a movement of several people, however this website is currently managed and updated by Andrew J Wahlquist.

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