LA ART NEWS A R T S A N D C U LT U R E F O R A L L O F L O S A N G E L E S VOLUME 6 NO. 8
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AI WEIWEI IN L.A.
Celebrated Chinese Artist and Political Dissident Opens Three Local Exhibits China’s most famous artist, Ai Weiwei, may be considered a thorn in the side by the government of the country of his birth, but he is taking Los Angeles by storm with three local large-scale exhibits. Ai’s work is often monumental in scale, but it speaks to the personal, celebrating the unique individual— as that individual exists amidst political pressures and daily hardships, yet within the context of a rich culture. Upon entering the Marciano Art Foundation, the visitor first encounters “Sunflower Seeds.” Impressive for its sheer size, the 2010 installation is made up of 49 tons of individual porcelain sunflower seeds. But each seed in the installation is unique, handcrafted by one of 1,600 artisans from the ancient porcelain production center of Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province. “Spouts,” a 2015 work, is a collection of thousands of antique teapot spouts, some dating back as far as the Song Dynasty of 9601279. The spouts serve as a metaphor for mouths, and collectively represent a population yearning for Ai Weiwei, Life Cycle, 2018 (detail) freedom of speech. Ai Weiwei, Shanhaijing, 2015 (detail) An new installation at the Marciano Art Foundation Marciano, “Life Cycle,” is a sculptural response to the global refugee crisis. Ai employs traditional Chinese kite making techniques to craft a massive boat and surrounding mythic figures from bamboo and silk. “Windows,” a 2015 work which at the Marciano, serves as a backdrop to “Life Cycle,” combining imagery from Chinese mythology, modern art, and Ai’s own life. Collectively, the mythological, the artistic, and the biographical serve as a discourse on freedom of speech. Nearby, Jeffrey Deitch has opened his new gallery with “Zodiac,” an inaugural exhibit of new and recent Ai Weiwei works. “Stools,” a 2013 installation, compliments “Seeds” and “Spouts” in its use of a familiar object presented Ai Weiwei, Grapes, 2017 in massive quantity, yet with each individual piece unique. The gallery is filled with 5,929 wooden stools Ai Weiwei, LEGO Rat from Zodiac, 2018 Jeffrey Deitch continued on page 3
LOS ANGELES CELEBRATES INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY ANCIENT TRADITIONS, MODERN EXPRESSIONS
In August of 2017, the Los Angeles City Council voted to establish Indigenous Peoples Day as an official city holiday. The County of Los Angeles followed suit a few weeks later. The day is about acknowledging the genocide against native peoples and ancient cultures that was an integral part of the establishment of the countries that now make up the Americas, and about celebrating the lives, the cultures, and the civic contributions of the estimated 150,000 native people who live in the Los Angeles area today. Indigenous Peoples Day takes place on the day formerly known as Columbus Day. On October 8, 2018, a full day—sunrise until into the evening--of celebration took place at Los Angeles’ Grand Park and City Hall. Sponsored by the Los Angeles City/County Native American Commission and City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the day joyously presented native music, dance, visual art, crafts, and fashion, blending ancient tradition and modern expressions. Among the highlights was a 50-minute long Procession of Nations, featuring representatives of the host nations of the Los Angeles Lydia Ponce of the American Indian Movement (AIM), Southern area and of tribal represenCalifornia in the Procession of Nations tatives from throughout the north and south continents of the Americas. In the evening, a concert featuring The Black Eyed Peas and Redbone was held on the steps of City Hall. “Many Native Americans have celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October since at least 1970,” said Councilmember O’Farrell, a member of the Wyandotte Native American tribe, in announcing the event. “Indigenous people have always chosen to mark the occasion as a day of remembrance for our ancestors, while dispelling the myth that Columbus “discovered” America. This year, we celebrate our survival, resilience, and deep contributions to all peoples that now live on this land.” In declaring Indigenous Peoples Day, Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to do so. The Mitch O’Farrell, Los Angeles City Councilmember, Wyandotte drive for official recognition began in the 1990s with Berkeley and Santa Cruz taking the step. The moveErnest L. Stevens, Jr., Chair of the National Indian Gaming ment has picked up steam since 2014, with many U.S. cities, including Minneapolis, Seattle, AlbuquerAssociation, Oneida A.C. Green, Los Angeles Laker, Choctaw continued on page 4
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from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties and the Republican period, gathered from villages across northern China. Functional and deceptively simple, together the stools evoke experiences of thousands and thousands of people across generations. Surrounding “Stools,” are Chinese Zodiac images made from thousands of LEGO bricks. The LEGOs look like pixilated digital images, each set in a different world city. A third Ai Weiwei exhibit takes place at UTA Artist Space, a Beverly Hills-based gallery affiliated with United Talent Agency. This space was designed by Ai—his only architectural project thus far in the United States—and it currently houses Ai’s “Cao / Humanity.” “Cao,” created in 2014, is another example of Ai’s use of a common item repeated over and over. In this case, a room of the gallery is dominated by 727 individual tufts of grass, sculpted from marble. “Cao” means “grass” in Mandarin, but with a shift in the intonation it can also be an expletive. Grass is stepped on, mowed, and commonly abused. But here, thousands of individual blades stand in an expression of endurance, and perhaps in an expression of the expletive toward the security camera imagery that is ubiquitous in Ai’s work. The performance-based work, “Humanity,” is a compilation of gallery guests and others reading excerpts from Ai’s book of the same title, which offers thoughts on the global refugee crisis and human migration. Ai Weiwei, Stools, 2013 That Ai’s work is grounded Ai Weiwei, Zodiac, 2018 in a relationship to Ai Weiwei, Divina Proportione, 2010 refugees, migrants, and Jeffrey Deiitch laborers is a product of personal experience. Born in Beijing in 1957, Ai is the son of poet Ai Qing, who was exiled to the far northern reaches of China soon after Ai Weiwei’s birth. The family could not return to Beijing until Ai Weiwei was an adult. “I was a child refugee,” Ai wrote in a Guardian op-ed. “I know how it feels to live in a camp, robbed of my humanity. Refugees must be seen as an essential part of our shared humanity.” Ai studied at the Beijing Film Academy. He then lived in the United States for a decade before returning to China. In 1999, he represented China at the Venice Biennale. Ai used his artistry and fame to bring attention to issues of injustice and inequity, notably to the poor condition of schools after 69,000 people, including thousands of young students, died in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. As a result, he was hospitalized with a cerebral hemorrhage after a police beating. In 2011, Ai was taken into custody in Beijing. His whereabouts were initially unknown, causing an international outpouring of concern. After spending 81 days in custody, Ai lived Ai Weiwei, Ton of Tea, 2006 (front) under house arrest in Beijing from 2011 Ai Weiwei, The Animal That Looks Like a Llama But is Really an to 2015. During that time the Chinese Alpaca, 2015 (rear) government surrounded Ai’s studio with more Jeffrey Deitch than 20 cameras. The concept of surveillance has become a common theme in Ai’s work. Ai Weiwei’s body of artwork serves as a powerful statement on human dignity. But while Ai’s political themes are already known to many in Los Angeles, the three exhibits currently on view add an opportunity to experience Ai’s employment and mastery of a wide variety of mediums, derived from his own appreciation of materials, and from his understanding of the interplay between the functional and the aesthetic. His work benefits hugely from his long-term collaborations with master craftspeople (who sometimes find their studios destroyed by the Chinese government). The amazing bamboo work of “Life Cycle” was crafted in Weifang, a city in Shandong province with a tradition of kite making dating to the Ming Dynasty of 1368-1644. The woodworking techniques employed in pieces on display at Jeffrey Deitch also date to the Ming Dynasty and do not involve nails or screws. A series of five one-meter square cubes at the gallery involve the fabrication of wood, tea, crystal, porcelain, and marble, leaving a minimalist appearance that celebrates the material, while at the same time rendering it in almost impossible ways. Ai’s use of materials such as marble and jade lead viewers to anticipate a reverential attitude toward an object. When that object turns out to be a smartphone or a pair of handcuffs, Ai has used the material to lead the view toward an examination of contemporary societal values. In Ai’s work, the familiar (the stool, the teapot spout) is elevated to the level of the artistic. However, the material never loses its accessibility; the stool is still a stool; LEGO is still a creative tool for children. Ai has exhibited internationally and has been widely honored (the lifetime achievement award from the Chinese Contemporary Art Awards, 2008; the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation, New York, 2012; the Ambassador of Conscience Award from Amnesty International, 2015; Honorary Academician at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2011). Ai Weiwei, Vases with Refuge Motif as a Pillar, Ai currently resides in Berlin, but has announced a move to Upstate New York. 2017 “Art is about aesthetics, about morals, about our beliefs in humanity. Without that there is simply no art.” —Ai Weiwei, “Humanity”
