California’s Immersive Art Exhibits Worth Visiting

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Perhaps, as our interactions are more and more mediated by screens, you’re seeking to immerse yourself in the tangible world, to awaken all your senses. Or, maybe, you just want a cool photo for social media.

Either way, California can satisfy your craving.

The state has a growing number of immersive art exhibits that, as the name implies, submerge the viewer like a fun house. These increasingly popular installations allow you to step into the deep blue of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” or tour the world’s trippiest supermarket, filled with bizarre commodities crafted by artists.

Today, I’m sharing a selection of immersive art exhibits around the Golden State:

“A Forest for the Trees” by Glenn Kaino – Los Angeles

This show, which opened last week, leads visitors through a surreal forest inside a 28,000-square-foot Boyle Heights warehouse. The forest includes actual redwood trees, as well as handmade sculptures, animatronic robots and glimmering installations.

Its creator and director, the Los Angeles artist Glenn Kaino, wants to push audiences to reimagine their relationship with the natural world. He told The Los Angeles Times that the project was his most ambitious yet.

“I feel like I’ve worked my entire career to build the skills and tools to even try to conceive of this idea, let alone to hopefully accomplish it with a level of quality, ”he said.

“Immersive Frida Kahlo” – San Francisco and Los Angeles

The works of the iconic Mexican artist are coming to life in nine cities across the nation. The show loosely traces Kahlo’s life and showcases her famous self-portraits and vivid surrealist pieces.

Read more about the shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Field of Light at Sensorio by Bruce Munro – Paso Robles

This mind-bending spectacle has drawn thousands of tourists and become an Instagram phenomenon since it first opened in 2019.

Visitors arrive at the field at dusk, “when thousands of solar-powered glass orbs on stems, created by artist Bruce Munro, enfold visitors in an earthbound aurora borealis of shifting hues,” my colleague Patricia Leigh Brown wrote in The Times.

“The subtly changing patterns of this light safari, activated by a nebula of fiber-optic cables attached to hidden projectors, seem to inspire a cathedral-like awe among ticket holders.”

Today’s tip comes from Pelle P. Smits, who recommends Wilder Ranch State Park near Santa Cruz:

The park originated from the division of the Mission Santa Cruz pasture lands in the 1830s, becoming the Mexican Rancho Refugio, before the dairyman DD Wilder acquired a significant piece of land, becoming today’s Wilder Ranch State Park. Many of the ranch houses, including several adobes, have been preserved and restored and their history can be discovered when exploring the park. The area’s trails allow for pleasant strolls, hikes, and biking routes along the cliffs. The Wilder and Strawberry beaches and their surrounding rock formations are often occupied by hundreds of resting seals while giving way to stunning coastal views. The park is a habitat for various species of birds, with ocean low tides uncovering the park’s further richness of sea stars, urchins, whales, and sea otters. “

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to [email protected] We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.


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After arriving at their friends’ nuptials in Burbank, Dr. Vivian Esther Yee and Joshua Kent Ma soon found out they would be paired together as bridesmaid and groomsman.

The two, who had not met before the 2017 wedding, also learned that they were the wedding party’s only single members.

“Obviously we were set up,” The Times told me.

Their friends’ matchmaking worked. Last month, almost five years after that first meeting, Yee and Ma had their own wedding.


Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. – Soumya

PS Here’s today’s Mini Crosswordand a clue: Meat on a skewer (5 letters).