Artis Lane has made figurative sculptures celebrating Black women and men for the last three decades. Her Emerging into Spirit series focuses on an archetype that evolves and ascends from worldliness into the spiritual plane. Elements of this series have been featured throughout the country, including long term exhibition at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.
Lane considers the Black man to be the universal human for whom the transformative process into awareness is emblematic of humanity’s struggles and achievements. Therefore, for the place making work that is Destination Crenshaw, Lane re-evaluates the Emerging into Spirit concept as an extension of her engagement with the Crenshaw neighborhood, a site of discovery, communion, opportunity and growth. Emerging First Man is a larger than life figurative work in bronze that emerges from the casting material of the foundry which symbolizes a physical and spiritual birthing process into consciousness and onto a sacred understanding of purpose and possibility. Situated at the northern most boundary of Destination Crenshaw, Lane’s Emerging First Man is a beacon of hope for the community that reminds us that we are all in the act of becoming, of translating our human experiences with divine intentions that allow us to be our best selves.
The Destination Crenshaw project will create new sidewalks, 30,000 new square feet of landscaping, six pocket parks, 800+ trees, and culturally stamped street furniture (including outdoor seating, shade structures, bicycle racks, and wayfinding signage).
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In May 2017, Destination Crenshaw was incorporated as an independent non-profit corporation with the purpose of celebrating the history and culture of Black Los Angeles through a 1.3 mile-long art and cultural experience along the Crenshaw/LAX Line. The Destination Crenshaw project will act as a counterbalance to gentrification, solidifying the Crenshaw neighborhood by supporting legacy businesses and fostering a Black creative economic and cultural hub.
Destination Crenshaw’s mission is to improve the quality of life and revitalize the economy in South Los Angeles through arts and culture.