August 21, 2009 - West of Rome Public Art - Announces Its Nonprofit Status
August 21, 2009

Announces Its Nonprofit Status

Announces Its Nonprofit Status

380 South Lake Avenue, Suite 210
Pasadena, CA 91101
626 793 1504

www.westofrome.org/

www.womeninthecity.org/

This month marks the official launch of West of Rome Public Art, the non-profit branch of Emi Fontana’s Los Angeles enterprise West of Rome. Fontana recently relocated the exhibition activities from Milano, Italy to Los Angeles. West of Rome’s business activities are based in an office in Pasadena.

West of Rome, founded and directed by Emi Fontana, is a venture producing contemporary art projects. West of Rome is not anchored to a specific location, but explores a diversity of urban spaces. Nomadic by design, West of Rome Public Art is the first organization of its kind in Los Angeles. It operates outside of and without a permanent exhibition space. Each show, installation or event takes place in a different venue — sometimes off the beaten track, sometimes in the middle of a highly trafficked street — depending on the nature of each artist’s project. The scale and nontraditional location of each project underscore the dynamic, continually evolving spirit of West of Rome.

For a designated period of time these unorthodox exhibition sites become places of discovery for both the casual passerby and the attentive art visitor. An alternative to museum and gallery programs, West of Rome’s projects engender a sense of community and collective experience that is often lost in traditional venues. At the same time, artists have the unique opportunity to develop and realize ambitious ideas that could never happen in a conventional setting.

No city but Los Angeles could better embrace West of Rome’s mission. This metropolis of the future, comprised of sprawling highways, mediated landscapes and pockets of untamed nature, is one of the most populated yet private cities in the world. In L.A., the public square as a place for public art is a thing of the past; private houses, commercial spaces, roadside advertising, retail outlets and alternative distribution systems all offer potential new art platforms for challenging the concepts of private and public.

West of Rome Public Art’s initial project was the first part of the exhibition Women in the City, which took place in Los Angeles in 2008. Among the forthcoming projects is A Voyage of Growth and Discovery, co-produced with SculptureCenter, by Mike Kelley and Michael Smith that will open at the SculptureCenter in New York September 13th 2009 and will be subsequently shown in Los Angeles.

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