WeHo Debuts ‘Cacti’ Public Art Sculptures by James Peterson

WeHo Arts Cacti - Photo by Paulo Murillo

The City of West Hollywood recently unveiled “Cacti”, the new public art sculpture installations by artist James Peterson, which uses the cactus as inspiration and reinterprets the form for both day and night. The installation debuted this past Saturday, November 3, 2018 with an artist reception.

Cacti is located within the City’s Ocean-Friendly Demonstration Garden in the traffic median on Santa Monica Boulevard, east of N. Doheny Drive. Median plantings in the location were designed in collaboration with West Basin using ecological principles and water conservation. Water-efficient plants, native to California, showcase the beauty of drought-tolerant plantings.

Photo by Paulo Murillo
Photo by Paulo Murillo

With cacti, the artist mimics and honors these resilient, native Californian models of self-sustainability, taking visual cues from the Barrel, Yucca, Agave, Nopal, Organ Pipe, and Saguaro cacti. During the day, transparent materials that include dichroic film and tinted resin will combine with sunlight to create twinkling reflective light.

Cacti is part of Art on the Outside project organized by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division, part of the City’s Economic Development Department. The Art on the Outside program installs rotating temporary artworks on the City’s medians and in parks. It is anticipated to be on display through March 2019. For more information about City of West Hollywood arts programming, please visit www.weho.org/arts.

WeHo Arts Cacti – Photo by Paulo Murillo
WeHo Arts Cacti – Photo by Paulo Murillo


James Peterson is a Michigan native with a BFA from Kendall College of Art & Design. He has always been curious about the relationship between organic matter and man-made objects. A fearless explorer of new materials and experimental processes, Peterson has fully embraced computer-aided fabrication, a tool that has expanded, informed and reinvigorated his practice. His work has been featured at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood; at Burning Man; at the Coachella Valley Art & Music Festival; at Art Basel both in Switzerland and Miami; at Kunst Raum in Switzerland, and many other public art installations around the world. In addition to his own design and fabrication company, Art & Contraptions, Peterson is an educator at SCI-ARC (Southern California School of Architecture) specializing in materials and applications. Peterson lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Cacti is curated by Peter Mays, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Art Association (LAAA) and its exhibition space at Gallery 825 (825 N. La Cienega Blvd). He has curated exhibitions throughout Southern California for various arts, educational and civic agencies.

For more information, contact Rebecca Ehemann, the City of West Hollywood’s Public Art Coordinator, at (323) 848-6846 or at rehemann@weho.org.

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