Ai Weiwei, Cao, 2014 Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree Trunk, 2015 UTA Artist Space
Ai Weiwei: Life Cycle continued on page 22
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que, Fargo, Portland, Denver, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Austin, Salt Lake City, Tulsa, Boise, and San Francisco coming on board. Next up for supporters of Indigenous Peoples Day will be a drive for federal recognition. While the inaugural celebration in Los Angeles was a day of arts, culture, and festivities, participants did not back away from dealing with harsh realities. “We do not celebrate this historic day in a vacuum,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “Nor can we commemorate this important achievement without acknowledging the struggle…Start by thanking the first people of Los Angeles, the Tongva. We are on sacred ground. The village of Yang Na once existed on this land for countless generations, here at what is now the Los Angeles Civic Center and City Hall. We give thanks to the Tongva, a people representative of all California tribes that suffered incalculable harm under the Spanish mission system, colonization, and later, publicly funded atrocities by the State of California after coming into the union in 1850. As we struggle to reconcile this legacy, of erasure, genocide, and marginalization of indigenous people, we are steadfast in recognizing our power, our resiliency, our visibility, our determination to transcend, to thrive, and our conviction to never be silent.” In the wake of centuries of genocidal actions against indigenous peoples, Tongva Chief Anthony Morales referred to Indigenous Peoples Day as, “a reminder that our culture is still here; it’s never been extinct, and it still exists. We’re still here in our motherland of Los Angeles, in the village of Yang-na.” Speakers and resource providers in Grand Park brought up issues ranging from youth suicide, assault, rape, and diabetes to team mascots and the colonial narrative often perpetuated by the educational system. There was also information about voting and effecting political change. Several leaders from city, county and state government were on The Christopher Columbus statue in Grand hand to support the celebration, and they brought up ties bePark is crated, and the site is repurposed as a tween indigenous struggles and other justice issues. tribute to the Taino People. State Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador as a child, said, “We must make sure children learn the truth of this land...No human being is illegal on stolThe Chiende Apache Band of New Mexico in len land.” the Procession of Nations City Councilmember Paul Koretz addressed five decades of Los Angeles’ dependence on coal mined on Navajo and Hopi land, causing severe problems for those tribes’ ground water. “Now, as the City gets off coal power as part of our fight against global warming,” said Councilmember Koretz, “as we close down the Navajo Generating Station next year, I also want to acknowledge the Navajo and Hopi jobs that are being lost. We must fight to see that clean, green jobs replace them.” Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, meanwhile, linked the struggles of Indigenous People with those of other populations, pointing out, for example, that the taking of land from native people paved the way into the enslavement of Africans. “I believe we can dream here today,” said Councilmember Koretz, “and tomorrow, literally tomorrow, we can create a vision for what an inclusive, decolonized L.A. can look like in 2025…and beyond.” “Today, the changing of the name of a holiday is very symbolic for all of us,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis. “It recognizes that we do not support oppression, bigotry, hatred, and genocide…I don’t want to erase history, but I also want to see with very clear eyes where we go in the future.” “We have a responsibility to the spirits, to our ancestors, to change things,” Councilmember O’Farrell said at the event. “That’s what this day is all about.” While the inaugural Indigenous Peoples Day celebration featured a wide variety of artistry, sights, and sounds, perhaps no one image was as emblematic of the the day as that of the crate that now surrounds the Grand Park statue of Christopher Columbus. The statue has been crated while the County decides what to do with it, and on Indigenous Peoples Day, an altar honoring the Taíno, the people who met Columbus face-to-face and were almost wiped from the earth, was built against the crate. Indigenous Peoples day is now officially celebrated in the City and the County of Los Angeles on the second Monday of every October. continued on page 11
STAFF Publisher/ Creative Director Cathi Milligan Managing Editor Margaret Arnold Contributors: Margaret Arnold, Cornelius Peter, Brian Mallman, Amy Inouye, Stuart Rapeport, Cathi Milligan, Jennifer Hitchcock, Jeremy Kaplan, Florence the dog, Harvey Slater, Madame X, Larisa Code, Tomas Benitez, Linda Kaye LA Art News is published monthly at the beginning of each month. LA Art News is available free of charge. No person may, without prior written permission from LA Art News, take more than one copy of each monthly issue. Additional copies of the current issue are available for $1, payable in advance, at LA Art News office. Only authorized LA Art News distributors may distribute the LA Art News. Copyright No news stories, illustrations, editorial matter or advertisements herein can be reproduced without written consent of copyright owner. How to reach us LA Art News 5668 York Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90042 323-387-9705
HOPING FOR A BLUE WAVE By the time this issue hits the streets we will be in the midst of voting in what I know is the most important election in my life. Hopefully all of the folks that either didn’t vote last time, or may have voted for some other party, have gone to polling place and voted blue, making a statement of dissatisfaction with the current state of government. If by chance you didn’t...can you explain why? I have an opinion on voting. Who doesn’t. The primaries are the place where you vote from your heart. Vote green. Vote blue. Vote yellow. Just vote. Now the general election is about practicallity. It may be your worst nightmare is running against your next worse nightmare. If one of the nightmares happens to be a lying, sleazy, reality show start you may want to rethink who is the real nightmare. Just sayin’... So, let’s hope that the country has made a statement, a very loud statement, and we can get back to the progress the fool in the White House wants to erace. Now go do the art thing!! Thanks, Cathi Milligan Publisher LA Art News
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COUNTY LOOKS TO SUPPORT FILM AND DIGITAL MEDIA Plans to Diversify Workforce to Reflect Population
