10,000 Volunteers Create Colorful Floating Art for Los Angeles Lake

Photo: Courtesy Portraits of Hope
Children painting the "Spheres at MacArthur Park" by Portraits of Hope.  Photo: Portraits of Hope.

Children painting the “Spheres at MacArthur Park” by Portraits of Hope.
Photo: Portraits of Hope.

A massive floating art installation is taking over a Los Angeles lake this week. For “Spheres at MacArthur Park,” the nonprofit organization Portraits of Hope has filled the 8.39-acre lake with 3,000 brightly-colored vinyl balls.

Each inflatable sphere has been hand-painted by volunteers in floral or aquatic designs, and is between four and six feet in diameter.

“We want to help revitalize MacArthur Park and reintroduce this area of the city to people of Los Angeles,” Bernie Massey, who co-founded the nonprofit with his brother Ed, told the Los Angeles Times. “This is a historic park in the middle of the city. Many people drive right by it and don’t recognize its potential.”

Ed told CBS Los Angeles that about 10,000 people, including many children, were involved in bringing the large-scale project to fruition.

If the floral artwork looks vaguely familiar to New Yorkers, it’s because of Portraits of Hope’s 2007 project, “Garden in Transit,” which saw the hoods of the city’s taxi fleet covered in a similar colorful motif.

Other Portrait of Hope projects have adorned blimps, LA lifeguard towers, and NASCAR race cars with Ed’s artwork.

Following the installation’s four-week run, the beach ball–like artworks will be donated to local organizations, including schools and hospitals.

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Large beach balls hand painted by children transforming MacArthur Park into a work of art.

A photo posted by Steve Saldivar (@stevesaldivar) on

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A video posted by Clarence Gabriel (@clarencegabriel) on

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