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Not a Super Bowl fan? Visit a new lending library in El Monte, catch a mural bike ride in NELA

weekend events
(Diana Ramirez/De Los)
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Had enough of the L.A. rain? This weekend is all about shaking off the storm and soaking up the sunshine. The Super Bowl is Sunday, which for many means munchies and a killer halftime show. But if you’re looking for a nonfootball alternative, we have you covered, from making ceramic Valentine’s Day conversation hearts at POT to a visit to a new lending library in El Monte that’s bringing L.A.’s Latinx writers to the yard to getting some much needed fresh air with a Latino Outdoors-led hike or a NELA mural bike ride.

ART & CULTURE

Amor Hecho Visible: Inglewood’s Residency Art Gallery is home to a new exhibit curated by 3B Collective featuring L.A. artist El Mac’s 15-year contribution to graffiti culture, mural and public art. El Mac was inspired by the words of Lebanese American writer, poet and visual artist Kahlil Gibran, who said “work is love made visible,” and his show features meticulous acrylic paintings, monochrome prints and sketches of Chicano culture. Founded in 2016, Residency is one of a few Black-owned commercial art galleries creating space for communities of color.

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday until March 30
Where: 1245 District Drive, Suite 945, Inglewood
Admission: Free; download the exhibition program here

A mural by artist El Mac adorns a wall
A mural, titled “The Mother Creator II,” by El Mac, adorns a wall in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Gente de Los Angeles: Catch the closing of Southeast L.A. photographer Oscar Rodriguez Zapata’s debut solo exhibit, which features a collection of portraits that intimately connect us with the people that call L.A. home. From day laborers to trendsetters, Zapata captures a Latinx community holding tight to tradition and reclaiming the L.A. narrative. What started in 2013 as a hobby shooting images of La Virgen de Guadalupe on his phone has turned into an obsession with documenting murals and mosaics of Mexico’s brown-skinned patron saint outside laundromats, liquor stores, markets, churches, bakeries, taquerias and tire shops. Come with an appetite, as Big Javi’s Hot Chicken is selling sandos. Also, Natalie E. will be providing sounds and vendors will be slanging goods.

When: 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Art Space HP, 3382 E. Florence Ave., Huntington Park
Admission: Free

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Melania Luisa Marte curates the De Los Latino poetry series, where poets define what love means for those with complicated histories of immigration, assimilation and survival.

Feb. 21, 2024

Libros Monte Launch Party: Tired of the lack of narratives about Tongva, Latinos, Japanese Americans and other El Monte locals, South El Monte native Carribean Fragoza and her historian, husband Romeo Guzmán, founded the South El Monte Arts Posse in 2011 to document their community’s history. Made up of writers, scholars, urban planners and educators, the posse is on a mission to create cultural pride in the San Gabriel Valley. Their latest project is a lending library at their CASA (Culture, Archive, Solidarity, Action) Zamora headquarters. Libros Monte Library provides the El Monte community with an archive and lending library featuring nearly 500 donated books, plus an events space, art classes and soccer ball and net rentals. Learn the history of the space, sign up for a library card and get in a zone with readings by Fragoza and fellow authors Mirlanda Robles, Michael Jaime-Becerra, Sesshu Foster and Steve Valenzuela.

When: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Zamora Park, 3820 Penn Mar Ave., El Monte
Admission: Free

LIVE MUSIC

Julius Rodriguez: Catch the jazzy pianist, drummer and composer, a.k.a. Orange Julius, as he tantalizes listeners with his magical offerings. Rodriguez combines his formal jazz training with a passion for R&B, gospel and hip-hop; he has toured with ASAP Rocky and collaborated with Meshell Ndegeocello, Kassa Overall and Brasstracks. On Saturday, he performs cuts from his debut solo album, “Let Sound Tell All,” with a full band at the Sun Rose on Sunset, where the House of Blues once sat, as part of West Hollywood’s free winter concert series.

When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Sun Rose, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Admission: Free

El Tri’s 55th Anniversary Tour: Considered Mexico’s version of the Rolling Stones, El Tri (a reference to the tricolor Mexican flag) is a legendary rock band formed in Mexico City in 1968 as a spinoff of it original Three Souls in My Mind. For 55 years, the band has rocked on, even performing during the pandemic for online streaming shows and at a drive-in concert in Toluca. Frontman and founder ?lex Lora sings raspily about everything from orphaned street kids to the AIDS epidemic. Dropped by its record label in 2004 because the band couldn’t compete with counterfeiters, El Tri signed onto a new label and continues to perform . Take your tíos and tías out for a night of rock ’n’ roll reminiscing.

When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: House of Blues Anaheim, 400 Disney Way, No. 337, Anaheim
Admission: Tickets $65

El Tri performs at Peacock Theater in Los Angeles
El Tri performs at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles in August.
(Alejandro Jimenez )
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GET OUTSIDE

NELA Mural Bike Ride: Hop on your bicicleta and join East L.A. Casita del Barrio caretaker Miguel Ramos, who teams up with Cypress Park’s bike education hub Bike Oven for a Northeast L.A. mural share bike ride. Ramos curated the roughly 12-mile route that stops at former Black Panther Charles “Boko” Freeman’s “Return to the Light” mural, which depicts the senseless killing of young people and homelessness with a shaman and spirits of Cesar Chavez, Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata symbolizing strength. Ramos will be drawing comparisons to what’s happening at home to the war in Gaza. Joe Bravo’s “Water Is Life” mural, a homage to the first people and plants of this Tongva territory, is also on the tour, as is East L.A. artists and siblings Ernesto and Sandra De La Loza’s “Earth Mother,” which is painted on the side of Planned Parenthood in Highland Park and features the late great activist Soraya Medina, who dedicated her life to community health and wellness. Mobile cumbia band Poco Pocho serenades riders eager to hear the stories behind these historical murals.

