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Public artwork at downtown Los Angeles' Downey Pool facility gets a name

August 12, 2011 |  7:54 pm

When artist Sylvia Tidwell began painting a work to liven up the entrance of one of the oldest public swimming pool facilities in downtown Los Angeles, she aimed to celebrate the beauty and refreshment that recreation in water offers to city children.

The artwork, which is 20 feet wide by three feet tall, was installed three weeks ago high on a wall in the foyer of the Downey Pool on the 1700 block of North Spring Street.

The panel of rainbow colors and dreamlike reflections was an immediate hit at the pool, which reopened a year ago after extensive renovations.

Looking up at the panel on a recent weekday, pool manager David Fornelli smiled and said, “It’s cool. I really like it. It looks like water.”

“That’s exactly what I was aiming for,” responded Tidwell.

But the piece was not finished until Friday afternoon, when Tidwell finally gave it a name.

“I’d been mulling over a name for months,” said Tidwell, who created the work under the auspices of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

“Like your child, you want your painting to have a good name,” she said. “A proper title becomes part of a work, and adds meaning to it.”

The artwork was christened Pool Painting (Shimmer).


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Photo: Pool Painting (Shimmer) oil painting by Sylvia Tidwell. Credit: Couresy of Wild Don Lewis Photography.