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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

Steve Appleton
Caligraphic Seating

Project Area:  Chinatown
Project:  Cathay Manor Bench Project
Project Location:  600 N. Broadway
Project Type:  CRA/LA Initiated


Using a combination of benches and table and sitting stools, Caligraphic Seating was designed to provide a comfortable place of rest for the senior residents of the Cathay Manor Apartments. Cathay Manor is a large senior citizen and low income housing project in Chinatown that accommodates the Chinatown Senior Citizen Center.

Steve Appleton worked with the property owner to focus on Feng shui aesthetics and selected materials, colors, and forms that are regarded positively in Chinese culture.

The benches were fabricated from highly durable and low maintenance materials of concrete and laminated bamboo wood slats. They feature the color of green jade, which has been long associated with good luck by symbolizing energy and beauty. This particular shade of green has the added benefit of blending the furnishings harmoniously into the garden setting. Four table stools include a flower image sandblasted on the top with a black base to accompany some of the benches.

Caligraphic Seating can be found throughout Cathay Manor’s interior courtyard and a few of pieces near the main entrance on Broadway. Additional funding for this project was provided by a grant from the Historic Cultural Neighborhood Council.

For other projects, please see:

"Caligraphic Seating" - benches and tables
Caligraphic Seating - detail of table top

Artist Profile

Steve Appleton is currently an assistant professor of Art in the Sculpture/New Genre Program of Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. In addition to Appleton’s Face Finder/ Face Time, a large-scale interactive digital projection project at the plaza of Sunset and Vine, the artist has also completed a major site-specific architecturally integrated artwork for the Metro Green Line Harbor Station. Appleton received his MFA in sculpture from the University of Southern California. The artist has received numerous awards including the following: Americans for the Art’s Public Art Year in review (2007); National Instruments Vision Program (2000); City of Los Angeles, Cultural Affairs Individual Artist Grant (1992); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions project grant (1990) with Deborah Oliver; and a PanAm Fulbright (1989) for installation and a teaching project in Rio de Janeiro.