Debra Scacco in Los Angeles Times 9.18.18

Standing next to an installation is Debra Scacco, curator of “La Reina de Los Angeles” exhibit, now open at the Sturt Haaga Gallery at Descanso Gardens. (Photo by Kim Sudhalter)

The Valley Line: Water theme of latest Sturt Haaga exhibit; teens embark on 16-month Les Fleurettes program


by Jane Napier Neely

About 200 guests turned out Sunday for a special event in Descanso Gardens, the opening of its latest art exhibit, “La Reina de Los Ángeles,” in the Sturt Haaga Gallery. Following the reception, guests enjoyed an al fresco screening of the 1974 film “Chinatown.”

Blue McRight, right, and Kay Whitney greet visitors to the “La Reina Los Angeles” exhibit at Descanso Gardens. (Photo by Kim Sudhalter)

Curated by artist Debra Scacco, the exhibit explores the relationship that Los Angeles has with its water source. The story is told through works created by artists Judy Baca, Andrew Bird, Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio, Tom Carroll (Tom Explores Los Angeles), Carolina Caycedo, Mercedes Dorame, Nicholas Hummingbird, Galia Linn, Blue McRight, Diego Palacios, Michael Parker, Emma Robbins, Kerry Tribe and Devon Tsuno.

Just some of the 200 visitors attending the opening reception Sunday at the “La Reina de Los Angeles” exhibit at the Sturt Haaga Gallery at Descanso Gardens. (Photo by Kim Sudhalter)

As a part of the exhibition, there are artworks displayed throughout the Gardens. The exhibition includes original sections of Zanja Madre (Mother Ditch), the original aqueduct that brought water from the Los Angeles River to El Pueblo de Los Ángeles from approximately 1781 through 1904. The piece on display is dated circa 1877, and is on loan from Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio.

“I am excited to address this topic in the context of Descanso Gardens,” Scacco said. “Not only are the grounds and gallery exquisite, but Descanso as a site could not exist without a complex water infrastructure. The opportunity to discuss water in the framework of a public garden elevates the conversation and highlights our urgent need for a deeper understanding of the topic. The work in this exhibition is extremely powerful and will generate a conversation I am grateful to have with a broad audience.”

The exhibit is open for public viewing 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily until Jan. 13.

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