NEW LA Folk Festival & Zorthian Ranch

This year Leveled Magazine had the pleasure of attending the New LA FolkFestival.  Aside from the blends of music and atmosphere, there is a rich history behind the ranch, that you may not know about.

In 1945, America was quickly taking a turn into becoming a more central stage for the world’s most creative minds. Following the war, a young Bohemian by the name of Zorthian finished his service in the U.S. army, where he was producing propaganda posters for the war effort including his crowning achievement, a 157-foot long mural for the Pentagon.

The end of two world wars as well as a great depression was more than enough to spark an influx of inspiration inside the minds of this century’s thinkers.  For some it was art, for others it was the automotive industry that became one’s lifeline or passion. For Jirayr Zorthian, the inspiration manifested into a 45-acre mountainside retreat in the mountains of Altadena, CA.

This beautiful plot of land became home to horses, llamas, chickens, dogs, goats and overgrown meadows. Throughout the years Zorthian used the ranch as his canvas, articulately interpreting his view on the world into something truly magical.

Zorthian Ranch, as it came to be, catered to the bohemian types of the era and continued to do so throughout the years. The land was gradually molded into the man’s unique vision, which consisted of sculptures made over the course over nearly 70 years. A piece of history in itself has been formed from brilliantly re-purposing salvaged wood, vehicles, movie set relics and nearly any artifact of interest. The Zorthian Ranch became common ground for people from all walks of life. It became commonplace to house numerous events, movie shoots, retreats and concerts. Zorthian passed in 2004 at the age of 92 but the tradition and history has continued to live on.

Check out our experience through these photos of the New LA FolkFestival.

Photos by Matthew Leeb

2012 Line – Up

Beachwood Sparks, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, Spindrift, Tom Brosseau, White Magic, Restavrant, Pisces, Triple Chicken Foot, Guy Blakeslee (Entrance), RT n’ the 44s, Leslie Stevens, Emily Lacy, Cowboy and Indian, Tommy Santee Klaws, Sea Of Bees, Domingo Siete, Geronimo Getty, Yellow Red Sparks, Dirt Bird, Kera & the Lesbians, Gwendolyn, Oliwa & the Pleasure Circus, Stripminers, Madame Headdress, Avolcano, Kitchen Hips, Fort King, Dustbowl Revival, David Feuer, Ketchup Soup, Jenny Long, Tall Tales & the Silver Lining, Ocha La Rocha, The Series, Mecca V.A. Listen to songs and watch videos of the bands here.

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