Then and Now

Youth artists

Christian Ascencion, Santa Monica College, age 18

I had a great time in the program because it showed me the many perspectives art can have.

George Can

My choice of design I put into my banner reflect the USC community. The Metro train represents the new Expo train which I’m really happy they are building because it leads to Santa Monica. The T-Rex king of the dinosaurs which is the symbol to the National History Museum also my favorite dinosaur. Felix is famous for their great deals in car sales. The city in the back is the Los Angeles buildings. A jet is the signal of freedom and it also represents history for me. Robert Gram a famous sculpture which I have put one of his landmarks on my banner, this statue is found in the center of the USC coliseum. Over all this has given me a good and fun experience and thanks to this program it has given me the hope to be an artist. Thank You.

Eddy Ventura, Los Angeles City College, Graduated from El Camino Real High School, age 23

Music is a big part of history, it has always had a part when it comes to inspiring a generation. Year after year the world gives birth to new music and to new people. There are so many genres and sub-genres that come from different times in the past. Some genres don’t become too popular but true fans always remain. The similarity among people always brings them together, especially when the similarities are in music. From huge concerts to local backyard gigs, people come together to enjoy music. Now, music is a big part of this era and it is almost everywhere. I am a musician myself and I see music as art for your ears. This is why I decided to design something that represents what I think are the popular types of music that define this generation. The banner depicts a band playing a concert, a rapper rapping and a DJ mixing it up at a rave. These genres will make big history later.

Lead artist

Willie Middlebrook was born in Detroit Michigan, raised in Southern California and has been a professional artist for over 35 years. Throughout his career, Willie’s art has been showcased in over 200 solo and group exhibitions, receiving numerous awards & fellowships. He has also directed both the Watts Tower Arts Center and the Los Angeles Photography Centers . His work is in many of the most prestigious public and private art collections across the world including LACMA, Harvard University Fogg Museum, Fratelli Alinari Library, Florence, Italy and the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Working with the young people on the USC/LA Commons Light Pole Project has been an great experience; their willingness to try new things and openness to freely exchange ideas was very inspiring to me.”

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