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The Trailer Project is here.

Walking to the Milagro Allegro Community Garden, behind the Historic Highland Theatre, I saw an opportunity I couldn’t help but pursue.

I ran into a native Highland Parker and professional artist who has been an active part of Los Angeles art culture for the past 30 years. She crafts one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry from the studio built on her one-of-a-kind property amid the rapidly changing neighborhood. To see her art click here.

I had passed by a vintage trailer parked in her yard for the better part of two years. My roommates were physicists (yeah…I know) in their final year of their doctoral programs at CalTech in Pasadena, and I knew it would be crunch time during their home stretch. I figured it was time to give them the space they needed to get the job done.

I asked my friend if the trailer was vacant, and if so, I was interested in renting it. I had nothing to lose. She was caught off guard, of course, but the transaction ensued at the very moment. I started moving my things into the 1969 19 foot Silver Streak “Jet” I’d been eyeballing for so long.

Interesting fact: Silver Streaks are made by the same people who make ‘Airstreams’, but the Silver Streak is entirely insulated (and maybe a little cooler?)—I’m biased.

Being a self proclaimed minimalist, the move was really just across the street, my belongings were inside the trailer (whose insides hadn’t really seen the light of day in years) in about an hour and a half.

The trailer needed a little bit of work.

Nothing I couldn’t handle! There were cabinets and wooden fixtures outline the interior walls. It was used as a mobile office for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power during the 60s and 70s.

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I already had the equipment, which was convenient, now I just had to will the (wo)man power.

There were some original components of the trailer that I wanted to keep, so I set them aside, treated and replaced them later.

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I knew some pieces were going to be essential and had to be addressed first; a bed, a desk, closet space, and some air circulation—in the winter? Well, some heat!

After clearing the insides and scrubbing down years of grime from the walls and repainting them with a few coats of stark white paint, I visualized exactly how I wanted her to be.

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Sure, it might not look like much…but this soon became the most important art project of mine. Most of my free time went into the trailer. I realized these sorts of projects were probably never really “finished”, and that’s okay. Slowly but surely, the trailer became home.

After using some of the lumber I got from a carpenter/artist pal of mine up in the San Francisco area (he also owns BayAreaCustomFurniture and is one of my favorite painters), it was time to move things in.

At this phase, the trailer really started to reflect my personality more. Because of the tiny-home living situation aka, little to no space, it caused me to really shed possessions that I didn’t use or didn’t need anymore. A fresh start!

I got some cool vintage pieces, and started collecting pictures and art that I organized to hang on my salon style wall. I painted the inside of the door yellow, got some awesome indoor plants, hung up some lanterns for light, and kicked back back to revel in what it had become. The sounds of angry drivers peeling around corners, crying babies,  and helicopters flying overhead during the night, shining their lights into my little trailer, became my tropical breeze. Home, sweet home. It really is where you park it!

Feeling like a proud parent, and loving my neighborhood  and community more than ever, I posted a couple blog pieces on The Whirling Girlish, showcasing how far we’d come as well as the beautiful and unique surrounding neighborhood that the trailer and myself call “home”!

You can go back and check out the articles here.

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*I should note that the bed situation is WAY more comfortable than it looks.

Even though I was pleased with the interior transformation, and of course loved her for what she was already (I accepted her!), I couldn’t help but wish I had a more clear idea of what I wanted to do on the outside. There was the beautiful deck that I was using all the time, which really is a social space. Having people over at the trailer gets sort of crammed inside.

Like many things that are overthought, nothing really progressed after a while. I added some plants or pieces that were “works in progress”, but there’s no doubt there were alterations I wanted to make. It really just came down to a matter of “when and how?”.

And just like so many things that are overthought, so many things are also rushed. I decided to let the exterior of the trailer happen organically to give myself time to really get things done completely.

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She had just pitched and successfully sold a show concept for EllenTube called Grand Design.

Here’s how it would go down;

A pair of contractors/TV personalities, originally from HGTV referred to as The Cousins, would come in with a team and re-design the outside deck—all within 24 hours, and all for under $1,000.

Was this real? Did I say “yes”?! Of course! They didn’t have to ask me twice. I was on board, they were excited about the project, and they would be at the gate, hammer in hand, at the end of the month.

Woah, man. What had I done right recently?

True to their word, it all happened, and it was an amazing experience in time. I met the cousins, saw that they were in love with the property, neighborhood, and most importantly, the trailer. They were excited about the project and it relieved any apprehension I had experienced leading up to the moment.

The anticipation about killed me…but it was worth it. The experience and end result are beyond what I had fathomed.

See for yourself. 

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For lack of a better word—I was stoked.

And I wasn’t the only one! Thousands of other people thought the transformation was amazing too! What a cool show. Something I had wanted to do for so long, completed in a day. Amazing. Not to mention it was EXACTLY what I wanted. I wouldn’t (and haven’t) changed a thing.

 

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She’s pretty dreamy looking at night time too.

 

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Want to see the episode? Click HERE! Enjoy! 

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MorYork Gallery presents WATER STORIES, a collaborative mixed media art piece

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The MorYork Gallery in Highland Park is a true wonderland of curiosities hidden in plain view. Its home is on a busy corner diagonal from locally famous Café de Leche on York Boulevard in Highland Park. A plain green wall lets the space sit unnoticed while walkers and drivers pass by. Behind the green wall is a portal into an otherworldly collection of art and artists collaborating and creating amid a large skating-rink-turned-art-space that is nothing short of epic in size.

