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  • CRA/LA’S commitment to public art began over 40 years ago.
  • Over 200 art projects in 21 redevelopment project areas have been completed to date.
  • California Plaza developers met their art requirement by building a $23 million facility for the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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 \\Commonspot\internet-site\images\bullet1 Art Projects

Lita Albuquerque
Gateway Pool, Water Wall and Star Map

Project Area:  CBD-Civic Center
Project:  Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
Project Location:  555 W. Temple Street
Project Type:  Developer Initiated


Upon entering the Cathedral from Temple Street though the Shepherd's Gate, one encounters a small sunken plaza with a fountain and wall of water. Designed collaboratively with architect Robert Kramer, Lita Albuquerque's "Gateway Pool" and "Water Wall" were based primarily on Biblical text that was stated by Jesus to a Samaritan woman in his request for some water. Reflecting on that particular Biblical Scripture, the fountain disk is inscribed with the words, "I shall give you living water," translated into the known 37 languages spoken by the cathedral's parishioners. The multi-lingual text is also inscribed in concentric rings, because in a post-September 11th world Albuquerque wanted the fountain to, "emphasize the concept of unity of all the languages within the larger context of the circularity of the star field map on the ground." As water flows from a source in the center of the large disk, it creates ripples that alternately obscure and reveal the texts inscribed on the disk's flat surface. The large circular disk comprising the fountain is made of Imperial Bambi White Marble.

Located on the plaza hardscape surrounding the fountain is Albuquerque's "Star Map." Originally intended to be reflective of Albuquerque's own interpretation of constellations, the project was later revised to adhere to Catholic tradition, which stipulates that the constellations should reflect the actual star patterns in the sky the night before the Cathedral was to be dedicated.

For other projects, please see:

Gateway Pool, Water Wall, and Star Map

Artist Profile

In the late 1970s, Lita Albuquerque developed an interest in art not as a canvas in a gilded frame, but as an ephemeral action created in real space.  She has developed a national reputation for her sculptural installations that incorporate her fascination with space and philosophy.  Albuquerque is currently preparing for a global, ephemeral project delineating the motion of the stars at the North and South Poles.  The artist’s numerous solo exhibitions include installations at: Santa Monica Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Corcoran Gallery of Art; Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris; Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo; and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.   Presently, Albuquerque is a professor on the core faculty of the Fine Art Graduate Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.