Spotlight will be on Caltrans

FOR better or for worse, downtown's Caltrans Building seems married to Hollywood.

Even before employees moved into the Thom Mayne-designed structure at 1st and Main streets in fall 2004, a disparaging Times letter writer dubbed the 716,200-square-foot edifice the "Death Star," a reference to an enemy space station in the "Star Wars" films. And for sheer size, it redefines the term "blockbuster."

But now the building is about to become a big screen -- for a multimedia and "light art" exhibition by more than 20 artists using portions of the building's Eli and Edythe Broad Plaza as the surface for projections in a 7 p.m. to midnight show Saturday, accompanied by live music.

The exhibition, presented by downtown's Gallery Row Organization, is curated by artist Lilli Muller. It will include digital projections, light box/back light installations, 3-D light/found-art sculptures and a laser light show. Except for the laser show, which will be repeated throughout the evening, all the artworks will be displayed at the same time. Artists include Launa Bacon, Richard Godfrey, NewAje and Brian Stotesbery.

Oh, and there's another movie connection: The art show, intended for Oct. 1, had to be postponed. Paramount took over surrounding streets that weekend to film a "major" motion picture. A studio spokeswoman said she was unable to confirm this by press time, but Muller said it was the upcoming "Mission Impossible III" that made her mission impossible until a later date.

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