WEST HOLLYWOOD—In front of the Center for Early Education (CEE), at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard and Melrose Avenue, stands a newly unveiled public art installation. The exhibit, entitled “Wake Up and Dream” by artist Friedrich Kunath, is part of West Hollywood’s Urban Art Program.
The art initiative began in 1987 when the Urban Art Policy was codified into the city’s municipal code. According to the city of West Hollywood website, the law required “developers of certain projects to contribute one percent of the project cost to on-site public art or to contribute a commensurate amount to the City’s Public Art and Beautification Fund. The program is committed to promoting interest in the arts and adding vibrancy to West Hollywood’s urban fabric.”
The Center for Early Education is a diverse independent school for children up to the sixth grade. The new construction led to the commission of “Wake Up and Dream” to fulfil the Urban Art Policy.
The installation a mixed-media, composed of styrofoam, aqua resin, gesso, glass, acrylic and latex paint, and neon glass bulbs. The piece incorporated the work of students who ranged from 2 to 12 years old to create a series of unique emojis. The students voted on which emojis made it to production and displayed.
The work is intended “to portray the dream-like state between sleep and wakefulness. The sculptural elements, including a bird wearing shoes and a large hand holding a rainbow, along with the ‘otter playing with a tennis ball’ and ‘cloud with a cloud beard’ emojis inspired by the students could be viewed as a physical manifestation of a child’s imagination,” the city said in a statement.
The installation was unveiled in a ceremony on March 29, with Friedrich Kunath there to pull back the curtain.
For more details about the city of West Hollywood’s Urban Art Program visit https://www.weho.org/residents/arts-and-culture/urban-art-program or contact Rebecca Ehemann, City of West Hollywood Public Art Coordinator, at (323) 848-6846 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.