The Bowtie

11.2 / In/With/For the Public

The Bowtie

By Julia Meltzer January 15, 2020

In/With/For the Public is supported by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing quality of life by championing and sustaining the arts, promoting early childhood literacy, and supporting research to cure chronic disease.


Color photos by Gina Clyne; black and white photos by Roberto Guerra

In 2014, Clockshop began a partnership with California State Parks to work at the Bowtie, an 18-acre post-industrial parcel of land along the LA River.

The land had been owned by the state for over a decade, but had been underused, neglected, and practically forgotten. Our mission is to bring temporary public art projects and interpretive programming to the site in order to educate people about the river and the future state park along its banks. Our programming was initiated out of concern and awareness of real estate speculation and the changes in our neighborhood due to gentrification. Over the past five years we have commissioned and programmed over 90 projects working in partnership with California State Parks. The work ranges from conceptual sculpture to an intensive workshop for youth that teaches them interpretation skills and reconnects them to the land and environment around the LA River.

We insist that the artists we work with spend time at the site, getting to know the rhythms, sounds, flora, and fauna at the Bowtie. All projects are temporary; vandalism is almost a given. We encourage artists to think about work that can withstand the weather and human destruction. We relish chance encounters with our public audience and also deliberate gatherings around the campfire on the night of the rising full moon. We bring Los Angelenos back to the river to show them that our river is not just concrete channel, but a lush riparian habitat full of coyotes, snowy egrets, and giant blue herons.

Julia Meltzer, Clockshop

Comments ShowHide

Related Content