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Toyota Links Up with L.A. Artists

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Could there be a better place for Toyota to display its futuristic transportation design project "From Here to There" than Los Angeles, where traffic stretches from here to eternity?

For the multimedia installation, which opened at apparel brand Quiksilver's siteLA workspace on Aug. 22, Toyota invited members of its exclusive HEYA artist community to share their visions of how transportation should evolve to meet society's needs in the future--not the least of them being environmental concerns such as decreasing greenhouse gases and dealing with dwindling resources.

Through the year-old HEYA (Japanese for "room") forum, which currently has about 800 members, Toyota is trying to establish these types of connections with artist communities.

Four HEYA winners were paired with members of Quiksilver's siteLA "visionaries in residence," a group of six women working in various disciplines, to help visualize their concepts. (One siteLA resident, Khrystyne Zurian, is an automotive designer).

Winning designs included Jason Cummins' "Midori" concept car with a solar charger. Zurian collaborated on the artwork, which was unveiled at the opening reception.  HEYA member Lisa VanZee's bicycle of the future with a clear, plastic bubble enclosure to shield the elements was on display as well. VanZee collaborated with siteLA bike activist Dorothy Le. Other installations include an idea wall, a model city and short films exploring alternative fuels and imaginary forms of transportation.

"It gives us a better idea of how to communicate with young people," said Geralyn Yoza, national manager, brand strategy for Toyota. "The goal is to build HEYA up as a vibrant community."

Quiksilver launched the siteLA project and workspace in the Silverlake artist enclave as a yearlong project to support its women's line of apparel.