View of Lauren Bon installation

At the River’s Edge

Environmental artist Lauren Bon’s exhibition, “Bending the River,” imagines a watershed moment for the L.A. River


an a river be reimagined or redirected? Acclaimed environmental artist Lauren Bon thinks so. The exhibition, “Lauren Bon and The Metabolic Studio: Bending the River,” hosted in fall 2022 by Pitzer College Art Galleries, gave visitors a glimpse into Bon’s project to draw water from the Los Angeles River and distribute it in surrounding communities. She has described this effort as “an infrastructure artwork” that takes water from that river, which in its current concrete form serves as a flood channel moving wastewater to the sea, and restores it to its original nourishing purpose. Bon’s Metabolic Studio has worked with local communities and government agencies to make it possible to divert 106 acre-feet of water annually to irrigate some 50 acres of land in the historic core of downtown L.A. The Pitzer exhibition also culminated with Bon delivering the annual Murray Pepper and Vicki Reynolds Pepper Distinguished Visiting Artist Lecture.