Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian was invited Thursday to be downtown for the celebration of the L.A. Kings, but instead he chose to spend it with friends and neighbors in Studio City.
“I was invited to celebration with champions downtown with the Kings, but I wanted to be here with our own champions in Studio City,” Krekorian said.
Along Radford Avenue on the outside of the CBS Studio Center (often nicknamed the Radfor Studios), the quarter of a mile of sculptures goes from Valleyheart Drive to Moorpark.
The Radford Art Walk is a collaboration between the CBS Studio Center and the Studio City Beautification Association, with help from the Studio City Neighborhood Council, Studio City Residents Association, Studio City Chamber of Commerce, Studio City Improvement Association, Friends of the Los Angeles River, the Village Gardeners and other community groups.
Studio City artist Karl Johnson installed 15 of his sculptures, as recently as Monday morning, and the low-water plants around them were landscaped by Dirt Diva Designs, owned by Francesca Corra. Both donated their talents to the public park, which will eventually connect to the 51-mile bike path along the Los Angeles River.
The sculptures use steel, stone, ceramics, leather, wood and glass and have titles like “Ticking Clock,” “Door to Enlightenment” and “Worlds Beyond.”
Krekorian pointed out that he just moved to a house on the same block as Johnson, which has his whimsical sculptures outside his house. “Karl is a neighbor and I felt very much at home touring this art walk,” he laughed. “Seriously, people from around the city and my district ask how Studio City is doing projects like this, and it’s just that there’s a degree of people committed to making a difference to Studio City. . . . Everyone is facing budget cuts, this is an example of a sense of activism and unification around a common purpose that is a lasting investment.”
Beth Dymond and her husband Alan, of the Beautification group and the Residents Association, introduced the guests and gave some history of the project.
“We hope this will connect to a pocket park,” Beth said.
“We hope it will connect to a bridge on the north side of the Tujunga Wash and go to the south side of the L.A. River,” Alan added. “It will be an expensive project.”
Some of the delays of the project included the city requirement to add a handicapped ramp that added $7,000 to the cost of the project. Michael Klausman of the CBS Studio Center, said, “Studio City Center is a big family, and Studio City and all the groups are part of our community. It is rewarding not to see weeds, but to see something nice and beautiful.”
Klausman said that when city officials a long time ago were forcing Johnson to move sculptures from his front lawn, he agreed to house the sculptures at his studio.
“I’m glad we could use the sculptures for the Art Walk,” Klausman said with a smile. “It helps me get rid of his stuff and get it off my lot.”
Krekorian presented certificates reading: "In recognition of the Studio City Beautification Association's tremendous efforts to improve and maintain our community's quality of life, upon the opening of the Radford Art Walk. This unique and lovely installation embodies the SCBA's eye for design and commitment to the local community. Your dedicated volunteer work has brought tremendous benefits to your neighbors, and helped make Studio City a jewel of the Valley. I applaud your efforts as engaged citizens and look forward to helping you with your future projects."
Francesca Corra, who landscaped for no charge, mentioned people who were indispensable to help out with the project such as Mike Thrush and Brian Lovell from the Studio, Michael Bryan, John Smock, Phillip Castilla and others.
A manager of one crew that pitched in told Corra, “I didn’t know they could be so creative.”
Soon the sculptures will have a QR code that can be scanned by a phone and take the visitor to a website explaining the pieces.
Johnson said, “I moved here 41 years ago this month, and I moved to Studio City because it was like an enchanted oasis. I think now it’s more beautiful.”
The park is open and free to all. See the photo gallery above for details photos and click here for more information.