It is well documented that the film and digital media industry is an economic backbone of the Los Angeles region. Arts, sports, entertainment and culture sectors are responsible for a total economic output of $198 billion and generate $9 billion in tax revenues in the area. A study commissioned by the County and prepared by Beacon Economics found that the Los Angeles County Film and Digital Media industry has not only grown faster than the national rate of growth for this industry, but it is also growing faster than the county average. This industry added 49,000 jobs between 2011 and 2016, for a total of 640,000 jobs. Further, it is projected to grow by another 16,000 plus jobs in the next three years. This leads to two important questions. How can the County best take advantage of this situation and support the film and digital media industry? And how can the good-paying jobs generated by the industry benefit people reflective of the diversity of the county population? Historically, according to a motion put forward by County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Mark Ridley-Thomas, the workforce in both “above-the-line” and “belowthe-line” occupations, “has failed to represent the rich ethnic and racial diversity of Los Angeles.” “The industry in LA County has traditionally relied on strong and close-knit professional networks that kept those who were already in the industry employed and only added only those new talent with access to those networks as new talent,” says the Supervisors’ motion. “As a result, people of color were routinely excluded. Although change has been slow, there has been some progress in the last 10 years, with racial minorities outpacing growth over non-Hispanic whites in the industry. Still, recent campaigns such as #oscarsowhite and #metoo and what they represent speak to the need for the industry to increase its efforts towards inclusion. Increasingly diverse audiences and global media consumption are adding pressure on the industry to diversify.” The motion directs the County Chief Executive Officer to work with the County Arts Commission, other relevant county departments, and non-governmental entities such as labor groups and community college districts to: prepare a proposal for a Film and Digital Media career pathway program; collaborate with intermediaries, employers, and unions in the Film and Digital Media Industry to develop job readiness standards that can be applied across county-related programs; collaborate with the film and digital media industry to identify vocational training and apprenticeships that will be needed by the industry as it grows; and develop metrics for evaluation. The CEO is also directed to prepare a proposal to support local emerging businesses within the film and digital media industry, such as a growing number of small digital media firms. The County will plan a Los Angeles County International Forum on Film and Digital Media that will connect legacy and emerging segments of LA County’s film and digital media industry with international markets. The Kuehl/Ridley-Thomas motion was passed by the Board of Supervisors October 30 on a unanimous vote. “LA has long been known by many as the creative capital of the nation, and we want to be sure the county is taking steps to hold on to that coveted title,” said Supervisor Kuehl. Noting that the average film and digital media wage in LA County is $117,000, Supervisor Kuehl referred to film and digital media as, “not a bad industry to get into.” “So we want there to be a pathway,” said Supervisor Kuehl, “so that people have an access to this wonderful, growing industry…We want to keep those jobs here. We want to make sure that they’re open to the county’s diverse populations…As we look to better reflect the diverse faces and voices and perspectives of the audiences, there’s no better place to find talent than in LA.” The Beacon Economics report notes that the talent is already here in Los Angeles. Other places that have put a lot into tax credits to lure the film industry have not made a heavy investment in developing a workforce. Support for the film and digital media sector has the potential to create a triple win for Los Angeles County. Audiences will have the opportunity to see media that reflect their lives, created by people whose lives are like theirs. The economy will grow, and with it financing for government services. And, as Supervisor Kuehl pointed out at the meeting, “we can train our CalWorks parents, our foster kids who are aging out, those who’ve been in jail and are coming out, those who are homeless” for creative, good-paying jobs.
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LOS ANGELES CITY/COUNTY NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN COMMISSION STATEMENT ON THE REMOVAL OF THE COLUMBUS STATUE AT GRAND PARK Wednesday, October 17, 2018 A week ago, the City and County of Los Angeles celebrated the first Indigenous Peoples Day. On the heels of that celebration, the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission (LANAIC), together with concerned community members, have taken action to demand the immediate removal of the Columbus Statue in Downtown Los Angeles Grand Park. The LANAIC requests that the statue is deaccessioned (removed) from the Los Angeles County Civic Art Collection. According to the Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Arts Procedures, if an artwork has received consistent adverse public reaction for a period of five or more consecutive years, it warrants the process of deaccessioning. Indigenous community members have been protesting the statue through direct action, education, and arts activism for at minimum 25 years. The County has a responsibility to ensure its civic arts collection is not comprised of artworks that exalt a historical figure that is a proven murderer and slave trader, and causes psychological harm to Native American children and youth. The American Psychological Association and other professional organizations have conducted studies on the effects of exposure to demeaning and diminishing symbols, images and messages – such as racebased mascots, holidays such as Columbus Day, and physical symbols – and have found that this exposure severely erodes Native American children and youth self-worth and self-image. Native youth suffer amongst the worst outcomes of all youth across the country, and have a suicide rate three times the national average. It is irresponsible for any municipality to display harmful symbols that damage the psychological health of children and youth. Further, the LANAIC requests that this action be contextualized within a greater understanding and recognition of the history of Los Angeles and California Native Nations. LANAIC recognizes and acknowledges the Yaavitam, the first people of this ancestral and unceded territory of Yaanga that we now know as downtown Los Angeles; honors their elders, past and present, and the Yaavitam descendants who are part of the Gabrieleño Tongva and the Fernandeño Tataviam Nations. The State of California Assembly Joint Resolution No. 42 relative to indigenous peoples, calls for “increased awareness, sensitivity, and respect for issues of sovereignty related to the heritage of Native Americans and indigenous peoples,” in its adoption of the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. AJR No. 42 additionally recognized that, “The “Doctrine of Discovery,” emanating from the European colonization after 1492 of the continents later to be known as the Americas, has had profound and lasting negative effects on the cultures and populations of the indigenous peoples and nations of the Americas.” Based on these reasons and more, the LANAIC has requested that the statue is immediately removed and placed in storage until the process of deaccessioning takes place. The LANAIC also requests that the process of deaccessioning is managed in an efficient, transparent and timely matter. Lastly, the LANAIC requests an assessment of how the Los Angeles County Arts Commission is fulfilling its responsibility to the largest Indigenous community in the United States, including but not limited to representation on the commission, and resource support for Indigenous arts programming, internships, performances, and public artworks. Statement Approved by the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission on October 16, 2018 EVONNE GALLARDO TO CULTURAL AFFAIRS COMMISSION Evonne Gallardo has been appointed by the Mayor to the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission. Ms. Gallardo is an arts and culture management consultant. She has worked with museums, Hollywood-based charities, community-based art centers, and artist-led ventures. She previously served as Executive Director of Self Help Graphics & Art (2009-14) and has worked with the Claremont Museum of Art, Artists for a New South Africa, and the Museum of Latin American Art. She serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture and as an advisor with the Community Based Art/Prison Arts Collective at California State University, San Bernardino. VETERANS’ ARTS AND HUMANITIES DAY IN L.A. October 26 was declared “Veterans’ Arts and Humanities Day in Los Angeles” by the City Council. “I rise today to honor servicemen and servicewomen who have not only worked to make our country more safe,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin, “they’ve worked to help their brothers and sisters in service heal and contribute to our culture through the arts.” The celebration’s honoree was The United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance (USVAA). The USVAA was founded 2004 to provide opportunities for veterans and to highlight the work of service men and women in the arts, the humanities, and the entertainment industry. The nonprofit works to find support and funding for