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A Miracle Mile Weekend for Worldwide Mask Masters

“Face of L.A.,” a collaborative public art project directed by Frank Romero, will highlight the 16th International Festival of Masks, a popular, free, annual event taking place Saturday and next Sunday at Hancock Park.

Romero has constructed a skyline of four eight-foot-tall towers, upon which visitors can attach masks representing the various faces of L.A. residents. The project will be installed in Los Angeles City Hall after the festival.

Other highlights include two stages for continuous dance, theater and storytelling performances, plus artists’ demonstrations and vending booths. The half-mile Parade of Masks, in which groups and individuals to show off their colorful creations, begins Sunday at 11 a.m. at the corner of Wilshire and Cochran, then travels west on Wilshire to the festival grounds.

The festival, presented by the Craft & Folk Art Museum and designed to highlight the “language” of the mask among the world’s cultures, is open both days from 11 a.m. to dusk. Information: (213) 937-5544.

PUBLIC ART: African-American artist Noni Olabisi has completed “Freedom Won’t Wait” at Jamaican Braids & Nails at 1815 West 54th Street in South-Central Los Angeles. The 26-by-30-foot mural, part of SPARC’s 1992 “Great Walls Unlimited” program, was designed after the riots as a “comment on the repressive conditions African-Americans endure” in the neighborhood. It depicts faces expressing various emotions, plus scenes of lynchings, a policeman attacking a youth, burning buildings and a young man whose picket sign spells out the mural’s title.

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“Santa Monica Art Tool: Walk on L.A.,” a 12-ton sculpture by Carl Cheng, will be rolled north along the beach from the Santa Monica Pier next Sunday from 2-4 p.m., creating a giant imprint of L.A.'s cityscape on the sand. Installed at its permanent location near the pier in 1988, the work is a 9-by-11-foot concrete roller resembling those used to pave asphalt. Its surface contains a two-inch-high imprint of L.A.'s urban landscape, including tiny houses, cars, shrubs, people and high-rises.

GALLERIES: After his much-talked-about split with backer Jay Chiat, Fred Hoffman has joined the Salander-O’Reilly Galleries in Beverly Hills. To be dubbed the Salander O’Reilly and Fred Hoffman Gallery, the new association will open in November with a group show merging artists from both stables, including Charles Arnoldi, Elmer Bischoff, Sophie Calle, Tony Cragg, Frank Gehry, Marsden Hartley, Kenneth Noland, Manuel Ocampo and Richard Serra.

Santa Monica’s Christopher Grimes Gallery has moved to 916 Colorado Blvd. in the space previously occupied by the defunct BlumHelman Gallery. The gallery--which now includes a project room--inaugurates the space on Saturday with a 6-8 p.m. opening of new work by Carl Bronson and the project room installation, “The Voting Booth,” by Crane & Winet.

POLITICS: Local artworld figures including Ed Ruscha, Ed Moses, Don Bachardy, Greg Gorman, Elyse and Stanley Grinstein, Christopher Grimes, G. Ray Hawkins, Robert Berman, Ruth Bloom and Shoshana and Wayne Blank have joined those publicly endorsing the Clinton/Gore presidential campaign. The group are among the organizers of “Artists for Change,” an Oct. 24 invitation-only Democratic fund-raiser.

Highlights from Jacki Apple’s “Redefining Democracy in America,” a radio call-in show that addressed issues of art, politics, community and the media in relation to the presidential election, will be broadcast on Tuesday from 8:30-9:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 2-3 p.m. on KPFK-FM (90.7). For additional airing times, call (818) 985-2711.

Artists for a Better Image, better known as ArtFBI, is accepting nominations through Friday for a list of America’s “Cultural Working Class,” which the Baltimore-based advocacy organization defines as “people who have a stake in the cultural and social vibrancy of this country and are not just talking about it, but are working at the national, regional and community levels to affect change.” The list is being compiled in response to Republican criticism of the “cultural elite” and Newsweek’s recently published list of the country’s top 100 cultural elitists. Information: (410) 563-1903.

AUCTION: “Focus on AIDS IV” a major photography auction to benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles and Caring for Babies with AIDS, will be held Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Directors Guild of America, 7920 Sunset Boulevard. Featured are more than 160 works by photographers including Sid Avery, Greg Gorman, George Hurrell, Annie Leibovitz, Man Ray, Herb Ritts, Alfred Stieglitz, Jock Sturges and William Wegman, as well as the 11-image “Indomitable Spirit Portfolio” featuring works by John Baldessari, Robert Rauschenberg, Cindy Sherman, Bruce Weber and others. G. Ray Hawkins, whose Santa Monica gallery is previewing the works today, is the auctioneer. Tickets are $55. Information: (213) 962-1600.

CYBER ARTS: The third annual CyberArts International conference for interactive and multimedia artists will be at the Pasadena Conference Center Oct. 29-Nov. 1 (information: (415) 905-2496). The conference comes on the heels of the recent opening of CyberSpace Gallery at 8547 Santa Monica Blvd. Run in association with EZTV, the gallery’s inaugural exhibition (through Nov. 27) features digital ink jet prints by Victor Acevedo and Michael Wright, video/sculpture installations by John Hawk and Guy Marsden and an interactive environment by Louise Diedrich and Laurie House.

EVENTS: “Yang-Na,” a collaboration between painter John Valadez and performance artist Ruben Guevara addressing “the ramifications of conquest . . . and its consequential psychological repercussions on contemporary urban Chicano society,” will be performed Friday at 8 p.m. at the Jansen-Perez Gallery during the opening of the gallery’s exhibition, “Encounter: A Commemoration of 500 Years of Fusion of Cultures.” Information: (213) 933-4025.

Robert Williams, May Sun, Barbara Carrasco and Fred Fehlau are among those scheduled for this year’s “Manifesto Night” at Venice’s Beyond Baroque at 8:30 p.m. on Friday. Also scheduled to speak are Paul McCarthy, Megan Williams, Harry Gamboa Jr., Matt Groening, Elia Arce, Mary Waronov, Rosamund Felson, Pat Faure and Charles Gaines. Admission is $15. Information: (310) 822-3006.


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