Southern California Becoming ‘LA LA’ Land With Pacific Standard Time

Pacific Standard Time

Pacific Standard Time


Editor’s Note: This article was updated May 28 to reflect changes in the Pacific Standard Time:  LA/LA plans.


A cultural invasion will hit Southern California this fall. About 70 cultural institutions – museums, galleries, performing arts venues, and colleges – will link their content thematically with Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.

In the movie, the La La in “La La Land” referred to Los Angeles. With the upcoming Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, the letters refer to Latin American and Latino art. The far-reaching, ambitious exploration of art, music, dance, and more will highlights different aspects of Latin American and Latino art (LA/LA) from numerous countries and time-frames. Led by the Getty Foundation and fueled by more than $16 million in grants from them, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA will be presented at venues from Los Angeles eastward to Riverside, and from Santa Barbara south to San Diego. This vast far-reaching endeavor, many years in the making, will take place from September 2017 through January 2018.

The purpose is to shine a light on an underexplored cultural avenue with an impact on L.A., the northernmost Latin American city. With such a large Latin American population in the region, the Getty felt it was natural to draw attention to the cultural influence and creativity from Mexico, Central and South America, southern parts of the U.S., and in the Caribbean.

This Pacific Standard Time initiative is the third and largest the Getty has planned and supported. The first effort, in 2011, looked at individual artists and institutions that helped make L.A. and the southland a global force in the decades immediately following World War II. The second one, last year, examined architecture in the region. However, the size and scale here is unprecedented.

Some of the Exhibitions Planned

The list of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA exhibits and things to see is extensive. Here are some venues and examples:

  • Getty Center – “Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas,” “Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros,” “Photography in Argentina, 1850-2010: Contradiction and Continuity,” “The Metropolis in Latin America, 1830-1930,” and at LAXART in Hollywood, “Video Art in Latin America”
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art – “Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985,” “A Universal History of Infamy,” and “Playing with Fire: Paintings by Carlos Almaraz”
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, L.A. – “Anna Maria Maiolino”
  • Autry Museum of the American West – “La Raza”
  • Hammer Museum – “Radical Women in Latin American Art, 1960-1985”
  • Huntington Library – “Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin”
  • Laguna Art Museum – “Mexico/California, 1820-1930”
  • Palm Springs Museum of Art– – “Kinesthesia: South American Kinetic and Light Art of the 1960s”
  • UC Irvine – “Aztlán to Magulandia: the Journey of Chicano Artist Gilbert ‘Magu’ Luján”
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (partnering with museums in Mexico City and Lima, Peru) – “Memories of Underdevelopment”
  • Riverside Art Museum – “Myth and Mirage: Inland Southern California, Birthplace of the Spanish Colonial Revival”
  • UC Riverside will feature “Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas”
  • 20 galleries from throughout Latin America are collaborating on a six-week pop-up group exhibition at a warehouse in downtown L.A.

Museums that focus on other ethnic or cultural groups will also participate with exhibitions bridging the cultures. Here are some examples:

  • The Skirball Cultural Center is focusing on ties between the Mexican avant-garde and Jewish intellectuals.
  • The Japanese American National Museum is exploring how Japanese expatriates and their descendants became part of the art fabric in the area, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, and other parts of Latin America.
  • The Chinese American Museum in L.A. has an exhibition on ethnic Chinese artists who gravitated to the Caribbean and were influenced by art in the islands.

Concerts and performances are planned at the Hollywood Bowl, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and other facilities. The L.A. Philharmonic, whose conductor Gustavo Adolfo Dudamel Ramírez is Venezuelan, will hold a series of concerts featuring Latin American music. A Cuban dance company will perform. Several other activities are planned.

Being “La La Land,” film activities are also planned with the return of Pacific Standard Time to Southern California. For example, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Los Angeles Filmforum, and the UCLA Film & Television Archive have film series planned. Look for more information on the various Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA plans and exhibits this summer.

By Dyanne Weiss

J. Paul Getty Trust
Pacific Standard Time: About PST: LA/LA
Los Angeles Times: Getty gives $5 million to plan next PST, on Latino/Latin American art
Broadway World: Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Announces Performing Arts Programs
Artnet News: Latin American Galleries Flock to Los Angeles for Pacific Standard Time Pop-Up

Photo of Octopus Frontlet Moche, 300–600 courtesy of the Ministry of Culture, Peru, Lima-Peru, along with the Getty