individual artistic projects in theater, film and television, visual arts, fine arts, and a wide variety of crafts. It also serves as a platform for people to address issues of concern to veterans and their families through arts and artistic endeavors. Members use arts to focus on such issues as the transition from military to civilian life, education, employment, the effects of wartime and military service injuries, and homelessness among veterans. The USVAA uses art as a way to advocate and a way to heal. MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT SIGNED INTO LAW The “Music Modernization Act” (MMA) was signed into federal law in October. The measure modernizes copyright issues for music and audio recordings brought about by modern technologies such as digital streaming. The bill was introduced in the House by Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and into the Senate by Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah. Several Los Angeles area Congressmembers were among the original co-sponsors of the bill, including Representatives Judy Chu, Ted Lieu, Karen Bass, Adam Schiff, and Brad Sherman. Among provisions of the Hatch-Goodlatte Bill is a requirement that musicians who recorded songs before 1972 be paid for their works. (Currently, for the most part, only performers who recorded songs after 1972 are paid for their works.) The bill reflects how modern digital music services operate by creating a blanket licensing system to quickly license and pay for musical work copyrights and ends the U.S. Copyright Office bulk notice of intent system that allows for royalties to not be paid. It includes compensation for record producers, sound engineers, and other creative professionals. WEST HOLLYWOOD NAMES POET LAUREATE Charles Flowers has been named the Poet Laureate of the City of West Hollywood. The responsibilities of the Poet Laureate include highlighting West Hollywood through literary arts, developing a new body of work that commemorates the diversity and vibrancy of the City, serving as ambassador for the City’s literary culture, and stimulating the transformative impact of poetry locally. Mr. Flowers will serve as Poet Laureate through October of 2020. Charles Flowers has lived in West Hollywood since 2010. His poems have appeared in Puerto Del Sol, Barrow Street, Indiana Review, and Assaracus. He was the founder and editor
of BLOOM, a journal for LGBT poetry, prose, and art, which Edmund White called “the most exciting new queer literary publication to emerge in years.” He has served as Associate Director of the Academy of American Poets, Executive Director of the Lambda Literary Foundation, Deputy Development Director at the ACLU of Southern California, and most recently as Deputy Director of Arts for LA, the regional arts advocacy organization. Mr. Flowers resides in West Hollywood with his husband Konstantine and two literary dogs, Mr. Darcy and Ariel. Jacaranda by Charles Flowers It’s late May & jacaranda petals cover Kings Road, small purple blossoms across the asphalt & sidewalks, each car’s shine blotted & stained. Yet their beauty cannot be denied. On my first encounter with their purple light, I felt I had fallen into the land of Dr. Seuss, where bright trees & a talking cat can teach a boy a lesson. Imagine myself in a forest of purple [I wish . . .] where melancholy Sondheim sings to me [I wish . . . more than anything] & I am back in Tennessee, finding my mother alone on our screened porch, listening to the summer night and the heart’s litany: to be single, to be married, to have a child. My heart was just beginning to dream its own tale, a prince to rescue me from a Baptist dragon [I wish . . .]. Today, a purple tree & a plangent showtune remind me how the heart endures, its chorus of desire never abandons me, season after season.
Celebrated artist Saber launched the Epilepsy Foundations campaign, “Let’s Use Our Brains to End Epilepsy,” with a live public art performance, signing, and installation in Downtown’s Pershing Square in October. The campaign is built around the fact that epilepsy is a brain disorder that can affect anyone with a brain, and anyone with a brain can affect epilepsy.
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100 Years of Art and Activism Mexico—East LA—Downtown—Highland Park “Regeneración: Three Generations of Revolutionary Ideology” at the Vincent Price Art Museum, provides an in-depth look at three distinct period of arts activism. In so-doing it brings to light aspects of Los Angeles history and culture that are little known beyond the people who lived them. The term Regeneración was first used by the Flores Magón brothers (Ricardo and Enrique), Mexican revolutionary anarchists who spent much of their lives in Los Angeles. They were in exile, but they turned Los Angeles into a base of support before and during the Mexican Revolution, publishing the newspaper, “Regeneración,” from 1900 to 1918. Print media allowed writers to give voice to such unrecognized populations as indigenous people and women. It allowed for information about political struggles to be on the streets while activists themselves could not speak freely without arrest. From 1970 to 1975, a new iteration of “Regeneración” re-imagined the publication as a cultural and political Regeneración, no. 215, December 4, 1915 journal. It was created by activist Francisca Flores. The second publisher was Harry Gamboa, Jr., who met Ms. Flores in the midst of the Chicano Moratorium. He recruited other very young artists, Willie Herrón, Patssi Valdez, and Gronk. The publication, with its emphasis on artistry and collective work, was therefore a project of the artists who soon adopted the name ASCO, creating legendary and influential performance works that addressed cultural invisibility, the lives of Chicanos on the eastside of Los Angeles, and the Viet Nam war. As with the initial “Regeneratión,” the arts were a way to have a voice when it was literally a matter of risking one’s life for a young person to be on the street. Mr. Gamboa likens the work to “being Quetzalcoatl,” a bright-colored bird Ludovico Caminita, Cover of Regeneración, no. 192, June laughing in the face of death, and says 13, 1914, digital print that the legacy of ASCO is making sure that we don’t fall into the hands of darkness. The third area of focus for the exhibit is the Regeneración/Popular Resource Center, a cultural space that operated in Highland Park from 1993-1999. The support of the Chicanx movement in the U.S. for the Zapatista movement in Mexico during this time, and the ways in which L.A. activisms learned from Zapatista principles, take the material covered in the exhibit full circle, relating it back to the experience of L.A. as a base of support for the Mexican Revolution almost 100 years earlier. At the same time, performances and works by individuals and groups as such as Zack de la Rocha, Quetzal, and Mujeres de Maíz demonstrated a local Ricardo Flores Magón was charged with sedition under culture evolving and grappling with issues the Espionage Act of 1917 for publishing an anti-war of identity specific to Los Angeles. manifesto. He died in Leavenworth Penitentiary in 1922. The large exhibit at the Vincent Price is an immersive experience, documenting the artistic movements through a variety of sources: copies of the publications, newspaper clippings, photographs, illustration, videos of performances and interviews, event flyers, visual art, and more. Pilar Tompkins Rivas, Director of the Vincent Price Museum, points out that this amazing story, though it takes place over a span of 100 years, happens in a geographic space through Downtown, Gronk, Cineart 76 (details), 1976 East L.A. and Northeast L.A. of only ASCO used photographs in the style of production stills about twelve square miles. to create No Movies. This work incorporates images of Something “Regeneración” does Gronk’s fellow ASCO members and of Ricardo Flores extremely well is demonstrate how these Magón, tying two generations of Regeneración together. three periods of activism were informed by and grew from one another. Nothing happened in a vacuum or sprouted fully grown. In demonstrating the segway of movements into movements, the exhibit potentially sheds Willie F. Herrón III and Gronk, Centerfold of light on where we are now, and where we may be going, as an arts-rich Regeneración, vol. 2, no. 3, 1973 city in a perilous political time. Regeneración: Three Generations of Revolutionary Ideology Curated by Pilar Tomkins Rivas Through February 16 Vincent Price Art Museum East Los Angeles College www.vincentpriceartmuseum.org A 175-page illustrated catalogue, co-published by the Vincent Price Art Museum and La Casa de El Hijo del Ahuizote in Mexico City, is available. A sound booth for online radio programming and conducting oral histories broadcasts live, Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. November 15, film screening, “Salt of the Earth” (1954), 5-7 p.m.
