With the recent completion of a striking art installation at the newly built Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, there is now a visible tribute to the iconic Ambassador hotel in the form of an interactive public artwork for school children. The hotel was home of the famous Cocoanut Grove nightclub, and the site of Robert Kennedy’s assassination.
Lynn Goodpasture was commissioned by Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and recently completed a 690 square foot labyrinth as a remembrance of the famous hotel. Due to the historical significance of the Ambassador, the 2004 Environmental Impact Report mandated that all public artwork at the site must relate to the hotel or its history. The labyrinth, titled Keeley’s Garden, Labyrinth 1, is paved with custom French encaustic tiles, with designs derived from the classic decorative tiles found throughout the Ambassador Hotel.
The labyrinth was conceived to provide children with opportunities to express creativity, be contemplative, and have fun. At the same time, it provides educators with a unique instructional tool that integrates art with education. Eleven large slabs of black basalt stone positioned along the labyrinth’s path to the center offer students surfaces on which to create their own chalk artwork, write poetry, or illustrate a sequential lesson in math, history, literature and science, using bright washable chalk. The labyrinth’s hexagonal shape provides teachers with a large tactile example of geometry, which may be used to illustrate certain math concepts. Students can walk the labyrinth to absorb and learn from one another’s work.
Danny Lo, Assistant Principal of the UCLA Community School, one of three elementary schools on the RFK campus, comments, "The labyrinth is a functional piece of art that not only adorns our beautiful RFK campus, but provides an opportunity for kinesthetic learners to explore Math and Art simultaneously."
Located at the base of the amphitheater and just in front of the indoor/outdoor stage at the elementary school, the labyrinth is a focal point from the upper elevations of the middle and upper school areas, as well as the lower elevations of the expansive playground shared by three elementary schools.
Lynn Goodpasture adds, “My goal for this artwork is to connect with people in a personal way and offer inspiration for creative thought and action. This labyrinth invites public interaction. It provides a place for young students to express their own creativity in a public space. The contemplative aspect of the labyrinth also makes it a fitting art form here, given the historical significance of the Ambassador site.”
About Lynn Goodpasture Art & Design
Since 1998, Lynn Goodpasture has worked exclusively as an artist and designer of large-scale public art for both national and international clientele. She takes a versatile site-specific approach to her work, creating permanent art installations that are integrated with architecture. She works with a wide variety of applications in both interior and exterior settings, including building-integrated photovoltaics and art glass in architectural windows, mosaic murals, public clocks, bronze and aluminum lighting elements, cast aluminum architectural structures and tile benches. Goodpasture’s art installations can be found in a wide variety of locations including schools, hospitals, transportation facilities and private homes, as well as an animal shelter, cruise ship, residential development, and a public library. For more information, visit Lynn Goodpasture’s website here.