Saturday, May 22, 2010

Color at the beach

Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in California, our beach's life-guard shacks are a familiar sight.

These shed-roofed wooden shacks, with their ramps or steps appear in films, TV and commercials shot on the beaches of L.A. They are such an iconic symbol of our lifestyle that I once saw them used - in scale-model form - as part of a floral centerpiece for a fundraising dinner.

They are painted pale and faded aqua - a pleasing color against the sand and the sea.

But this May, driving past the beach on my regular commute, I've been startled to see bright colors at the shacks. The handrailings and ramps of each shack are now brilliantly colored - orange or yellow, green or bright blue, and purple. What's going on?

It's part of a five-month public art project called "Summer of Color," sponsored by Project of Hope, a private non-profit. Thousands of local volunteers painted the railings, and also decorated panels to be installed on each tower. Many of the young artists are participating in arts and creative therapy programs for ill, disabled, or troubled kids, programs sponsored by the non-profit.

Photo of completed tower from L.A. County website

The colorful lifeguard towers will be on display all summer long, and when the project is over, the plywood panels will be donated to Haiti to be used in building transitional shelters.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I love that last one. Reminds me of NYC.

Jason, as himself said...

Who knew? Once again, you educate and inspire!

Cloudia said...

I could live in the lavender!
(Larger than my boat, LOL :)

Aloha from Hawaii

Comfort Spiral

cactus petunia said...

So cheery! And such a great cause, too...

Gilly said...

I love the original soft colour - reminds me of the beach huts in the Kent town where my grandparents lived, where my mother grew up and where she and my father ultimately retired. They were all soft colours, regardless of what the original colour was, as sun, sea and salt did a good job of weathering them!

But the colours on your huts are lovely for a season - and great that its young people doing it all!

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

This is a really great program, fighting the good fight in an era in which funding for arts education is being cut in so many communities.

Down with Beauty Deficit Disorder!

giorno26 ¸¸.•*¨*•. said...

La cabina per il bagnino, è veramente di multi-colore.
Ma... sarà interessante guardare le cabine colorate od il bagnino ?
Happy day :-)

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Like you, I appreciate the originals, but the story and meaning behind the (thankfully temporary) changes is inspiring!

JCK said...

What a cool project!