LAVA Sunday Salon January 2011

On the last Sunday of the month starting in March 2010, LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather on the third floor of the historic Clifton’s Cafeteria in Downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a loosely structured conversational Salon featuring short presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another. If you’re interested in joining LAVA as a creative contributor or an attendee, we recommend Salon attendance as an introduction to this growing community. We also recommend the shortbread.

• Back by popular demand, LAVA Visionary Gene Sculatti, outsider artist and pop culture critic (The Catalog of Cool) offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Salon attendees to “develop” the open spaces on his newest fantasy cityscape scroll, Majestic Boulevard. Come live the Jet Age California dream when you stake out a virtual half-acre along Majestic Boulevard and plan the commercial development of your dreams. Maybe it’s tiki-themed bowling alley… or a no-tell motel named after your secret crush… or the lone Victorian farmhouse left behind when progress came to town. Interested “developers” are invited to come view the scroll in progress and talk about the possibilities with the artist. Stake your claim, and then follow your development’s progress on the LAVA blog between January and June, when Gene will return to the LAVA Salon to unveil the expanded scroll to the lucky “property owners.”

ABOUT GENE SCULATTI‘S SCROLLS: Since the age of 9, Sculatti, 63, has created imaginary horizontal cities packed with fascinating details that reflect his evolving obsessions: googie signage, soaring bridges, skyscrapers, suburbs, amusement parks and much more. Join us for a rare opportunity to get close to these beautiful and strange artworks, and to hear the artist discuss his inspirations, working methods, and how the scrolls have stayed with him for more than four decades. To learn more about Gene’s cityscapes, see photos from the March 2010 Sunday Salon exhibit of Gene’s scrolls here, or read Gene’s musings here. See a flier for today’s presentation here.

• Also back by popular demand, LAVA Visionary Joe Oesterle, author of the just-released Weird Hollywood and the classic Weird California. Joe will be sharing wacky stories from his incredibly odd book tour, featuring a cameo from local cable access legend Skip E. Lowe. He also presents one of the characters from Weird Hollywood, the incomparable Count Smokula, making his LAVA debut with accordion-driven song and a Q&A. The multi-talented Joe Oesterle is a former Senior Editor of National Lampoon, a visual artist, musician and curator of the strange and marvelous. Joe will be signing copies of his new book, and Count Smokula — who is also our newest Visionary — will have CDs for sale.

Clifton’s Cafeteria is at 648 South Broadway, near the corner of 7th Street. There are numerous paid parking lots nearby, and the closest Metro station is Pershing Square. Clifton’s is online at