Last week, the AIGA student group visited the El Segundo Museum of Art (ESMoA) for an incredible behind-the-scenes tour of Scratch, the museum’s latest “experience.”
The gallery featured floor-to-ceiling paintings by LA’s most prominent street artists as well as a selection of rare books from the Getty Research Institute. We learned that the exhibit was inspired by the LA Liber Amicorum, or LA Book of Friends (also known as the “Getty Black Book”), a collective sketchbook that emulates the street artist tradition of carrying black books to be inscribed by fellow artists. The name “liber amicorum,” and the manuscripts on display, referenced a very similar tradition among 16th- and 17th-century European merchants, who also carried books to be inscribed by friends—an amazing historical parallel!
The artwork in the exhibit itself was created in the same spirit of friendship, uniting artists from different cultural backgrounds and all corners of Los Angeles. The backstories for each piece—shared with us by ESMoA education specialist Chelsea Hogan—were both inspiring and fascinating. We also had the opportunity to make our own “scratch” marks on the lobby wall.
To conclude our tour, we went upstairs above the gallery—normally closed to the public—to visit the beautiful artist-in-residence studio and rooftop deck.
Check out this gallery of photos from the event:
Photos by Michelle Quach and Leah Yuan.