Martin Luther King Junior, Recuperative Care Center Project
Through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s Civic Art Program, artist Sandy Rodriguez loaned 26 artworks for display in the Recuperative Care Center (RCC) at the Martin Luther King Medical Campus in Willowbrook. The paintings, a series of expressive watercolor and oil landscapes, were created with foster youth at community art space Art + Practice in Leimert Park, and with residents in the View Park/ Windsor Hills neighborhood through a civic art project called Some Place Chronicles. In a second phase of this project, Rodriguez was placed as an artist in residence at the facility, working with the Department of Health Services to develop and implement an art program that helped support patient transition into housing. During the residency, Rodriguez developed a meaningful and sustainable program for clients who created artworks to replace with those currently on loan from the artist. The staff fully participated and learned techniques that may be integrated into future programs developed in-house and delivered in the future. Selected patient and participant artworks were framed and installed in the Center.
Sandy worked with a cohort characterized by demographic diversity, a range of learning styles, and limited art-making experience, and introduced an organoleptic approach to the "historic methods and materials of watercolor" portion of the program. Participants saw, felt, smelled, touched, and in some cases, tasted organic colorants and pigments in various states, and ground plants and insects into pigments in a mortar and pestle. Once the materials were processed, participants added ingredients required to make paint (as painters across the world have done up until the 19th Century). Sandy shared about each material and introduced historical information for fifteen to twenty minutes at each session.