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Only Light Can Do That

Patrick Martinez

Neon Lights | 2021

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

Neon installation viewable daytime and into evening until September 5, 2021.

For more information visit

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
501 N Main Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Patrick Martinez, Only Light Can Do That, neon mural installation, commissioned by LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Photo © Elizabeth Pezza

About the Project

Artist Patrick Martinez transforms LA Plaza’s building as part of WE RISE 2021 into a monumental neon mural with social-political messages addressing the plight and resilience of essential workers in Los Angeles. The installation’s title Only Light Can Do That, references and riffs off of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s beloved sermon given in 1957 at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Collaborating with AltaMed Health Services, Martinez sourced phrases from key statistics and oral histories from the communities most affected by the pandemic to promote mass dialogue and awareness, presenting their collective voices through symbolic rhythms of words, color and light. Creating more than twenty-five new neon artworks as part of this site-specific installation Martinez’ goals are to inspire connection between the urban minority experience, increase awareness about the communities most impacted by the pandemic, promote dialogue related to issues of immigration and equality and give recognition to the behind-the-scenes heroes who champion representation and healing for all.

“Creating this site-specific public installation is something I wanted to make happen for the people of Los Angeles, and, at the same time, I wanted to unpack the past year for myself while composing this body of work.”
-Patrick Martinez

Contact us: [email protected]

WE RISE is the annual Mental Health Awareness Month initiative of the Los Angeles County Department of Health’s ongoing WHY WE RISE campaign, funded by sponsorships and Prop 63.

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