Groundbreaking took place March 14 for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Co-Founders George Lucas and Mellody Hobson along with the Museum’s Board of Directors joined Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price and a group of more than 100 civic and community leaders to break ground on this 21st century cultural destination to be located at Exposition Park in South Los Angeles.“The focus of the Museum is to open up people’s imaginations and inspire them to dream beyond what is considered possible,” said co-founder George Lucas. “Narrative art and storytelling stirs our emotions, shapes our aspirations as a society, and is the glue that binds us together around our common beliefs.”
The Lucas Museum will celebrate the art of visual storytelling and enable people of diverse backgrounds to experience the power of narrative art across all mediums, including painting, illustration, comic art, photography, film, animation and digital art. It is intended to be a place where visitors feel comfortable and welcomed by engaging with art forms they may already recognize and love.
“Our goal is to create the world’s most inclusive and accessible art museum—a place that brings together people from every walk of life,” said co-founder Mellody Hobson. “We are excited to call Exposition Park home, surrounded by more than 100 elementary and high schools, one of the country’s leading universities, as well as three other world-class museums.”
With an iconic building designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects, the 300,000 square-foot non-profit museum will feature collection galleries and exhibition spaces displaying original works of art from world renowned artists, cutting-edge digital technologies and daily film screenings in two state-of-the-art theaters. It will also offer extraordinary educational opportunities with hands-on and digital classrooms and a free public research library for educators, scholars and students. Education will be a centerpiece of the Museum’s programming to provide diverse students of all ages the skills to voice their own stories and spark creativity.
The project will transform a series of asphalt parking lots into a museum surrounded by 11 acres of new park land and gardens designed by Los Angeles-based landscape architecture firm Studio-MLA. Thousands of jobs will be created directly and indirectly as a result of the Museum.
“The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be an architectural wonder, a cultural treasure, and a center of storytelling and creativity at the heart of a reimagined Exposition Park,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I thank Mellody Hobson and George Lucas for their incredible generosity and vision, which will inspire countless Angelenos and visitors from around the world.”
“Today is a momentous occasion, as we break ground on what will surely become one of Los Angeles County’s most popular and beloved landmarks,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “The Lucas Museum will not only display brilliant works of art, but also teach countless children the science and technological skills needed for careers in the film, animation and design industries. It will cement Exposition Park‘s reputation as a world-class destination for arts and entertainment.”
“My heartfelt thanks to George and Mellody for this unprecedented investment in South Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Councilmember Curren Price. “When completed, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be a special, very magical gathering space for individuals from all walks of life to experience art like never before. We share an absolute belief that all children and families, no matter their skin color or zip code, deserve equal access to the arts.”
Construction is commencing immediately and is anticipated to be completed by late 2021.
Narrative art is art that tells a story through images, either as a single moment in an ongoing story or as a sequence of events unfolding over time. It is as old as humanity, with many of the world’s great works of art being narrative in nature, conveying stories from religion, myth, legend, history, literature or current events. While storytelling takes many forms, narrative imagery and pictures may have preceded the written word in capturing the thoughts and actions of people. Storytelling is central to the history of visual art across nearly every culture and time period in human history – ranging from cave paintings to Egyptian hieroglyphics to religious paintings and now to the modern use of film and digital animation. The power of narrative art is in bringing people or societies together, or inspiring us to action, through shared beliefs.
The Lucas Museum will showcase how storytelling works in various art forms and various times and places. The Museum will assemble many different genres including comic art, painting, illustration, photography, filmmaking, and drawings for exploration and celebration. These works of vastly different types of art will coexist in the galleries for comparison, contemplation, inspiration and discussion.
For more information, please visit www.lucasmuseum.org
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