Press Room

+Download Image Sheet (PDF) +Image Request Form +Subscribe to RSS +Join Our Press List

Join Our Press List

Santa Monica Museum of Art presents Park Studio: Tree House

MAY 17 - OCTOBER 5, 2014

Release Date: April 01, 2014

Public Opening: Saturday, May 17
Members’ Reception: 3 to 4 pm
Opening Reception: 4 to 6 pm

SANTA MONICA, CA—The Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA) is pleased to announce Park Studio: Tree House, a spontaneous public space and program series produced through the Museum’s spring break art program for teens. The Tree House is a groundbreaking project that combines art, architecture, and a site for education. It was designed by architecture collective Knowhow Shop and built by a team of students from local high schools. Park Studio: Tree House will feature numerous free programs including: an artist residency with the Llano Del Rio Collective; screenings; performances; and teen workshops with creative professionals from GOOD Magazine, Hedley & Bennett, Dublab, and Deutsch Inc.

“The Santa Monica Museum of Art’s Tree House is an extraordinary, collaborative initiative to create a space devoted exclusively to public programs—built by youth for the community,” says SMMoA Director of Education and Public Programs Asuka Hisa. “Park Studio: Tree House is a space for possibility.”

The Tree House is located in a thirty-by-thirty foot green space with six palm trees, in the center of the Bergamot Station Arts Center parking lot. Over two dozen students worked with Knowhow Shop’s Kagan Taylor and Justin Rice to build the structure during their 2014 spring break. Each iteration of Park Studio, an annual SMMoA education program, culminates with a public exhibition of student artwork on-site at SMMoA. Park Studio: Tree House will open to the public on Saturday, May 17 in conjunction with the openings of Robert Swain: The Form of Color, Andrew Cannon: Chemical Computer, and Nonfictions: Jeremiah Day/Simone Forti/Fred Dewey.

Park Studio: Tree House public programs running throughout the summer of 2014 were conceived by students, artists, and organizations in partnership with SMMoA. The teen workshop series from April 15 through 17 consists of lunchtime discussions and activities with visionaries from the fields of design, publishing, and branding—all concepts relating to outreach and engagement in the 21st century. Summer programs open to all include a double-feature screening of The Source Family and Dear Comrade, hosted by the Llano Del Rio Collective; and an all-ages workshop on DJ basics hosted by Dublab. The Llano Del Rio Collective will also be distributing their latest thematic guide, the Utopias of SoCal, from the Park Studio: Tree House. For a complete schedule of public programs, visit

About Park Studio
Each Park Studio program pairs teens with accomplished artists and designers. Together they produce a public project relating to art and urban life. Past Park Studio artists include: Robbie Conal; Gajin Fujita; GRONK; Homeboy Industries; Arts Refoundry; Watts Labor Community Action Committee; HIT+RUN; Center for the Study of Political Graphics; Tim Rollins; and Francois Perrin, Dante Cacace, and Gil Le Bon Delapointe. High school participants, ages 14-19 years old, come from demographically diverse areas of Santa Monica. Recruitment is conducted through Virginia Avenue Park’s Teen Center, Santa Monica High School, Olympic High School, and the Police Activities League (PAL). 

About Knowhow Shop
Knowhow Shop is a collaboration between Kagan Taylor and Justin Rice, both graduates of UCLA A.UD Masters in Architecture I program. Knowhow Shop was started as an extension of their shared interests in traditional craft, digital fabrication, education, and a commitment to contemporary architectural design. Knowhow Shop is a design/build studio, laboratory for material exploration, a classroom for digital and traditional craft, and a community space for strange and imaginative happenings. In their own architectural and design work, Taylor and Rice approach projects with a craftsperson’s sensitivity, genuine good humor, and a feral strangeness combined with a belief that what they make can redirect the discipline from the hyper-digital to a real-surreal. Visit for more information.

