Why did you come to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art?

By Olivia Arrellano, 14, L.A.C.E.S.
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The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

As I stood in the central courtyard of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, absorbing the relaxing vibe and enjoying the architecture, I couldn’t decide where I should go first—the café? The exhibitions? The gift shop? Or should I just walk around and admire the sculptures in the gardens?

I hit the café first and bought a chocolate chip cookie—very tasty.

Then it was the gift shop. It’s fun to look through their art-related books, games, jewelry, cards, candles, shirts, key chains, pens, journals, posters … If you like shopping, you’ll like shopping here.

Next: "A Century of Fashion," a show of beautiful dresses starting from the early 1900s. I was awed. I love looking at dresses.

I visited the permanent collection and saw some of the French Impressionists. I saw a painting of water lilies by Claude Monet with really nice tones of blue. I saw "Autumn Reverie" by Mauric Denis. Stunning!

Then I strolled through the garden and took some pictures of the sculptures. I love the architecture at this museum. To me everything was perfectly placed—not too cramped, not too spread out. The buildings are modern and complex, but simple at the same time—it’s architecture that makes you feel good. I love the entrance, with water flowing down alongside it.

On Fridays, the museum has free jazz concerts, and movies on Friday and Saturday nights. Sometimes they bring in the filmmakers—directors, actors, producers—to talk about the films.

I think most teens would be surprised how many great events and exhibitions this museum has. Not to mention the fact that high school students pay only one buck for admission, and it’s free the second Tuesday of the month, with free parking in the evening. Mark Thie, the museum’s marketing manager, said it’s a great place for a cheap date. "Younger people are realizing it’s a cool place to hang out," he said. "Come and see what we have to offer."

Getting there

Driving: From the Santa Monica Freeway (10), exit at Fairfax and drive north. Turn right on Wilshire. The museum is two blocks down on the left.

Public transportation: Fairfax is served by bus 217 and Wilshire is served by buses 20, 21 and 720.

For more info, call (323) 857-6000; www.lacma.org.