EMPOWERING PEOPLE | PLANET | LEGACIES
ART + EARTH
KISS THE GROUND
supported by a grant from the California Arts Council and the Ruth & Joseph C. Reed Foundation for the Arts
LOS ANGELES, CA
supported by a grant from the California Arts Council and Bob Blumenfield, Los Angeles City Council District 3
COUNCIL DISTRICT 3 OFFICE
Kiss the Ground
Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and KISS THE GROUND.
This piece of public art is produced in association with Kiss the Ground, a regenerative agriculture and soil health non profit in Los Angeles. It is funded in part by the California Arts Council within their Artists in Communities grant and the Ruth & Joseph C. Reed Foundation.
This mural depicts a respect and reverence for the ground we all walk on and the importance of maintaining healthy and thriving ecosystems. The artwork is directly guided and inspired by the Rumi quote, “Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground” and in promotion of the mission of the organization Kiss the Ground. It depicts microscopic elements (i.e. H20, carbon, etc) represented through geometric forms, people of all ethnicities and ages reverently kissing the ground, native grasses behind the figures with flowers and cross pollinators, and a cross section of the soil showing the inorganic and organic sub-surface world. The bottom section of the mural shows mycorrhizal fungi, earthworms and microscopic creatures like tardigrades. At the very bottom are the water table, rocks and copepods.
“This mural is chock-full of beauty and meaning; it is intended to both bring color to a blank parking lot wall, but also educate the public on the importance of soil health, regenerative agriculture and environmental stewardship. The health of our people and planet is a direct reflection of the health of our soil.” - 11:11 Co-Director Addy Gonzalez Renteria
“Public art has the ability to offer new perspectives on old problems, to incite conversation, empower change, and help people connect to issues in new ways. It allows us to see ourselves, our communities, and challenges within larger societies, and find solace but also inspiration in our shared space.11:11 A Creative Collectives works to empower necessary conversations by facilitating public art with advocacy in the forefront.”
- 11:11 Co-Director Erin Stone
This mural is produced in association with the Theodore Payne Foundation, a regenerative agriculture and soil health non profit in Los Angeles. It is funded in part by the California Arts Council within their Artists in Communities grant, the Ruth & Joseph C. Reed Foundation and the office of Council member Bob Blumenfield.
Trees are an essential part of human and environmental health. In CA, we’ve experienced widespread tree die-offs from disease, drought, fire, insect infestations, as well as designed loss of urban canopy. Our native coastal live oak (quercus agrifolia) is a cornerstone species of the California environment. They provide shelter and support for 100’s of species and like the California poppy and brown bear are representative of the state’s ecological heritage. It’s essential for the health of our communities to prioritize trees and integrate nature into built environments. The hope is that this mural will continuously remind the public of how beautiful and important our native species are.
At the completion of each mural, 11:11 ACC's education program, Valley Art Academy will host a series of educational workshops with our partnering environmental organizations. Each workshop is free to the public and will address these collective issues and how art-making and environmental advocacy can go hand-in-hand.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Miles Lewis is a steady-working goofball with a wry affect and a strong sense of civic duty. Professionally, he is an artist, art educator and organizer who sits on the board of 11:11 Creative Collective, an LA based non profit arts organization and public art consultancy. He grew up in a family of entertainers in LA's San Fernando Valley with 4 great passions: Art, education, critical/creative thinking, and environmental stewardship.These loves have woven themselves into a few different forms over the years.
At 19, Miles took over operation of Valley Art Institute, the college-prep art studio he attended, and has been running some form of these classes ever since. In 2009 it was called Valley Art Studio School. In 2013, it became the Valley Print Studio. In 2016, the Valley Art Workshop. In 2020, the Valley Art Academy. This current iteration can be viewed here.
Miles has exhibited in group shows around the world and have taken on a few residencies: Elsewhere Studios in Paonia CO, 55 ltd etching workshop in Berlin, Germany, and the Camera Obscura in Santa Monica.He spent a number years as a printmaker, having master-printed with artists, given lectures at institutions around Southern California, and lead workshops in traditional and contemporary techniques.
In 2017, Miles became a zero waste educator and general environmental advocate, working weekends as a portrait artist. In 2021 (and beyond), with new ventures in public art, Miles is still refining and combining his passions with an eye towards a fairly simple objective: Educating, illustrating, and advocating for a world that prioritizes human creativity and environmental mindfulness.