Los Angeles

All-City Art Festival

Barnsdall Mu­nicipal Park

Each year aboard the little yellow bus that jogs up to the exhibition structures, filled with families out to see how much the fee for ridicule has gone up, with folk singers and retired art teachers and neighborhood young­sters hitching a ride, an incorrigible American optimism about community excellence conspires with the smog and sunlight to send hundreds of paintings and people to the park. The popsicles are perfect, you can overhear some pretty funny conversations and nature seldom seems more inventive as each blade of grass is contrasted with the yards of painted surfaces garnishing the public domain. Happy the man this year with but two dimensions for te­dium, for the sculpture-assemblage-­chicken-wire-and-colored-string contin­gent set a new nadir, exposing the pa­vilion’s plumbing and heating units to favorable comment. Pat and M. E. E. were the only entrants who gratified the sense of carne behind the Art Festival. Their mechanically nice, jolly sounding “Great American Popeye Machine” was the popular favorite, while sophisticates smiled at their inclusion of an Ameri­can Reaping Co. insignia and formalists took heart at the bicycle gear arrange­ment. Inexplicably there wasn’t a single painting on velvet. In the winner’s cir­cle, Edward Reep and Vic Smith (paint­ing), Rico Lebrun (drawing), Joyce Trei­man (sculpture) and Ernest Freed (gra­phics) seemed plausible but uninspired selections. Conspicuously absent was any award to anything concerned with color; perhaps the natural sunlight created a jaundiced eye in the jurors. Planted in the outback of row upon row of paintings, James Jarvaise’s strongly plastic small still-life would have made a worthy color selection.

Rosalind G. Wholden