I finally got to check off one of the most exciting items on my LA Bucket List: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art! …or LACMA as it’s known to the locals. Created in 1965, it’s definitely become the most popular art museum in Los Angeles, drawing in over 1,000,000 visitors each year. According to the museum’s website: “LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection that includes over 120,000 objects dating from antiquity to the present, encompassing the geographic world and nearly the entire history of art.”
Before you even step foot inside the museum, prepared to be in awe of some of the exhibits that are outdoor and free to view for the public. The first piece of work to see is the Urban Lights by artist Chris Burden (RIP). This modern art display has become an iconic landmark in LA. Located at the front of the museum, it simply cannot be missed. The Urban Lights are 202 restored cast iron antique street lamps from the 1920’s and 1930’s that once lined the streets of LA. The lights are so beautiful and majestic to look at – both during the day and at night – and all of LA must agree considering how busy this spot always is! You will see selfie sticks galore and maybe even some professional photoshoots goin’ on. Yup, welcome to LA!
The second outdoor exhibit to check out before making your way inside is the Levitated Mass, a 2012 large-scale sculpture by Michael Heizer. The sculpture is a 21.5 foot high, 340-ton boulder sitting on top of a concrete walkway that visitors can walk through. The walkway is lined with palm trees on its right side, which makes this an ideal spot to take pictures and also get your own picture taken (don't be shy!). The area around this exhibit can get busy so you may have to wait a few mins for people to clear out before capturing your perfect pic.
Once you check out the outside grounds, you will make your way up to the ticket booth where you’ll purchase your ticket into LACMA. One ticket will allow you to view all exhibits, and general Admission tickets are $15 and Student tickets (with student ID) are $10. What’s really awesome, though, is that LA residents get in FO’ FREE after 3:00pm on Friday’s with proof of LA County residency. How’s that for ballin’ on a budget?!
The exhibits inside LACMA are a mixture of diverse, eclectic, modern, and historical pieces. You’ll discover Asian art, Latin American art, modern and contemporary art, Islamic art, and more. One of my favorite exhibits at LACMA was the work of one of my favorite artists, Pablo Picasso. There were about twenty works by Picasso, many of them portraits of women which my mom and I found beautiful and unique. I of course was trying to snap a few pics of them and I got YELLED at (yes, like sorta loud and in front of a ton of people) as I was not supposed to take pics of this particular exhibit…*insert monkey w/ hands over eyes emoji*. The other exhibit that I really enjoyed was Noah Purifoy’s Junk Dada. Noah was one of the founders of the Watts Tower Arts Center in LA (on my LA bucket list, of course), which was created out of debris from the 1965 Watts rebellion. Back in the 1960's Noah would search the streets post-riots to collect materials to create incredible pieces of art. All of his work was so colorful and full of varying textures and materials. I found it amazing that he literally turned trash into treasure! My mom and I explored the various exhibits for about two hours before calling it a day. We probably could have spent double the amount of time here if we were better prepared, but we were getting hungry/thirsty/tired (bring snacks!!).
Overall, I really loved my first time experience at LACMA and am so happy to have spent the day here with my mom! I'm not the biggest art connoisseur but love museums and creative spaces where all forms of art are both expressed and honored. Whether you’re an LA native, new to the town, or tourist visiting for a limited time, PLEASE go to LACMA, even if it’s just the outside to visit the infamous Urban Lights or Levitated Mass. Click here for parking information (spoiler alert: it’s $12) and admission hours. LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90036.
EXPLORE YOUR HEART OUT
L.A. is an amazing and diverse city full of culture, history, art, nature, museums, and attractions - which results in countless things to do & see - no matter your budget. Time after time I find that when you seek new adventure, you will find it!
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