Dragonflies, Bugs and Finding Found Art

On the way to the Audubon Center at Debs Park in LA, a big blue bug looms at the entrance to Avenue 52 off the 110 Freeway.  Standing about 20+ feet high in the grass of a front yard, the wing span stretches across its metallic shiny body. Its bulging mirror eyeballs stare, its mouth—made of a truck’s grill—looks ready for a bite.

Next to this artful insect is a gigantic dragonfly in a garden of enormous metal flowers and a huge spider web with bicycle wheel spokes incorporated into the artwork. The artist LT Mustardseed uses found objects, welded metal and automotive paints to create her sculptures, installed as public art in Santa Clarita, the Autry Museum and now residing in Highland Park.  A little hand-painted sign says to reach her at Dragonflysculptures@yahoo.com.

Speaking of animal art, today I also visited Gold Bug in Pasadena with my friend, artist Greta Grigorian. It’s one of my favorite stores. It’s like an eccentric Cabinet of Curiosity filled with fascinating art, intriguing gifts and eerie stuff, from Steampunk clothing to butterflies, bugs and bats, as well as gorgeous jewelry, botanical items, graphite sculptured pencils, and much more. Agelio Batle of Batle Studios creates these “pencils” in the shape of hands, feathers, sticks of bamboo, angel wings, and bird beaks.

“Would you write with them?” asked Greta, imagining the sculpture vanishing with every word.

About Roberta Cruger

“I’m a writer, but then nobody’s perfect.” – Billy Wilder

Roberta Cruger, a journalist for more than 15 years, has contributed to an array of publications including Smithsonian, The Believer, HOW, Robb Report, and the Los Angeles Times magazine, websites such as Salon and Treehugger, and has written for National Geographic Traveler and in-flight magazines from Alaska Airlines to U.S. Airways. She was the founding editor of the media section at Creem magazine and worked in programming at MTV from 1981-’88. Her beats cover arts/culture and entertainment, the environment, design, food, and travel, and her books include the “Hungry? Seattle” guidebook and a chapter in the “Rock, She Wrote” anthology.

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