When: 11:30 a.m. meet-up, noon ride Saturday
Where: Meet at the Bike Oven, 3706 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles
Admission: Free

Todo Verde chef Jocelyn Ramirez shares her five favorite spots in Los Angeles.

Feb. 5, 2024

Latino Outdoors LA February Day Hike: It’s perfect hiking weather in L.A. right now. The sun’s out, but there’s still a chill in the air so you can actually go the distance without feeling like you’re going to die from heat exhaustion. Join the L.A. cohort of this national Latino outdoor enthusiast network for a day hike in Thousand Oaks. Located in Wildwood Regional Park, the Paradise Falls trail is approximately 4.1 miles and takes about three hours to complete. The park has scenic grasslands, shooting ridges, a native oak and sycamore tree-lined canyon and a beautiful mid-trail waterfall. Click on the images of some of the organization’s L.A. chapter leaders to get inspired to be in the great outdoors.

When: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Mesa Trailhead, Thousand Oaks
Admission: Free; reserve and sign the waiver

The steep trail that leads to Paradise Falls in Thousand Oaks' Wildwood Regional Park
Hikers walk the steep trail that leads to Paradise Falls in Thousand Oaks’ Wildwood Regional Park.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
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VALENTINE’S DAY

Ceramic Conversation Hearts: Ceramist, production designer, art director and prop maker Angelica Rivera guides students in creating conversation hearts that can be used as coasters, wall art or even vases. Originally from Arizona, Rivera is a POT instructor focused on ’90s and Y2K pop culture with influences from her Mexican American background. Participants choose between making two small tiles or one larger piece, which are perfect decorations for a coffee table or desk and can carve a favorite song lyric or mantra. Make it a date and invite a friend or crush. This workshop is a perfect way to catch up with someone while tapping into your creative side with clay. No experience necessary and all materials are provided. BYOB.

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Friday
Where: POT Gardens, 3228 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles
Admission: Tickets $65

A recent tweet by “Society of the Snow” ensemble actor Juan Caruso about America Ferrera and Colman Domingo sparked the question: who gets to be Latino?

Feb. 7, 2024

Love in Words & Art: Traditionally nailed onto crosses and wooden statues of saints like La Virgen de Guadalupe or carried for protection and good luck, milagros are small metal charms repaid to a saint for answered prayers. Curanderas bless milagros for people to carry and cure physical ailments or ward off evil spirits. This weekend, milagros and poets come together at Lincoln Heights’ new bookstore for a special two-day event offering visitors the chance to creatively explore love. Heart-shaped milagros handmade by local artist Myrna Gutierrez are for sale, and poets stationed at vintage typewriters will offer personalized love poems in exchange for a donation. Bring a friend and leave with a one-of-kind gift for a friend, family or boo.

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: The Libros Lincoln Heights, 3422 N. Broadway, Los Angeles
Admission: Free entrance

Hecho con Amor: Chiles Rellenos: For many of us, food is our love language. We cook nourishing meals for those we love to show them just how much we care about their mind, body and soul. In the spirit of Lent and the season of love, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is hosting a special cooking class taught by award-winning East L.A. recipe developer Nicole Presley, who puts a Chicana twist on chiles rellenos. Made with Anaheims instead of poblanos, these chiles are stuffed with melting cheese, coated in egg batter, fried to fluffy perfection and served atop caldo de tomato. A pine nut and mushroom rice pairs perfectly with this dish traditionally served on Fridays during Lent and enjoyed family-style at the end of class. Take a crack at the recipe if you’re cooking for someone special on Valentine’s Day.

When: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday
Where: La Plaza Cocina, 555 N. Spring St., Los Angeles
Admission: Tickets $65

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Download these images from Southern California artist Benjie Escobar to use as your phone wallpaper whenever you need a little bit of inspiration.

Feb. 7, 2024

Amor y Amistad Marketplace: Boyle Heights’ multipurpose art and healing space Kalli Luna Gallery hosts a Valentine’s Day-themed pop up featuring the work of local makers and healing practitioners. Amor y Amistad features Araseli Silva Grateful’s House of Divinity sterling silver and 14k-gold fill jewelry and Viking faux fur mantles, Emelda M. Gutierrez’s Nerobutterfly mixed media art and ceramics and designer Martha Carrillo’s Heart on Arts wearable art, jewelry and screenprints. Shop for one-of-a-kind art pieces, magnets, T-shirts, natural skincare, cacao, perfume and plants. Get a limpia and tarot card reading when you’re ready to wind down.

When: Noon to 6 p.m.
Where: Kalli Luna Gallery, 2834 Wabash Ave., Los Angeles
Admission: Free

L.A. is too big for us to know about all the events happening this weekend. If we missed something you think we should know about, let us know.

Kamren Curiel is a fourth-generation Xicana born in East L.A. and raised in Monterey Park and South San Gabriel. She’s written for the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Taco, Latina magazine, LAist, KCET, Alta and the Huffington Post, and was the senior editor at Remezcla and Sí TV.

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