Zack de la Rocha with EZLN (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional) painted on his chest, c. 1990s.
Drawing of members of the Mexican Liberal Party published in Regeneración no. 22, January 1, 1913
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY continued from page 4
Casa Perú LA, representing the Quechua People of the Tawantinsuyo (Inca Empire) in the Procession of Nations Indigenous Peoples Day Pow Wow Presented by Southern California Indian Center, Inc.
The Procession of Nations led by the host Gabrielino Tongva and Tribal Chairman, Chief Red Blood, Anthony Morales
Indigenous Peoples Day Pow Wow Presented by Southern California Indian Center, Inc.
LA ART NEWS
What Divides, Separates and Defines What constitutes a boundary in Los Angeles? Is it an actual wall? Is it a line on a map? Or is there more to it than that? “Here,” at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, brings together a diverse group of artists who examine physical and geographic boundaries, as well as those created by economics, history, culture, and imagination, throughout Los Angeles. These are boundaries that can cause artificial distinctions among people, that can be dangerous to cross. But they are also definers of cultural spaces; they cordon off areas where people are free to explore their cultural identities and to grow them. The fact that this exhibition takes place in a city-run facility brings to mind questions as to who is responsible for maintenance of or transcendence of boundaries, and as to whether these lines should remain fixed by history or fluid in the face of migration, gentrification, and changing demographics. “Here” features work, in a wide variety of mediums, by: Heimir Björgúlfsson, Sandra de la Loza, Gajin Fujita, Gloria Galvez, iris yirei hu, Annetta Kapon, Patrick Martinez, Jane C. Mi, Alison O’Daniel, Renée Petropoulos, Nancy Popp, Umar Rashid, Sandy Rodriguez, Anna Sew Hoy, Fran Siegel, Henry Taylor and Mario Ybarra Jr. HERE Through January 6 Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) Barnsdall Art Park, Hollywood
Umar Rashid, Map of Alta California before the discovery of gold. (antes de bro) acrylic, ink, coffee and tea on paper
Annetta Kapon, The Line Between Los Angeles and Beverly Hills video
Sandy Rodriguez, Mapa de Los Angeles—21 Killed by Police hand processed color on amate paper Sandy Rodriguez, Calavera Copter Chandelier (detail) rotating plexi, s hooks and acrylic paint
iris yirei hu, Lessons from Wise Woman (Tongva Elder Julia Bogany), Grandmother Oak Tree, and Thread
Patrick Martinez, Bougainvillea Fence (after Hammons) acrylic on panel with fence tarp
Patrick Martinez, Where Does Your Auntie Live? (Temple Street) ceramic, ceramic tile, and mixed media pane with wall stucco Umar Rashid, If the New World were mine, Vandrossing in Califas. Sitting, and sitting on that stoop like there was no tomorrow, right before we burned that shit to the ground acrylic, ink, coffee and tea, on paper
Heimir BjĂśrgĂşlfsson, Hanging great weights on slender wires bricks, concrete, iron, plastic, photographs, paper, resin, taxidermied starling, glass illustrating the precarious relationship of humans and the environment (natural and built)
Anna Sew Hoy, Psychic Grotto Birdbath (Anklet) fired clay and glaze for potential cross-species gatherings
LA ART NEWS
On the Secon Elysian Valley, art and eateri the updated l
Northeast Los Angeles Arts Organization, Inc.
November 10, 2018 - 7pm - 10pm
(Individual Gallery Hours May Vary. CHECK Gallery web sites for individual information. Just because a gallery is listed does not mean it’s open this month) 1. Avenue 50 Studio 131 No. Avenue 50 323. 258.1435 avenue50studio.org
20. Toros Pottery 4962 Eagle Rock Blvd 323.344.8330 torospottery.com
2. Bike Oven 3706 No Figueroa
21. Kinship Yoga/Wonder Inc. 5612 Figueroa St.
3. Namaste Highland Park 5118 York Blvd. www.namastehighlandpark.com
22. Tierra de la Culebra 240 S. Ave 57
4. Offbeat 6316 York Blvd www.offbeatbar.com 5.Twinkle Toes 5917 N Figueroa St (818) 395-3454 6. Future Studio 5558 N Figueroa St. 323 254-4565 futurestudiogallery.com 7. Collective Arts Incubator 1200 N. Ave 54 collectiveartsincubator.com 8. The Art Form Studio 5611 N Figueroa St. Suite 2 www.theartformstudio.com 9. Vapegoat 5054 York Blvd. 323.963.VAPE 10. ETA 5630 N. Figueroa St. 11. Adjunct Positions 5041 Coringa Dr. 12. Matters of Space 5005 York Blvd www.mattersifspace.com 323.743.3267 13. Mi Vida 5159 York Blvd. 14. Vintage Tattoo Art Parlor 5115 York Blvd. 15. Antigua Coffee House 3400 N. Figueroa St. www.antiguacoffeehouse.com
23. Cactus Gallery @ Treeline Woodworks 3001 N. Coolidge Ave 24. Huron Substation 2640 Huron Street Los Angeles, CA 90065 25.Oneg Shabbat Collaborative Gallery 5711 Monte Vista Street, 90042 (inside Temple Beth Israel) 26. MAN Insurance Ave 50 Satellite 1270 N. Ave 50 323.256.3151 27. TAJ • ART 1492 Colorado Blvd. www.tajartinc.com 28. The Greyhound 570 N. Figueroa St. 29. Urchin 5006 1/2 York Blvd. 30. Arroyo Arts Collective @ Ave 50 Studio 131 North Avenue 50 arroyoartscollective.org 31. Living Room 5807 York Blvd. livingroomhome.com 32. Vapeology 3714 N. Figueroa St. 323.222.0744 33. Pop-Hop 5002 York Blvd. www.thepophop.com 34. Social Studies 5028.5 York Blvd.
