La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts Will Hold Re-Dedication Ceremony to Sculpture 'Canto 79'

The 40th Anniversary of the monumental theme sculpture that welcomes patrons to La Mirada Theatre For The Performing Arts will be celebrated at a re-dedication ceremony this Saturday, November 2nd at 4:45 PM at the theatre (14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada). Created by the internationally acclaimed artist Joseph L. Young, the sculpture – entitled “Canto 79” (or “Song of 79”) – remains a stunning example of civic art. The fascinating story of its creation and Young’s unique vision will be the focus of guest speakers Daniel Paul, the notable architectural historian, and the sculptor’s daughters, Cecily and Leslie Young. Attendees will receive a free exclusive souvenir program filled with Young’s conceptual sketches, rare pictures of the sculpture during its fabrication, and coverage of its unveiling in 1979.

Twenty-eight feet tall, eight feet wide, and weighing nearly two tons, “Canto 79” is an abstract, three-dimensional statement of music that is symbolic of the activities of the theatre. Meant to be seen from multiple perspectives and in various lights, Young’s masterful creation continues to attract attention, decades after its introduction. “We are thrilled to shine the spotlight on this impressive work which so perfectly complements the venue, the landscape and live performance itself,” enthuses BT McNicholl, La Mirada Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director. “Discovering how it came to be – and what Young meant to convey – is going to be exciting to share.”

Joseph Young (1919-2007) was renowned for his mosaic murals, stained glass windows, monuments and public sculptures in granite, concrete and bronze. During his career he completed over 60 commissions, with “Canto 79” being the fortieth. His commissions can be seen in civic buildings, churches, synagogues and other public spaces, as well as privately collected works. His largest work is the mosaic West Apse of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. He completed several notable works in Los Angeles including the mosaic mural at the Parker Center, the Holocaust Monument, the mosaic bas-relief on the LA County Hall of records, the History of Mathematics bas-relief panels on the exterior of the UCLA Math Sciences Building and the “Triforium” located in downtown Los Angeles.

Keynote Speaker Daniel Paul served as the Vice-Chairperson of the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee, a post-war architecture advocacy group founded in 1984. In 2009, he completed draft historic context statements for evaluating Los Angeles architecture constructed between 1965 and 1980 for the Getty Conservation Institute/City of Los Angeles “Survey LA” citywide historic resources survey.

The re-dedication ceremony is presented by the La Mirada Theatre Historians, whose research and in-depth interviews inspired the event. Those interested in the performing arts and history are invited to join by calling 562-902-2901.

LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS is located at 14900 La Mirada Boulevard in La Mirada.

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