Bright Spheres Bring A Lake to Life


If all goes according to plan, by the time Tuesday morning rolls around, the lake at MacArthur Park will be bursting with an estimated 2,500 colorful spheres. Hand-painted by roughly 10,000 volunteers around the Los Angeles area — principally schoolchildren — the project, organized by the L.A.-based arts nonprofit Portraits of Hope, will add a big splash of color to one of the city's most storied civic areas. On Saturday, Ed and Bernie Massey, the brother team that founded Portraits of Hope, along with Mayor Eric Garcetti, and a team of volunteers, began releasing the brightly painted spheres — draped with images of flowers and fish — into the lake's waters.

"This project involves everything that's good about Los Angeles," Garcetti told the Times. "Great weather, open space, creativity and social conscience."

This isn't the first time that Garcetti has tossed balls into water. This month he helped deposit thousands of "shade balls" into the Los Angeles Reservoir. But the purpose of this balls-to-the-water installation, said Bernie Massey, standing atop the lakeside dock where volunteers were inflating the giant 5-foot spheres, is to get Angelenos to think about one of its most important cultural monuments.