PALISADES PARK¬† ‚Äî The first artist in residence at 1450 Ocean epitomizes the new cultural center‚Äôs current metamorphosis.
Luke Haynes‚Äô sees his work, which includes portraits of Jay Z, Madonna, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama all stitched onto quilts, as a bridge between the young and old.
1450 Ocean was the Senior Recreation Center until last year when, as directed by City Council, it became a space for creative cultural programs for anyone 18 and older. All senior services were moved to the Ken Edwards Center on Fourth Street and are run by the nonprofit WISE & Healthy Aging. City staff and council wanted to consolidate seniors services under one roof.
Senior‚Äôs complained about the loss of services and ocean views. 1450 Ocean was slow to get off the ground with some early classes being canceled because of a lack of attendance.
Naomi Okuyama, who runs the programs for 1450 Ocean, said that Haynes, who starts the residency on Saturday, is a great match for the center‚Äôs new vision.
“I think we really are finding our legs,” she said. “He‚Äôs offering training, which is something we‚Äôre trying to do. And there‚Äôs all of this excitement generated between the arts and the crafts.”
Haynes, with his contemporary quilts, is used to his role as the quiltmaker for all ages.
“I get it all the time,” he said. “I‚Äôm involved with a lot of quilting companies and at all the board meetings they‚Äôre asking how we bring in those younger people. We don‚Äôt have a lot of that private pedagogy anymore, where a grandmother sits down with her granddaughter teaching her how to sew.”
Haynes learned how to quilt from classes, not his grandmother, and he‚Äôll be offering classes of his own in February at 1450 Ocean.
City Hall will collect fabrics from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 8 at 2500 Michigan Ave., the City Yards, where Santa Monica‚Äôs trash and recyclables are collected for disposal. Those materials will be used for workshops on that day and the two following Saturdays to make a community quilt. It will be donated to Step Up On Second, a service provider for those with mental illnesses.
Haynes is also going to be creating his own work while in Santa Monica and plans to drop some quilts, guerrilla-style, around the city. On Feb. 11, he‚Äôll post clues on his website and the first person to find the work of art gets to keep it.
Some of his quilts take half a year and others can take a day, he said. Haynes recently moved to Los Angeles where the quilt culture is about pushing things forward rather than looking into the past.
“I think weather plays a big part in that,” he said. “You didn‚Äôt need a quilt in the way you would if you were crossing through Colorado in a wagon.”
Haynes makes a new quilt for himself every year and he sleeps with one since moving to the area.
“You can make lighter weight ones,” he said. “And I‚Äôm not crazy. I kick it off in the heat of the summer.”
Okuyama said that all of 1450 Ocean‚Äôs programs are steadily becoming more popular.
They plan to host programs focused on electronics and on fixing household items.
During GLOW, the interactive art project held on the beach in Santa Monica, the center took a big jump forward. They worked with the event organizers to make LED badges, she said, and the turnout was great.
“The people running the program were so surprised to see people who were 19 to 85,” she said. “It really was popular across the board. I think we‚Äôre really still the best kept secret.”
Haynes‚Äô website is www.LukeHaynes.com.
He will hold office hours from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays in February.
The final quilt show will be held on March 1 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information on classes, call (310) 458-2239.