Student Participants: Kaitlin Alfaro, Hunter Buckhorn, Zahari Dimitrov, Mina Dimitrova, Julio Escarce, Kathrine Gallegos, Sophia Grecco, Bradley Hijar, Amy Juarez, Chih Yu Lee, Ryan Lee, Mark Marin, Amayrany Mendoza, Kira Oikawa-Clark, Samuel Teleki, Sandor Teleki, Jordan Vazquez, and Jared Velázquez

Image caption: Design schematic for the Santa Monica Museum of Art’s Park Studio: Tree House by Knowhow Shop, 2014, Courtesy of Knowhow Shop

Park Studio: Tree House is organized by Asuka Hisa, Director of Education and Public Programs at SMMoA.

Support for Park Studio has been generously provided by the Eileen Harris Norton Foundation, the Barnwood Foundation, the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, the Whittagy Fund at the California Community Foundation, and Kayne Capital Advisors Foundation. This program was made possible in part by a grant from the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission. 
In-kind support was provided by Dr. Patricia Anawalt and Anawalt Lumber as well as Bergamot Café. Special thanks to Virginia Avenue Park, the VAP Teen Center, the Knowhow Shop, Ellen Bennett, Casey Caplowe, the Llano Del Rio Collective, Deutsch Inc, and Dublab.

Park Studio: Tree House Program Schedule:
(Visit and @SMMoA on Twitter for updates and additions)

Make Magazines Happen with Casey Caplowe of GOOD Magazine
Tuesday, April 15 | 11am to 1pm
A Park Studio: Tree House Teen Workshop
Free admission | Ages 13-19 | RSVP required
GOOD Magazine is one of the most creative and innovative platforms to find information and exchange ideas for a better society. Casey Caplowe, GOOD’s Co-Founder and Creative Director, and members of GOOD’s creative staff invite students to a lunch discussion and hands-on workshop, wherein they learn about the profession of publishing and explore its changing definition in the 21st Century. 

Enterprise and Enter the Arena of Aprons with Ellen Bennett of Hedley & Bennett
Wednesday, April 16 | 11am to 1pm
A Park Studio: Tree House Teen Workshop
Free admission | Ages 13-19 | RSVP required
Ellen Bennett, Founder and Designer at Hedley & Bennett, saw a need and turned an opportunity into a burgeoning enterprise, producing handmade and thoughtfully designed chef’s aprons for all. Join Ellen for a lunch discussion and hands-on workshop to learn from her triumphs and challenges in the launch of her creative, Los Angeles-based business.

Project Your Project with Deutsch Media Design Team
Thursday, April 17 | 11am to 1pm
A Park Studio: Tree House Teen Workshop
Free admission | Ages 13-19 | RSVP required
Join the design minds behind Deutsch Inc—a national advertising agency—for an introductory session about product and project promotion. Participants will explore facets of branding through creative input and dynamic execution.

Biome Re-imagining Workshop: Plan For An Other Santa Monica
Saturday, May 3 | 1:30 to 3:30pm
Free admission | Ages 8+ | RSVP required
Join members of the Llano Del Rio Collective, Fritz Haeg and Robby Herbst, to reimagine Santa Monica in an ecological and communitarian way. The workshop will begin with a conversation about the natural and human ecology of the area, as well as historic and contemporary alternatives for these architectural and natural systems. Participants will develop a “Plan For An Other Santa Monica,” which will be included in the Llano Del Rio Collective’s online archive of alternative guides to Los Angeles.

Public Opening: SMMoA’s Summer Exhibitions
Saturday, May 17
Members’ Reception: 3 to 4 pm
Public Reception: 4 to 6 pm
Robert Swain: The Form of Color (Main Gallery)
Andrew Cannon: Chemical Computer (Project Room 1)
Nonfictions: Jeremiah Day, Simone Forti, and Fred Dewey (Project Room 2)
Park Studio: Tree House (Bergamot Station Arts Center parking lot)

# # # 

For further information about the exhibition or to schedule interviews, please contact Lynda Dorf at or (424) 645-4620.

Image caption: Design schematic for the Santa Monica Museum of Art’s Park Studio: Tree House by Knowhow Shop, 2014, Courtesy of Knowhow Shop