Los Angeles County’s lifeguard towers have been transformed from their normally staid shade of blue into tableaus splashed with brilliant colors thanks to an L.A. non-profit organization, Portraits of Hope.
Local and national businesses provided materials and money for the project, called Summer of Color. The non-profit covered the lifeguard stations with panels that were decorated by L.A. school kids and adult volunteers. The rigid sheets of panel material were provided by Laird Plastics, based in Boca Raton, Fla.
Andy Boyle, general manager at Laird’s Santa Fe Springs office, said his company’s employees were enthused about the project.
“As soon as they heard about it, they wanted to play a role,” he said.
Boyle said he was impressed with the efforts that the Portraits of Hope volunteers, who supervised the decorations at area studios around the city, put into the project.
The county provided the use of the lifeguard towers for free in order to promote public art, and each company donated about $10,000 in cash or material and labor for the project. In exchange, each company got its name displayed on one or more of the 158 works of art, which will remain on display through October.
Portraits of Hope specializes in large-scale public art projects. One of the organization’s previous projects was called Garden in Transit in which it installed painted flowers and plants atop New York taxis. Portraits of Hope co-founder Bernie Massey declined to say how much money his organization stands to raise from the effort.
Massey said the companies that joined the effort got benefits beyond the display of their name.
“It’s an opportunity for them to be engaged in their communities, be good
corporate citizens, and be involved in the largest civic effort in the region,” he said. “They get the satisfaction that they are getting recognition from a high-profile project.”