• a theatre with audience waiting for a show

      Parson’s Nose, ArtNight, March 8, 2024 (Photo – Sharon Hawley)

      On a perfect Pasadena evening, after all the rain we’ve had, many art establishments opened their doors on March 8, and buses offered rides for free.

      By Sharon Hawley

      At least that’s what the announcement said. Open from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, it was impossible to visit all twenty sites, and having done ArtNight before, I figured the buses would be crowded and waiting time would take up half of the four hours provided.

      My plan, therefore, was to walk a loop to the places in Pasadena within walking distance from Metro’s Memorial Park Station. These were, clockwise from the Station, Numbers 11, 6, 20, 15, 10, 13, 19, 2, and 9 as shown on the printed map:

      Parsons Nose Theater, (No.11) is a delightful little theater that I didn’t know existed. They have my vote for a place to investigate for shows upcoming.

      Pasadena City Hall (No. 6), not exactly an art gallery, appeared to be getting ready for some sort of show, but at 6:30 pm, nothing was underway.

      USC Pacific Asia Museum (No. 20) still has the informative permanent collection with a Silk Road theme that it’s had for many years, but the temporary exhibit appeared to be in transition.

      Pasadena Unified School District show at The Paseo (No. 15) was nowhere to be found.

      The most popular stop may have been Norton Simon Museum (No. 10). Famous original paintings and sculptures from many places and genres are displayed with plenty of space around them for viewing.  Although it was a bit crowded, the artworks were easily viewable. The parking lot was full, however, and the line for the shuttle bus was long. I was happy to be on foot.

      Pasadena Museum of History (No 13) was a disappointment. Very little of Pasadena’s colorful history is shown there. Instead, the museum displays recent arts and crafts.

      The Gamble House (No. 19) was not allowing anyone inside except on guided tours. The line for tours had about 300 people waiting. I walked away disappointed.

      Armory Center for the Arts (No. 2) was alive with ongoing classes for children and adults. Ceramics, charcoal art, painting, all with guidance, some with a human posing model (no she was not nude.) There was a feeling of excitement about art in this place, unlike the others.

      Pasadena Senior Center (No. 9) was hosting MUSE/IQUE, a group of acapella singers with good rhythm and harmony. I was happy to rest awhile from walking and listen to their enthusiasm.

      For serious viewing and contemplation of art, I do not recommend ArtNight. But for an overview of places you might want to visit in a leisurely manner sometime, it’s a good introduction.

      a grandiose building with buses and people walking by

      Pasadena City Hall, 2024 Spring ArtNight (Photo – Sharon Hawley)

      a model holds a candle while people are drawing her

      Art classes were offered for visitors at the Armory Center for the Arts (Photo – Sharon Hawley)

      kids sitting at a table drawing

      An art class for kids at the Armory (Photo – Sharon Hawley)

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      1. Jerry Friedman says:

        I don’t think the title fits the story. I think “C” word is simply unacceptable to many who are intolerant and controlling. I think that word sets some readers off in a way similar to the “N” word.
        Most people have not been to the event and so this brief report of one attendees experience is helpful. Clearly you need a plan that doesn’t include viewing art at 20 different locations! To pretend that the event logistics aren’t challenging would be dishonest – After al, this is Sothern California.
        I’m not sure what kind of report the detractors would have accepted, obviously the honest experience of that patron offended them.
        I didn’t find the objective reporting to be critical of the art, the artists or the event – It is what it was…One person’s report.

      2. Elizabeth Tatum says:

        Artnight isn’t SUPPOSED to be about visiting a museum or gallery to wander around in silent contemplation. It’s about becoming aware of venues you perhaps haven’t visited and local organizations you may be unaware of. I noticed you couldn’t find No Boundaries at the Paseo but it was absolutely there (I went to it) and had signange), nor mentione ANY northwest Pasadena venues & exhibits (like Lineage Dance, Red Hen Press or Jackie Robinson, and all those places had available parking, by the way). The brochure CLEARLY describes what you’ll see at each location so you can decide what you want to learn about. Or you can choose to be unnecessarily critical about a free arts and culture event because perhaps you have trouble just experiencing joy.

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