SYNERGY OF ART
The Village at Westfield Topanga prepares to showcase renowned and emerging artists through partnerships with UCLA Arts, upcoming superstar Nova Jiang, celebrated local muralists and radio stationKCSN 88.5 FM.
In case you haven’t noticed, Woodland Hills Magazine has been putting a keen focus on the evolution of The Village at Westfield Topanga as of late, tracking the evolution and progress of this socialite-approved mega-complex. Replete with designer retail outlets, inspired dining spots and a whimsical beauty all its own, The Village – as it has become known – remains on the lips of every Southern Californian who keeps a focused eye on what’s exciting and new.
With the regular announcements of which restaurants, shops and other attractions will be joining The Village’s ever-growing family has come news of an exclusive partnership – one that has caught the attention of art aficionados throughout Southern California. As San Fernando Valley’s new “outdoor social and street retail destination” set to open this coming September, The Village at Westfield Topanga just announced an addition to its myriad of cutting-edge attractions in a showcase of art, culture and music. According to Village at Westfield representatives, this foray is gearing up to provide “an experience unlike any other in the Valley.”
Westfield spokespeople pulled the wraps off exclusive partnerships with UCLA Arts and a handful of movers and shakers in the local art community, along with radio station KCSN 88.5 FM. Woodland Hills’ multi-faceted retail destination plans on incorporating three newly commissioned works from celebrated local artist Elkpen, permanent art installations from Nova Jiang – an emerging superstar on the international arts scene – plus an innovative children’s art program created by artist and educator Karen Silton of MosaicMorphosis and a unique children’s play experience featuring the visually elegant, three-dimensional Luckey Climber – all of which are scheduled to premiere alongside previously-announced live music acts hosted by on-site radio station KCSN 88.5.
“Westfield is excited that L.A.’s art community has embraced The Village,” says Larry Green, Senior Vice President of Development for Westfield. “These artists are a perfect complement to our retail, restaurant and lifestyle assembly of tenants; indeed, each of these particular works of art tell a story about the San Fernando Valley, its history and its rich, iconic culture.”
In no doubt based on her one-of-a-kind creations featured on buildings, buses, beaches and fences throughout the U.S. and Canada, Los Angeles-based muralist Christian Kasperkovitz – known as Elkpen – has become a sensation in the artistic community, regularly applauded for creating thoughtful renderings of plants and wildlife. Recently, this brilliant visionary has produced three unforgettable 14 x 48-foot murals that are scheduled to be exhibited adjacent to a meandering, multi-purpose trail along Victory Boulevard between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Owensmouth Avenue. Taken as a whole, the murals reflect upon the rediscovered legacy and untapped civic potential of the nearby Los Angeles River, while also chronicling the San Fernando Valley’s evolution into the economic and cultural powerhouse it’s considered today.
Each mural was inspired by a specific key theme: One depicting nature in the Valley before the area was inhabited by early settlers and Native Americans, the second featuring the people and events that have impacted and shaped the local community and economy and the third portraying a synthesis alluding to the Valley’s present-day renaissance. As Kasperkovitz herself puts it, “Westfield’s interest in getting behind art that speaks of the natural history of the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles River, the change that has occurred in their mutual and respective ecologies and what we might do today as natural citizens is remarkable. To say being part of this was a great opportunity is a gross understatement.”
Westfield’s partnership with UCLA Arts is poised to hit the ground running with the launch of Art in Public Spaces, a program to support emerging artists that included proposals first submitted in 2014 for a permanent, large-scale art installation for The Village at Westfield Topanga. Of the 40 submissions received, a jury of leading professionals selected a piece entitled “Red Car,” created by 2009 M.F.A. graduate Nova Jiang, known for creating artwork that encourages the tactile and creative participation of an audience. Jiang has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, her work even being featured in exhibits all across the world including Paris, Tokyo, Seoul and Park City.
Slated to debut this September for The Village’s grand opening, “Red Car” – which pays homage to the storied Pacific Electric, L.A.’s original mass transit system of the early 20th century and which included the much-beloved Red Car trolley – is scheduled to be fabricated and installed by Jiang, who is working in close collaboration with Carlson Arts LLC within the property’s prominent Village Square.
As The Village also celebrates each of the art proposals submitted to Westfield and UCLA Arts with a separate exhibit to be featured on the property in early 2016, artist and educator Karen Silton of MosaicMorphosis has teamed up with the West Valley Boys & Girls Club for a summer arts program to create mosaic benches that will be placed outside and in front of the new Costco at The Village at Westfield Topanga. Silton, who has been commissioned to create art mosaics for many renowned institutions including The Getty, is known for highly detailed imagery inspired by her love of nature.
Under Silton’s design and direction, over 300 children in the program from ages six to 16 learned how to make their own ceramic tiles, as well as how to assemble them and other pre-cut ceramic pieces. These tiles have since been incorporated into the aforementioned cement benches that are scheduled to be installed on property next month.
Finally, The Village at Westfield Topanga will also feature a Luckey Climber – described as a whimsical, exciting and safe climbing structure that’s been specifically designed for children. The play space, which according to reports resembles a sculpture more than a traditional playground, complements the natural surroundings and overall aesthetic of the new property. This unique and imaginative structure is scheduled to be located on the southern end of the property, closest to Erwin Street.
It isn’t every day one thinks of a mega-complex like The Village at Westfield Topanga when discussing the subject of art…but it’s also clear that the visionaries behind this attention-grabbing venue are doing everything possible to ensure the property redefines “one-of-a-kind.”
Keep checking with us here at Woodland Hills Magazine for updated news about the incredible Village at Westfield Topanga.