Life Lessons From South L.A.’s Most Influential “Rag Man”

Renowned Artist John Outterbridge Has Spent Decades Mining His Surroundings for Material

John Outterbridge has spent more than eight decades noticing, saving, and recombining parts of his surroundings. It’s an artistic method. His sculptures bring together different found materials, and the resulting assemblage turns what might seem like random detritus into a concentrated aesthetic experience. But it’s also a philosophy. “At its root,” Outterbridge explained recently in an email interview, “is the idea that everything has value. Everything has meaning. Everything has impact.”

Outterbridge was born in 1933 in Greenville, North Carolina, where he saw and felt the effects of segregation and took …

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The Most Influential Southern Art School You Never Heard Of

At North Carolina’s Black Mountain College, Avant-Garde Artists Taught Students to Ignore Everything They Had Been Taught

“It must have been so much fun to be at Black Mountain,” a friend said the other day. She’d been up to Boston for the “Leap Before You Look” show …

Let’s Face It, California Is Nuts

From Education to Infrastructure, the Golden State Dares to Defy Common Sense

My fellow Californians, the state of our state is nuttier than ever.

In saying that, I do not meant to judge the sanity of individual Californians—to the contrary, national surveys show …

Bankrupt San Bernardino is Rich in the Arts

To Advance Its Revival and Change the Narrative, the City Should Invest in Creativity

The arts could help revive San Bernardino—its streets, businesses, neighborhoods, and urban core—by encouraging visitors, sparking new development, and giving the city new narratives.

That was the conclusion of a panel …

Openness Is the Mother of Invention

In America, Curiosity Is Often the Only Qualification You Need

From the light bulb to the iPhone, America has a long history of revolutionary inventions. So what does this ingenuity spring from? What are the conditions that allow for our …

Cyndi Lauper Is My Mascot

Muralist Judithe Hernández Also Promised a Friend She’d Read an Introduction to Wittgenstein

Muralist Judithe Hernández was a member of the East Los Angeles artist collective Los Four. Her newest public artwork, L.A. Sonata, will be unveiled at the opening of the new …