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Water To Wishes

Martin Luther King Jr Hospital Behavioral Health Center

Los Angeles, California



Water to Wishes is an architecturally integrated stainless steel and LED artwork for the façade of the Mark Ridley Thomas Behavioral Health Center at the Martin Luther King Hospital in the Willowbrook section of Los Angeles.  The seamless installation of the artwork into the facility required close collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture and the Los Angeles Department of Public Works.  The piece consists of three 80’ high columns integrated into the façade of the building.  The central motif of each column is a drawing of Willowbrook, comprised of a poetic text by several community activists and writers collaborating with the artist.  The image of water brings the community back to the Willow Brook, as the reason for early settlement and uses the brook motif as a metaphor for healing and a celebration of the repurposing of the older building for the new Behavioral Health Center.  The columns are programmed with color changing LED light that is controlled by the County Staff to highlight community events.  The three columns can operate independently with different colors or can be programmed to operate as a suite of three interacting sculptures.  Most visible as beacons at night, the colored lights are visible on cloudy days and in winter when days are shorter, and the sun is at a low angle.  The LED mixes with sunlight in a stunning array of colors.  The feeling of ownership between the community and County are strong because of their participation during the making of the artwork and integration of community events through the changing colors of the artwork.


Water To Wishes - Martin Luther King Jr Hospital Behavioral Health Center - Projects - Cliff Garten Studio

Mark Ridley Thomas Behavioral Health Center, Martin Luther King Hospital, Los Angeles, California


Stainless Steel, LED Lights

Three Screens 11’ W x 65’ H each

Commissioned by
Civic Art, Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture

Cliff Garten, Founder/Director, Venice, CA
Sixto Cordero, Project Manager, Venice, CA

Patrell Engineering Group Inc., Glendora, CA

MKH Construction Services, INC.
Patricia Gomez, Civic Art Project Manager, Los Angeles County, Department of Arts and Culture

Jeremy Green