Portraits of Hope and Ford Motor Company have announced the final weekend public painting session for the largest public arts project in the United States, and one of the most extensive civic efforts anywhere in the country, to be held at South Bay Ford at 5100 W. Rosecrans Ave. in Hawthorne, California, on Saturday, April 24, 2010 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Nearing the end of a four-month process, Saturday’s event is the last weekend panel-painting opportunity for members of the Los Angeles community to make their mark on this iconic beach beautification project that will cover all 150 lifeguard towers and 31 miles of beaches along the Los Angeles coastline starting the first week of May. Want to see some of them? You won’t have to wait long! Painting of the panels began in January and installation will begin in May.
As partners in the Portraits of Hope project, Ford Motor Company, along with the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors and County Lifeguards, have held painting sessions with young people facing medical, physical, and socio-economic challenges since January of this year. Portraits of Hope has served over 6,000 youth volunteer artists, 118 schools, hospitals, and youth-oriented programs since the project began. The project involves creating and installing hand-painted artwork on form-fitting art panels on four sides of Los Angeles lifeguard towers and their roof tops.
All have come together through painting sessions to help transform the Los Angeles coastline, while also receiving important civic education and engagement with the visual and healing arts. During the April 24 session, a group from Lucille Smith Elementary School will be among the volunteer artists, joining uniformed LA County Lifeguards among others. Specially wrapped Portraits of Hope hybrid vehicles will also be on display, along with a Lifeguard Ford Escape hybrid.
During the painting workshops, education sessions were given on a multitude of topics including the environment – a subject that has resonated with both the Lifeguards and Ford Motor Company. Working together, Ford enabled the L.A. County Lifeguards to become the first and largest public safety organization in the country to go fully hybrid in 2008. Since implementing its hybrid fleet, the Lifeguards have saved over 20,000 gallons of gasoline and through Portraits of Hope the message of sustainability is being carried further.
Previous Portraits of Hope Projects have included diverse formats ranging from blimps, buildings, the New York City taxi fleet, to NASCAR racecars, tugboats, and vintage airplanes. The group's efforts have received national and international attention. Find out more about Portraits of hope in this informative YouTube video.
By Brandy Schaffels