Metro’s public arts officer, who is known for work that explores sound and oral histories, was named artist-in-residence of the city’s Department of Transportation Monday.
Alan Nakagawa will work as a part-time consultant, focusing on promoting the city’s Vision Zero initiative, which calls for eliminating traffic- related deaths in Los Angeles, city officials said.
Transportation Department General Manager Seleta Reynolds said Nakagawa will “focus on how we can infuse art into design to create safer streets.”
Nakagawa said he is “honored and humbled” by the appointment.
“I am looking forward to adding to the vibrant cultural fabric of Los Angeles while working with diverse communities,” the transportation department and the “Vision Zero team,” he said.
Nakagawa will receive a $20,000 stipend from the Department of Cultural Affairs for a one-year stint as the city’s Creative Catalyst Artist.
Daniel Brazell, who heads the Cultural Affairs Department, said Nakagawa “built his art career on listening.”
“This is the starting point for all his projects — to ask the right questions, learn from the experts and develop creative approaches that balance need with aesthetics,” she said. “Designing solutions that are expressive, colorful and effective is what fuels his art-making practice.”
A piece by Nakagawa titled “Myth Not Myth” is showing this month at the Getty Villa. It allows participants to explore the concept of a myth through interactive sculptures and conversations with the museum staff.
He hosts Ear Meal, a podcast about experimental music, and was part of the arts collective Collage Ensemble Inc. for 28 years.
Nakagawa received training from UCLA’s Oral History Program. He has a fine arts bachelor’s degree from the Otis Art Institute and a fine arts master’s from the University of California, Irvine.
— Wire reports
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