Spending a lovely late-summer Sunday afternoon up on the plush Barnsdall hilltop park is surely its own reward. But this Sunday, the park and art gallery come alive with the opening of the 2012 C.O.L.A. Visual Arts Award Exhibition showcasing the ambitious work that grant winners finished with the money. Lynne Berman shows abstract drawings tracing the movements of travelers in Vietnam to examine “how tourism interacts with history.” Martin Durazo explores what modernist abstract painting and drug-friendly raver culture's gestural mannerism have in common. Heather Flood's sculptural construction blends light and dark, movement and flatness, breeziness and mass. Mark Steven Greenfield uses painting, drawing, humor and imagery from cross-pollinated cultural eras to examine the persistence of African-American stereotypes. Painter Steve Hurd storms the realm of sculpture with a constructed medieval castle, addressing contemporary socioeconomic and political imbalances. Maryrose Mendoza also treats the symbolic potential of shelter and sculptural shapes but in a much cozier fashion. Video artist Rika Ohara creates a “sprawling” historical narrative using the YouTube vernacular to move a segmented story. Thoroughly embedded 1980s East LA rock and punk scene photo-documentarian Diane Gamboa continues to captivate, shock, delight and surprise. Although the visual artists tend to get all the love, as always there are superb Fellows in performance (aptly named prankster Paul Outlaw, choreographer Raphael Xavier) and literature (author Joseph Mattson of Slake). Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz. (323) 644-6269. Sun., Sept. 30, 2-5 p.m.; exhibit runs Thurs.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. (First Fridays till 9 p.m.); thru Oct. 28; free. lamag.org.

Thursdays-Sundays, 12-5 p.m. Starts: Sept. 30. Continues through Oct. 28, 2012

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