16. Align Gallery 5045 York Blvd. www.aligngallery.com
35. Occidental College 6100 Campus oxy.edu
17. Leanna Lin’s Wonderland 5204 Eagle Rock Blvd. www.leannalinswonderland.com
36. The Glass Studio 5668 York Blvd. www.theglassstudio.net
18. The Rental Girl 4760 York Blvd. http://therentalgirl.com
37. Curve Line Space 3348 N. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90065
19. Mindfulnest 5050 York Blvd. 323.999-7969
38. Highland Cafe 5010 York Blvd. 323.259.1000
39. Kindness and Mischief 5537 N. Figueroa St. www.kandmcoffee.com 40. Civil Coffee 5639 N. Figueroa St. 41. Possession Vintage 5119 York Blvd. www.possessionvintage.com 42. The Situation Room 2313 Norwalk Ave. 43. Bookshow 5503 Figueroa St. www.bookshow.com 44. Vroom Vroom Bitsy Boo 5031 B York Blvd. 45. Portico Collection 5019 York Blvd. 46. The “O” Mind Gallery 200 N. Ave 55 theomind.com 47. Apiary Gallery at The Hive Highland Park 5670 York Blvd. www.thehive.la 48. Rock Rose Gallery 4108 N. Figueroa St. 323.635.9125 rockrosegallery.com 49. Leader of the Pack 5110 York Blvd. www.leaderofthepackvintage.com 50. Fahrenheit Ceramics 4102 North Figueroa St. fahrenheitceramics.com 51. Checker Hall 104 N. Ave 56 checkerhall.com 52. Green Design Studios 1260 N. Ave 50
nd Saturday of every month galleries, businesses, and artists in Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, Cypress Park, , and Lincoln Heights open their doors a little later in the evening and welcome visitors. Use this map for locations of ies, grab someone you love, get some dinner, and enjoy some art. Friend NELA Art Gallery Night on Facebook for last minute list.
27 17 20 42 11 35 18
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41 48 14 31 13
4 29 34 9 9 3 4 26 33 19 52 38
36 47 25 40 5 7 8 51 10 46 39 28 43 6 21 2 2
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Visit us at NELAart.org LA ART NEWS
NELAART GALLERY NIGHT SECOND SATURDAY OCTOBER 2018
Indoor and Out, a celebration of plants featuring the art of Terri Berman and Douglas Alvarez, at Cactus Gallery
Viva Las Fotos: A Day of the Dead Memorial for Laura Aguilar. Curated by Sybil Venegas and Christopher Velasco (detail)
Daniel Mythcity, Faustine, Apostle of Divine Mercy Mercy at Cactus Gallery
Aaron Martinez, Chomp Doodles Community Art Show Fundraiser for InnerCity Arts at Antigua Coffee House and the Pedestrian Art Tunnel
Claudia Ramos, Be Fearless Community Art Show Fundraiser for Inner-City Arts at Antigua Coffee House and the Pedestrian Art Tunnel
Elizabeth Garrison, Bird Feeder -Killer Functionalâ€”Small Ceramic Works at Future Studio
Kristen Johannesen, Loot! The Arroyo Arts Collective at Avenue 50 Studio
Shlome J. Hayun Oneg Shabbat Collaborative Gallery at Temple Beth Israel Guadulesa Rivera Oneg Shabbat Collaborative Gallery at Temple Beth Israel
Vend O Mart at Future Studio DEPTH: A Life Drawing Session, The Art-form Studio
Mary Jean Mallman, Untitled Functionalâ€”Small Ceramic Works at Future Studio
Chaz Bojorquez signing at the exhibit and launch party for his new product website, SOMOSLA.NET at Mi Vida
LA ART NEWS
WHEN BLINI MEETS KOREAN PANCAKE
Ah! The classic blini! That delicious, plump, buttery vessel for caviar, smoked salmon, and other nostalgic cocktail party fare. And then there is the Korean pancake, slightly crisp with tender Asian veggies and flavors on the inside! I was recently craving a Korean pancake, so I took a quinoa breakfast pancake recipe I knew and did some adaptations…and voila-- your new go-to east-meets-west hors d’oeuvre vessel that will keep them coming back! asian quinoa blini makes 8-10 blini 3/4 cup cooked quinoa 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 eggs 1/2 cup toasted nori flakes, strips, or small broken up pieces of nori 1 scallion, sliced on the bias 1/3 cups julienned bok choy, Chinese broccoli or other green vegetable NOTE: diced red bell pepper, sliced asparagus, and other vegetables can be substituted or incorporated Coconut oil for cooking Preheat a griddle to medium high heat. Mix all the ingredients but the coconut oil in a mixing bowl. Lubricate the griddle with a generous coat of coconut oil and cook the blini immediately by using a teaspoon to spoon mini pancakes onto the griddle. Cook as you would a pancake, flipping after one side is cooked enough to flip it over without breaking it. The mixture will want to separate a little bit so you might need to mix it a little before each spoonful on the griddle. Serve topped with smoked salmon or trout, sautéed mushroom, caramelized onion, kimchi, roasted pepper compote, tuna sashimi, or other detox friendly topping. It is pictured here with a slice of avocado and a caramelized shiitake mushroom…yum! Harvey Slater is a Holistic Nutritionist, Chef & Nutrition Blogger. He practices holistic nutrition at his office in Pasadena, and offers nutrition coaching and healthy living courses on-line. You can find more healthy recipes like this one on his blog: thewholedishblog.com
Baby Trump paid a visit to Los Angeles in October. The baby is seen here visiting City Hall. Halloween, Highland Park, 2018 Noelani and Monica
CLASSES IN NELA
Besides being a haven for artists and creative types, Northeast Los Angeles is the home of a fine array of arts classes, especially the industrial arts, but not limited to them. Below is a list of some of the businesses in the area that have classes. Do check with the facility to verify times and prices of their classes. As we find more places we will bring that information to all of you. Adam’s Forge 2640 N. San Fernando Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90065 Adamsforge.org You may email Nancy with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org Please check their web site for a listing of all of their classes and special events. Check out a Discovery class. The Glass Studio 5668 York Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90042 323.387.9705 email@example.com Check www.theglassstudio.com for a list of glasses ranging from glass blowing and torchwork to fusing and slumping and jewelry making.
