Leah Smithson is the new featured artist for 2024 at Hotel Figueroa, with an exhibit of work celebrating women innovators, entitled Limitless.

The nearly century-old Hotel Figueroa is celebrating Women’s History Month 2024 by welcoming Los Angeles-based BIPOC contemporary artist Leah Smithson for a yearlong public exhibition as the hotel’s new 2024 Featured Artist. In addition, a series of ceramics classes will be offered poolside by Two Faced Ceramics, beginning March 23.

Soft Opaque Horizons by Leah Smithson.

Celebrating the alchemy of invention by honoring the women who transcended limitations and impacted the world for the better, Smithson’s exhibition, Limitlesson display now through Feb. 2025, features a fully immersive art experience transcending time and space, both with traditional paintings and an exclusive first-ever Augmented Reality (AR) sculpture. Taking inspiration from Hotel Figueroa’s storied past the paintings in the exhibition shine a light on various female innovators, including:

  • Ada Lovelace: Mother of coding
  • Rosalind Franklin: Renowned for her groundbreaking X-ray research, which revolutionized our comprehension of DNA structure.
  • Lisa Gelobter: Instrumental computer scientist and technologist who led the development of transformative technologies enabling computer animation on the Internet.
  • Patricia Bath: Esteemed inventor of a revolutionary medical device that has safeguarded countless individuals from blindness.

At the center of the ‘Artist Alley’ in Hotel Figueroa’s lobby, guests can interact with a one-of-a-kind animated AR sculpture that echoes the rest of the collection. With the simple click of their smartphones, tablets, and new Apple Vision Pro, spectators will be fully immersed in Leah’s vision, choreographed to create a visual ASMR effect that tell the story of ‘Limitless’.

“Upon uncovering Hotel Figueroa’s fascinating history, I found myself intrigued by the untold stories of remarkable women who have quietly shaped our world for the better,” shares Leah Smithson. “For ‘Limitless,’ I’ve delved deep into the vast expanse of human potential, spurred by the idea of exploring the remarkable works and legacies of these unsung heroines, much to the image of the country – and Hotel Figueroa’s – first ever managing director, Maude Bouldin.

“Embracing the spirit of creativity, Hotel Figueroa is honored to host Leah Smithson’s innovative exhibition in 2024,” adds Connie Wang, the hotel’s Area Managing Director. “We are thrilled to showcase Smithson’s remarkable talent and her poignant tribute to visionary female inventors.”

Eve Palaguta, founder of Two Faced Ceramics, will be offering ceramics classes at Hotel Figueroa beginning March 23. Photo: Robiee Ziegler

There’s something else ‘firing up’ at Hotel Figueroa. Eve Palaguta, founder of Two Faced Ceramics, will be offering classes poolside starting March 23, April 6, and April 27, at $75 a session, 10:30am-12:30pm. Price includes equipment, materials, glazing, firing, and finished pieces, along with mimosas and a limited edition Hotel Figueroa tote page. Pieces will be available three weeks after class at the Two Face Ceramics Studio (6009 Barton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038); shipping options available for an additional fee. No prior experience needed. Projects will include: handle-less tea mugs, celestial catchall dishes, and a succulent cactus holder. Tickets for the events will be available via Eventbrite HERE.