To some, art is the gift that keeps on giving. Whether painting or sculpture, there has never been a piece of art without at least one admirer to take in the message. But what happens when you combine the act of selflessly benefitting others with the powerful, attention-grabbing

The vinyl spheres that fill the lake.

The vinyl spheres that fill the lake.

potential of art? In MacArthur Park, near Downtown Los Angeles, this very experiment is taking place.

There is a small lake at the center of macArthur Park. Not too extravagant, this small body of water has drawn crowds ever since its founding in the late 1800’s. In the years since, luxury hotels have sprouted all around its eight-acre wide expanse. Bringing yearly crowds by the thousands, the artists who chose MacArthur Park were promised a sizeable audience.

Over 2,500 vinyl spheres, resplendent in every color of the rainbow filled the waters of MacArthur Park. Each sphere, roughly between four and six feet in diameter, were hand painted by thousands of volunteers. The groundwork for this beautiful plan was laid by Portraits of Hope, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit. Specializing in motivational art, Portraits of Hope have applied their vision to buildings, planes, blimps, tugboats and even New York City cabs. Beyond their artistic contributions, Portraits of Hope’s influence can be felt in over 80 hospitals, after-school programs and social service agencies; Their commitment to excellent community service only matched by their artistic vision.

Tapping into the tremendous resource that is community outreach, Portrait of Hope’s founders, Ed and Bernie Massey, were able to mitigate the staggering cost of this project. The $1.5 million dollar estimate would have been impossible to reach if not for the outpouring of generosity from local businesses and civilian volunteers. The “Spheres of MacArthur Park,” remains a beautiful testament to the power of community. These brightly colored reminders offer hope to those who doubt the generosity of our nation, and inspiration for dreamers with future projects in mind. For more on this topic, click here.