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A public art party this Saturday in Beverly Hills

July 10, 2009 |  3:00 pm

Kusama

Beverly Hills isn't a town known for opening its arms to the general public's dirty foot traffic. But on Saturday afternoon, the city will play host to a free outdoor party to celebrate the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, whose works are currently on display at the Gagosian Gallery.

The party, which is being promoted as a "one-day, self-guided cultural experience," will feature five stops that include sculpture, film and free food. (Free food? We're there.)  You may have already seen one of the event's main attractions: "Hymn of Life: Tulips," Kusama's large-scale outdoor sculpture that is currently located on Santa Monica Boulevard and Rodeo Drive.

The tour includes a stop at the Gagosian, where you can experience more of Kusama's vivid sculptures, and the Paley Center for Media, which will show three of the artist's short films.

Kicking off at noon on Saturday and running through 6 p.m., the party is a recession-friendly way of experiencing the visual arts. The event is being organized by For Your Art, Gagosian Gallery, the Paley Center for Media and the City of Beverly Hills Fine Art Commission.

Keep reading for a full schedule and directions ...

1.  Yayoi Kusama's Hymn of Life: Tulips 
(Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard)
The 10-foot-tall floral sculpture is the centerpiece of the party. Visitors will be able to have their digital portraits taken in front of the sculpture as a keepsake and they'll also be posted on publicartparty.com.

2. Videos by Yayoi Kusama at The Paley Center for Media
(465 N. Beverly Drive)
The Paley Center for Media screens three short films by Kusama in the Bell Family Gallery: Flower Orgy (1968), Flower Obsession Gerbera (1999) and Flower Obsession Sunflower (2000). The center's rooftop gardens will be open all day for picnicking. paleycenter.org

3. Yayoi Kusama: Flowers That Bloom at Midnight at Gagosian Gallery
(456 N. Camden Drive)
Gagosian is open Saturday for the party, and the exhibition will be on view through July 17. gagosian.com

4. Picnic lunch from Porta Via
(424 N. Canon Drive)
Boxes ($12) include a panini, salad and a cookie. Call (310) 274-6534 to order. portaviabh.com

5. Kusama-inspired cupcake from CRUMBS Bake Shop
(9465 Little Santa Monica Boulevard)
CRUMBS Bake Shop is offering special Kusama-inspired cupcakes ($3.75 each). crumbs.com


-- David Ng

Photo: A view of Kusama's "Hymn of Life: Tulips" in Beverly Hills. Credit: For Your Art

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