MUSE-ings: Snapshots of the Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles

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9780989114813: MUSE-ings: Snapshots of the Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles

MUSE-ings: Snapshots from the Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles features on-the-fly images captured and shared by Melissa Richardson Banks daily through her award-winning Downtown Muse blog and social media (Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter). Richardson Banks says she is a collector of memories more than a photographer. "A real photographer," she says, "owns a 'real' camera. I just take snapshots with my iPhone; mostly of temporary things that I love and don't want to forget." Collectively, her images reveal an insider's glimpse into her urban neighborhood transformed by artists in the early 1980s and now quickly gaining widespread popularity. Seemingly, the point of view for each shot is more of someone who has lost a loved one than a tourist taking photos on vacation. A pile of bricks covered in graffiti from a demolished industrial building, luscious blossoms against stark concrete, blinding rooftop sunsets, skies crisscrossed by power lines, serpentine wire twirled around iron fences, and the promise of a new day as the sun rises over historic bridges are among the many images that evoke the sense of a place more pastoral or even more exotic than what you'd expect to find in the center of the nation's second largest metropolitan area. The book includes 92 full-color photographs and an introductory essay by Melissa Richardson Banks. It was designed by Christy Addis.

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About the Author:

Melissa Richardson Banks shies away from describing herself as a photographer, but she plays one most every day in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. During her daily walks with her dogs Vatche and Foxy, she often takes unplanned photographs with an iPhone. A native of Texas, she's an adopted Angeleno who was drawn to the Arts District 20 years ago since its industrial feel and close-knit creative community reminded her of where she grew up in Flour Bluff. To earn a living and inspiring other parts of her life, she runs a marketing firm called CauseConnect, which helps businesses and nonprofits work well together to change the world. She also shares photos, stories, and information about the Arts District through her award-winning blog called Downtown Muse. Her artistic side is satisfied by managing the Chicano art collection of Cheech Marin and, of course, taking snapshots.

Review:

Melissa Richardson Banks offers a poignant long-form photo-essay chronicling the changing contours of a singular place and time. Her taste for saturated color is met by the neighborhood's organic proliferation of street art and industrial palimpsests. Her instinct for painterly detail appreciates the way rail tracks or light posts recede just so, the way the sun paints the sky and myriad reflections paint each other, and the peculiar architectural romance of the moribund manufacturing sector. In the tradition of classic street-photographers like like Eugène Atget and Henri Cartier-Bresson, her images capture a specific sense of place that looks like poetry, but does the job of documentary. Her unerring eye for the rhythms of her environment approaches the power of, if not nature exactly, then the thing that people like us chooses instead of nature. --Shana Nys Dambrot - art critic, Whitehot Magazine

Melissa Richardson Banks is our secret eyes, finding the secret light that illuminates the secrets of an ever-changing neighborhood and bringing them out into plain sight so that they are secrets no more. --Cheech Marin - collector, art advocate and entertainer

Great artists have flocked to Tumblr to share their work for the digital world to see. Unfortunately, those creative minds usually forget about Tumblr within a few weeks after creating it. That's why Melissa Richardson Banks' online anthology of downtown Los Angeles' Art District, Downtown Muse, is such a treat. Richardson Banks shares her "fly-on-the- wall" view of street scenes and local stories a couple times a day. Every day. And if you want to get the offline experience of her Tumblr, she offers free neighborhood tours weekly. --2013 LA Weekly Web Awards

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Melissa Richardson Banks
Published by CauseConnect LLC January 2014 (2014)
ISBN 10: 0989114813 ISBN 13: 9780989114813
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Book Description CauseConnect LLC January 2014, 2014. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 213968

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Melissa Richardson Banks
Published by CauseConnect LLC (2014)
ISBN 10: 0989114813 ISBN 13: 9780989114813
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Book Description CauseConnect LLC, 2014. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Christy Addis (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0989114813

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