The non-profit behind the brightly colored lifeguard towers that were a hit at Santa Monica beach this summer has done it again.
This time, Portraits of Hope, which provides ill, disabled and disadvantaged children with the opportunity to make art, created a painting destined for an unusual display: under the ice at the city’s annual holiday rink.
The project is part of the city’s promotion of its seasonal ice rink, which draws thousands of skaters – and shoppers – to the beachside city.
“We had to work with the artist and the manufacturers of the ice very closely to pull it off,” said Kathleen Rawson, chief executive of Bayside District Corp., a non-profit that oversees the operation of the rink each year. “It looks beautiful.”
This is the fourth year that Bayside District, which also manages the Third Street Promenade, has operated the rink – but the first time it’s ever been so adorned.
The project, which L.A. school children worked on, involved painting a floral design on mesh fabric that was installed under the layer of ice.
The outdoor rink is sponsored by Procter & Gamble’s Herbal Essence shampoo brand, which helped fund the half-million-dollar cost to build and operate the rink, in a parking lot at the corner of Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue.
The attraction opened Nov. 6 and will run through Feb. 15. Bayside District charges $10 for admission and skate rentals to help cover its costs.
Portraits of Hope, founded by sculptor Ed Massey and his brother, Bernie, doesn’t receive any of the funds, but does get publicity for its program, which operates in more than 800 hospitals, schools, and social service agencies.
Last year, the rink drew more than 60,000 visitors and made a small profit for Bayside District. With attendance at the rink strong so far this year – and art under the ice – Rawson’s only worry is possibly warm winter weather.
“The direct sunlight has posed some challenges. Sometimes the surface of the ice is wet,” she said. “It’s not a native climate for ice skating, that’s for sure.”
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