Owner of MorYork Gallery, Clare Graham, talks with his resident artists underneath a hanging installment of dangling spines, fibers, and other oddities. An almost occult playfulness and innovativeness is apparent via copious sculptures, furniture, paintings, scientific concoctions, skeletal systems, and beyond.

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This has been Graham’s space since 1986, long before the hype of Northeast Los Angeles seduced the minds of Los Angelinos to come and rally in NELA for hip cultural gatherings. The wood floor still shows traces of basketball court painted lines and the wood vaulted ceiling is reminiscent of what one might imagine Noah’s ark would have perhaps looked like.

Graham’s work incorporates recycled materials, often cast aside unwanted. New life is breathed into each piece, as its corresponding elements work together to create larger than life works of art with radiating character. As one nears one of Graham’s pieces, it seems it comes more to life with the emergence of every detail. Up close, it can be seen that these large-scale pieces are frequently constructed out of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of tiny everyday mundane pieces. His work genuinely winks at the concept of power in numbers.

The theme at hand during this visit is water, leading to the forthcoming collaborative art performance which incorporates movement, sound design, textiles, and prose to portray WATER STORIES.

A series of workshops will allow the public to immerse themselves into the art by extending the opportunity to practice in a variety of media, ultimately contributing to the final product as a whole. The logic behind these sequence of workshops in concert with the final product results in a community minded experience where abstract concepts and philosophy can be pulled from applicable experience. It soaks the viewer in engagement, bringing them closer to a more acute understanding of the art piece rather than taking on the mere role of a spectator.

However, this does not exclude the less active audience member. Stephanie Zalatel, creator of the szalt dance company, works with her team to choreograph a deeply moving five-part performance for WATER STORIES. Movement appears to narrate a story set to the sounds collected by musician and composer, Louis Lopez. Audio clips collected from field samplings are set to bold tones with an ethereal ambience and subliminal humming reminiscent to the experience one might have submerged in water.

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Perhaps one of the most unique elements of the piece, aside from its already left-of-mainstream surroundings of the gallery, is the use of textiles and costuming. Fiber artist, Amabelle Aguiluz, incorporates her knitted clothing into the performance by creating abstract masks and dress-like coverings for the dancers as well as the landscape around them. The various patterns in the knit work resemble the natural patterns that might be found in nature within a bed of sea coral. While Aguiluz generally works with basic dark and light colors, this piece will incorporate a wider spectrum of color, amplifying the colorful and unpredictable make-up of water and all the connotations it possesses.

To round out the process, there will also be poetry about the performance constructed by poet, Julia Nowak. The poems will be featured in the programs at each performance, giving each audience member a memento to take home with them if they were unable to participate in one of the preceding workshops.

There will be several opportunities to get involved. The actual performance will have multiple weekends including April 22-23 (for VIP ticket holders) / 29-30, and May 6-7 /13-14.

Starting March 20, the workshops will be every Sunday from noon until 3pm. It costs $30 to register online, and $40 at the door. If you are interested in all four classes, you can get a bundle rate of $100. The first will be a textiles workshop, followed by sound recordings workshops, then a movement research class, concluded by a culmination workshop where all the acquired skills can be put to use in a cohesive piece. For more information please visit stephaniezalatel.com/class.html or e-mail Stephanie at szalt@gmail.com. If you know you want to purchase tickets, you can do so by going to waterstories.brownpapertickets.com.

The MorYork Gallery is located at 4959 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90042.

The Whirling Girlish for @HappeninginHighlandPark !

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As of late I’m writing for @HappeninginHighlandPark (http://happeninginhighlandpark.com) and below is a feature that just posted today about the urban garden in, you guessed it—Highland Park!

Link to full article here!

Katrine by VUM music video directed by Andreas Attai, a friend of the Whirling Girlish!

VUM — “Katrine” from Andreas Attai on Vimeo.

Just me and my Chola’s. Circa 1990.

Director/Producer/Editor: Andreas “Tito” Attai
Director of Photography: Charlie “Largo” Balch
Co-Producer/UPM: Hannah “Wetta” Baker
Colorist: Bryan “Paco” Smaller
Hair: Taylor “Lo” Stevenson
Make-Up: Dina “Smiley” Gregg
Picture Car/Transpo: Cesar “Rascal” Alvarez

Cholas: Cristina “Chula” Mendoza, Ashley “Lil’ Payaysa” Sinden, Melody “Whisper” Parra

Special Thanks
Jennifer and Chris Badger
Mom, Dad, and Sisters
Jackson LaRue
Andrew Jaramillo
Katherine Montague
Niko Wiesnet
East L.A.

Read about it here: http://yvynyl.com/post/120625952507/premiere-vum-katrine-it-is-hard-to-detect-this

“It is hard to detect this video’s age and origins. Its direction and design is outstanding (full credits), and as always, the song from one of my favorite dark-siders from LA Jennifer Pearl continues to break my heart. She just let this video fly in celebration of her new album, Cryptocrystalline LP. “(via yvynyl)

If you want to see more from Director Andreas Attai, you can access his website here.

Talk about a sound bath, yeah? Enjoy!