RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Someone left the “cakes” out in the rain at MacArthur Park


MacArthur Park spheres

Through September 22 the lake at MacArthur Park is covered in painted balls. Since first hearing about this project several months ago (while eating lunch at Langer’s across the street) I’ve been looking forward to this event.

MacArthur Park spheres

From the Portraits of Hope website: The Spheres at MacArthur Park is the largest public art and civic project in the U.S. More than 10,000 children and adults throughout Los Angeles have participated in visually transforming and revitalizing MacArthur Park as part of Portraits of Hope’s latest project. 

Click on an image to start slideshow.

Everybody knows the lyrics to Jimmy Webb’s MacArthur Park made famous by Richard Harris and many others. As it happens, there was a very heavy rainstorm Monday night so when I visited yesterday I wondered if there would be any damage to the spheres. But I didn’t notice too much.

However, it did seem like life imitating art for here were all these brightly colored “cakes” floating around in MacArthur Park after the rains.

MacArthur Park spheres

Besides the colorful “cakes” there was plenty of wildlife to captivate my lens.

MacArthur Park spheres

I couldn’t decide if this little guy was admiring his own fine feathers or fascinated, as I was, by the reflection of the ball.

MacArthur Park spheres

This seagull was obviously more interested in posing for his portrait than viewing the artwork. Seagulls are very hard to impress.

MacArthur Park spheres

I took so many photos of the “cakes” that I had a hard time deciding which ones to use for the blog. I wanted to pick the photos that were most representative of my experience rather than necessarily the most artsy ones. So I hope I struck a balance between the two ways to go.

Over the decades MacArthur Park has seen many ups and downs, to say the least. I was a little apprehensive about visiting on my own. The park is known for drug deals, the sale of false IDs, shootings, gang violence and other nefarious activities. I believe part of the reason for this installation was to bring the citizens of Los Angeles to the park and to create some interest in its revitalization.


MacArthur Park spheres

MacArthur Park spheres

Evidently the birds don’t care about any of that and consider it a haven in the middle of the big city.

Above are images of the artists floating on the water.

MacArthur Park spheres

I watched these two birds for quite a while as they chased each other all over the lake and held each other in death grips, keeping the opponent’s wings pinned under the water. Several times I was sure one of them would drown. But after a while one or the other got tired or decided the lesson had been learned and it was all over

If you are interested in seeing this spectacle, do not delay. I took the Expo Line from Culver City to the Purple Line to MacArthur Park. The park is just across the street from the station. The Red Line stops there too.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!







Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

15 thoughts on “Someone left the “cakes” out in the rain at MacArthur Park

  1. Wow! What a fabulous park! If you don’t leave there smiling, something is wrong. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos, Roslyn! So much color. ❤


  2. Great, fun place! It takes a creative mind to make this project. Thank you for sharing Roslyn! 🙂


  3. An interesting way to bring color and vibrancy to MacArthur Park, Roslyn. I hope it worked to being other people in too. 😀


  4. Incredible shots, just love the colors and reflections!


  5. Very cool

    Sent from my iPhone



  6. Delightful public art and masterful birds’ portraits,dear Roslyn!It’s a pity that there is so much violence in such a beautiful park with plenty of wildlife.Loved some of your photos,they look like modern fine paintings! 🙂 x


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