Molten Metal Works 3617 San Fernando Rd Glendale, CA 91204 moltenmetalworks.net Please check their web site for a listing of all of their classes and special events. They’re in a new location next to Community Woodshop. Cool new space! Rock Rose Gallery 4108 N. Figueroa Street Highland Park, CA 90065 (323) 635-9125 www.rockrosegallery.com Visit: Rock Rose Gallery News, Instagram & Twitter Intermediate Ceramics Pottery Class 6 class sessions $240 Check web site for start date
Toros Pottery 4962 Eagle Rock Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90041 323.344.8330
A Place to Bead 2566 Mission St San Marino, CA 91108 626.219.6633 aplace2bead.com
Blue Rooster Art Supply Company blueroosterartsupplies.com firstname.lastname@example.org 4661 Hollywood Blvd LA, CA 90027 (323) 302-5613
Find a variety of jewelry making classes, including stringing and wirework.
They offer a variety of art classes. Check their web site for more information about their classes and events. Ave 50 Studio 131 No. Avenue 50 323. 258.1435 avenue50studio.org Guitar Lessons. Salsa Lessons too! Check their web site for more information for this and other classes. Center for the Arts Eagle Rock 2225 Colorado Blvd. Eagle Rock, CA 90041 email@example.com (323) 561-3044 www.cfaer.org Check out their web site for a wide variety of fun classes for all ages.
Bullseye Glass 143 Pasadena Ave. South Pasadena, CA bullseyeglass.com They offer a full range of kiln forming glass classes as well as regular free artist talks. Leanna Lin’s Wonderland 5024 Eagle Rock Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90041 323.550.1332 leannalinswonderland.com Check Leanna’s web site for a current list of workshops and events. Fahrenheit Ceramics 4200 N. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90042 323.576.2052 fahrenheitceramics.com
Community Woodshop 3617 San Fernando Rd Glendale, CA 91204 626.808.3725 www.community woodshopla.com These guys offer a wonderful selection of classes from beginner to advanced, membership, and private lessons. Please check their web site for more information and a list of classes. Stained Glass Supplies 19 Backus Street Pasadena, CA 91107 626-219-6055 Classes are ongoing Barndall Art Park 4800 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027 323.644.6295 http://www.barnsdall.org Check they’re web site for upcoming classes. Los Angeles County Store 4333 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 / 323-928-2781 Please check their web site for a listing of all of their classes and special events. Sugar Mynt Gallery 810 Meridian Ave. South Pasadena, CA 626.222.7257 sugarmynt.com Paint and Pinot Twice a month. Check their web site for more detail. Holy Grounds Coffee & tea 5371 Alhambra Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90032 323.222.8884 Check out their workshops!
Welcome to the neighborhood!
BEYOND BAROQUE TURNS 50 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center is one of the nation’s most successful and influential grassroots incubators of literary art. Founded in 1968, and housed in the original Venice City Hall building in Venice, California, it is a nonprofit public space dedicated to cultivating new writing and expanding the public’s knowledge of poetry, fiction, literature, and art through cultural events and community interaction.A historic lineup of L.A.’s leading artists, performers, poets and authors will salute Beyond Baroque, at its 50th anniversary “Bohemian Bacchanal” on Saturday, November 10. The gala event, located in the Venice Arts Plaza, features a dinner and will be highlighted by presentations honoring actor/poet Viggo Mortensen, a long-time supporter of the nonprofit organization, and award-winning poet Will Alexander. The evening also pays tribute to Beyond Baroque founder, George Drury Smith.Among the performers slated to take the stage are John Doe and Exene Cervenka (who first met at Beyond Baroque and formed the iconic LA band X); John Densmore, founding member of The Doors; legendary jazz trumpeter Bobby Bradford; Chris D (Divine Horsemen; Flesh Eaters); Julie Christensen (Divine Horsemen; Leonard Cohen); and poet Kamau Daáood, among others. The event includes a live and silent auction offering rare literary artifacts from Beyond Baroque’s archive, and more than 30 works of art from some of the world’s most notable artists, including Ed Ruscha, Gronk, Raymond Pettibon, Shepherd Fairey, and Francisco Toledo. Items donated by the Venice business community will also be auctioned. Event tickets are available at www.beyondbaroque.org The Beyond Gala forms the center of a ten-day period of festivities that begins with the November 8 premiere of “Beyond Mr. Smith,” Peter Fitzgerald Adams’ new documentary about Beyond Baroque founder George Drury Smith. The celebration culminates with the City of Los Angeles’ proclamation of Beyond Baroque Day on November 16, as the literary center welcomes the November 16-18 Southern California Poetry Festival, sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and headlined by world-renowned poet Anne Waldman. More information is available at www.scpoetryfest.com Beyond Baroque, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, by artist Stuart Rapeport
LA ART NEWS
by Tomas J. Benitez Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me. Not true. Words matter. Words can change the world. Words can kill, words can save lives, words are important, vessels of thought, feeling, aspirations, and the soul. Being careless with words means being stupid, lazy and thoughtless; reckless and arrogant. Did you ever tell your parents you hate them? Bet you can still remember it, wish you never said it. It’s okay, words can heal. FUCKTRUMP. Those are words with a purpose. Those words empower me, yes. I am unafraid of their consequences, I am more afraid they will go unheard, but there seems to be more and more and more people every day echoing the words, FUCKTRUMP. A man of careless, reckless words. Artists and writers have always known the power of words. And artists and writers have often suffered the consequences of speaking truth to power throughout history. Artists and writers have been censored, removed from libraries and banned, divested of funding, prosecuted for being obscene, mocked and ridiculed by the power elite, and in some cases, murdered. But artists and writers still do what they do best, they lead the way, they empower others with their gifts. Another old adage rightly claims that one picture is worth a thousand words, indeed. But a thousand words can also paint an endless array of images in our minds, and fill our souls with a new litany of words. One word can say it all at times. Strike! Two words can empower a generation, Me Too! Three words can compel humanity and compassion, Black Lives Matter. Words are keystones, a way to get from here to there, a pathway. I love to read a passage I have read many times before and discover something new, somehow the words have woken up upon the page, and this time a new light arises. But soft! What light shines through yonder window? I can also find great comfort in words when I am in need of great comfort, even commiseration. To be, or not to be, that is the question. So f cool, five hundred years later. Just imagine what it must feel like to write a few words that resonate with truth five hundred years later. That feeling of living forever. It’s almost too hard to put into, yes, words. The right set of words in the right time and place can inspire, awaken a brain or soul, provoke deep emotion and no less importantly, make me laugh. I will re-read the scene from Bless Me, Ultima by Rudy Anaya, over and over again, the one in the church when the kids are rehearsing the play. It makes me laugh and feel better every time. Words are good. If we cannot speak them out we can read them quietly, and if we cannot write them as well as some we can learn to appreciate others for how they write their words. Words find a way with us, like water, ever refreshing the mind. BUT with words comes responsibility. Once you understand the power of the word you are part of the air of communication that must hazard a bit of caution and discretion in how you use your words. Unless you are of course the President of the United States. Then you can say whatever you want, make up words, lie with words, kill with words; you are the president and we are not. Words are the avenues by which we seek enlightenment often through an education. And in doing so, empower ourselves. Thus, to deny opportunity is to deter the minds and souls of those who then do not adequately use or understand words, who did not prepare nor recognize the necessity of reflection and thought process, who misspell hand signs spewing hate slogans. Those are people who do not recognize words, or maybe they do, but just don’t care. Words are not alone, they often lead to action, more reason to use words for good. Be powerful, use your voice, say the words, write the words, never go silent. Words are louder than gunshots and more powerful than bombs. Words matter. Use them wisely. Word. (Tomas Benitez was born and raised in front of a TV set in East L.A. His film SALSA: The Movie was produced in 1988. He has also written for Fred Roos, Starz Encore Films, CBS, and several other producers. In recent years he has written extensively about East Los Angeles including an ongoing, online saga about his home life, titled “The Gully”. Several of his stories about East L.A. and The Gully have been published by Blue Heron in an anthology of new American fiction, and he is editing two addition collections to be published in 2018. Tomas is the former Executive Director of Self Help Graphics & Art.)
