9856Los Angeles Library show report
- Jul 28, 2014
ZoCal participated in the 75th anniversary celebration of Los Angeles Union Station by setting up in the Getty Gallery of the downtown main Los Angeles Public Library during the week end of July 25-26. Each week end a different modular group was invited to display their layouts.
Friday was set up day with the Gallery opening at 3:30PM. Don, David, Henri, Jeff, Dan and I showed up to unload and using carts supplied by the Library transported all our stuff from the unloading dock through 2 elevators up to the Gallery. It was a real pleasure to not have to fight our way around others as is often the story at shows. We set up Henri's spectacular 11 module layout and my usual 5 module one. Henri's was all DCC using the computer, wireless router and JMRI for control while I ran the usual 1 DC loop and 1 DCC loop. Set up was completed by about 8PM.
Saturday opening was at 10AM with most of the Friday crew there except for Jeff. We were joined by James, Gary, Brian and Nick during the day. Gary gets the “trainista” award as he rode up from San Diego on Amtrak and then took the Metro to a station close to the Library. James took second place as he rode the Metro from Pasadena. The public showed up in steady numbers all day long but we never had more than 10-12 people at any one time. Many of the visitors had seen other displays during the exhibition and returned to check us out as most had no idea of the availability of Z scale. The exhibition was scheduled to close at 5PM when the Library closed but the organizers asked us if we would like to return at 8PM until 10PM and run trains as part of The Machine Project. None of us had any idea what The Machine Project was but we gladly accepted as we never pass up an opportunity to run trains. What an interesting evening it turned out to be! The Machine Project (http://machineproject.com) is a non-profit organization for performance art that has quite a good following in the Los Angeles art scene. About 600 people showed up!!! I am sure everyone of them visited us. The Gallery was packed all evening. I would say that 95% had no idea that model railroading would be a part of the gathering or even had any interest in model railroading. Needless to say the crowd was not the usual one we encounter at train shows. They were all very intellectual, intelligent, arts centered, interesting people. We attempted to field questions like “How does model railroading contribute to the arts? How do you express your creative talents though model railroading? Why is it Z scale? Does your model represent a specific area?” Certainly not the usual conversations at train shows. We all had to go check out the interpretive dancers in skin tight clothing illuminated by black light, the computer generated videos and other performance arts exhibitions. The free beer and wine wasn't bad either!
The exhibit did not open until 1PM on Sunday so we all slept in a bit and arrived just as the doors were opening. The crowd was a bit thin all day but everyone enjoyed running trains. James, Dan and I ran mostly passengers trains in honor of the Union Station anniversary on my small set up while Don, David, Henri, and Jeff kept 'em rollin' on Henri's set up. The passenger trains consisted of my faux Golden State Limited, my faux Lark, James's brand new AZL Sunset Limited, my unprototypical SP using some of the new AZL heavyweights, my Marklin Daylight and at least 3 MetroLiners. As usual the 5PM closing time arrived too soon but we were all pretty tired so it was for the best. We were packed up and out of there by about 6:30PM. Sure was nice to not have to dodge others tearing down, loading, blocking aisles, etc. as we often encounter at shows. All in all I think this was one of our most enjoyable exhibits. I just hope we will all be around for the 100th anniversary Union Station celebration!
I have opened a folder called “2014 LA Library Show” (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ZoCal/photos/albums/660373417) in the photo tab. Hopefully others will post some photos to give a good feeling for the great time we had all week end.
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