UCLA Luskin Conference Center Quarterly Newsletter — November 2016Luther Gerlach's "Royce Hall" ambrotype, created recently.


Adorning the public and meeting room spaces of the first and second levels of UCLA’s new Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center is a world-class collection of carefully curated contemporary artwork on permanent display. Intended to evoke inspiration in visitors to the conference center, the collection is a bold declaration of the university’s influence on Southern California’s dynamic art scene.

The majority of pieces in the collection, which range from paintings and mixed media to sculpture and photography, were contributed by UCLA alumni and professors, past and present, from a variety of backgrounds and fields of study. Indeed, just as there is much more to this dazzling facility than its array of inviting meeting spaces, accommodations, and Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, UCLA’s community is never bound by traditional expectations. The works exhibited here are the tangible product of the many multifaceted talents of the university’s diverse population. View video about the Center’s artwork.

This spirit of unbound innovation is evidenced in the stunning 8’ x 16’ massive piece that greets the Center’s guests upon arrival in the lobby area. This antique-looking but recently created ambrotype, Luther Gerlach’s “Royce Hall”, is an amalgam of art and science, along with a mix of classic and modern sensibilities. The piece is a perfect complement to the Luskin Conference Center’s mission of interdisciplinary collaboration.

Open to the public, visitors are invited to venture deeper into the Center’s pristine corridors to explore the inspirational art collection, which includes pieces by Ed Ruscha, Lita Albuquerque, John Baldessari and Barbara Morgan. Victoria Steele, an art historian and two-time UCLA graduate who helped develop the collection, believes it should attract art lovers to campus and shine a light on the renowned artists who are part of UCLA’s storied history.

For Steele, this collection illustrates the excellence for which UCLA is known and is something she believes will engage and excite people for decades to come.

“Part of what has always struck me about UCLA is its ambition to be so superlative in all fields, from the arts and sciences to the humanities and medical research. It’s been really fun to be part of this project,” Steele said. “And now to see it culminate in this conference center, which we’ve needed for such a long time, is really fantastic.”