Lalo Alcaraz at SHG Dia De los Muertos celebration
Madam X NOVEMBER 2018
by Jen Hitchcock
Every Monday I pick my kid up from school and take her to ballet. Her dance school is located in one of those industrial office complexes where companies with yawn-inducing names like Datum Tech West and Medical Instruments Corp. occupy beige might-as-well-be windowless buildings that stretch out in every direction. I always drop her off, treat myself to a latte from drive-through Starbucks and return to sit in my car and do crossword puzzles while I am waiting. Very recently, I was biting the end of my eraser trying to figure out eight across when I took notice of a woman walking along the sidewalk in front of where I was parked. I noticed her because not many people utilize the wide sidewalks in this area. People walk from the buildings to their cars, but it isn’t a very picturesque place to stroll. But mostly I noticed her because I realized this was the third or forth time she had walked by. When she came around again I watched her, head down, face serious yet relaxed. About ten minutes later, there she was again, and it hit me what it was she was doing. She was exercising! I felt a sudden and strong connection to her and wanted to run out and hug her, because I imagined this was her “small start.” I had done the same thing seven months prior. Taken a few small steps. In April, feeling unhealthy, my body was telling me that I had to do something. My small start was walking one mile around my neighborhood, every day, at a snails pace. I decided to ignore the sweeping grand gestures that had killed my efforts time and time again before. The things I told myself I needed to have or do or achieve that I never could live up to or get started. “I’m going to join Weight Watcher and lose 30 pounds, ” “I am going to only eat 1000 calories a day and start jogging even though I hate jogging,” “DESSERT, NEVERMORE!” Instead, I just put on my sneakers and walked, finding that I was able to do a little bit more every day. I replaced bad things I loved with good things I love. I found sweet fruits I enjoyed for dessert instead of ice cream. I didn’t quit ice cream all together, I just make it a sweet visitor in my diet, and not a roommate I need to interact with every day. And since I am often an emotional eater, I found foods that aren’t empty high calories and made them my new “guilty” foods (I’m looking at you mashed potatoes). This has been a very valuable lesson for me. One that I finally embraced. Take a small step wherever you are and be okay with it. No gym membership or picturesque landscape is needed-- all the things people often tell themselves they need to get started— to start taking small steps. Small steps add up because they are something. I know this because here I am, seven months later, seventeen pounds lighter and able to scoot up a four-mile mountain hike like I never would have imagined I could. When the woman took her next loop, it took all my effort not to shout…I know what you are doing!!! Keep taking those small steps!!!
Arroyo Arts Collective presents DISCOVERY POP-UP The Arroyo Arts Collective (AAC) invites Los Angeles to experience the arts and artistry of Northeast L.A. An assembly of artists, ranging from emerging to well established, fine artists and craftspeople, will participate in the Arroyo Arts Collective Discovery Pop-Up, opening Saturday, November 10 during the NELA Second Saturday Gallery Night. The Discovery Pop-Up will give art lovers an opportunity to meet the artists in person and to learn the stories behind the art works. A wide variety of mediums will be included. There will be perfect gift items for an early jump on holiday shopping, decor for the house or office, jewelry and accessories for the fashionista, and fine art for the discerning collector. The Pop-Up is an offshoot of the Arroyo Arts Collective’s highly popular Discovery Tour, which for 25 years showcased the artists of Highland Park, Mount Washington, Eagle Rock, Cypress Park, and Montecito Heights. The Pop-Up takes place at Avenue 50 Studio, which, since 2000, has served as a hub for the arts in Northeast Los Angeles. Discovery Pop-Up A Pop-Up Art Exhibit and Retail Shop Opening reception: Saturday, November 10, 7-10 p.m. Special event: Saturday, November 17, 7 p.m. Pop-Up continues, plus Screening of documentary “Border Poets” and poetry and music curated by Linda Kaye Exhibit runs through December 2 Avenue 50 Studio 131 North Avenue 50, Highland Park www.arroyoartscollective.org
BOOK SHOW EVENTS
Tuesday November 6th 7pm-9:30pm Collage & Cry Collage art night Five dollar donation Tuesday November 13th 7pm sign up Comedy Open Mic Hosted by Sumukh Torgalkar Wednesday November 14th 7pm doors Historia Storytelling Night “Indulgence” Suggested donation Thursday November 15th 8pm Laughterhouse 5 Stand up comedy show Friday November 16th 8pm Friday Night Poetry: They’re Just Words Hosted by Ingrid Calderone Poetry open mic & featured poets Saturday November 17th 7pm Influx Collective Queer Poetry Reading Sunday November 25th Book Binding Workshop with Rachel Curry Make handmade journals as unique DIY holiday gifts!! Email for info bookshowla at gmail dot com BOOK SHOW WILL be closed Wednesday November 21 –Friday November 23rd We will be open for shop small Saturday November 24th!!!!!!!
LA ART NEWS
AI WEIWEI continued form page 3
Through March 3 Marciano Art Foundation 4357 Wilshire Boulevard www.marcianoartfoundation.org (advance reservation necessary) Ai Weiwei: Zodiac Through January 5 Jeffrey Deitch 925 North Orange Drive www.deitch.com Ai Weiwei, Wallpaper Works: Odyssey, 2016 UTA Artist Space
Ai Weiwei Cao / Humanity Through December 1 UTA Artist Space 403 Foothill Road, Beverly Hills www.utaartistspace.com
Ai Weiwei, Wallpaper Works: Odyssey, 2016 UTA Artist Space
Ai Weiwei, Sunflower Seeds (2010) Ai Weiwei, Spouts (2015) Ai Weiwei, Life Cycle (2018) Ai Weiwei, Shanhaijing (2015) Marciano Art Foundation
Ai Weiwei, Sunflower Seeds, 2010 Marciano Art Foundation
Ai Weiwei, Works from the Windows Series, 2015 (detail including references to state surveillance) Marciano Art Foundation
Ai Weiwei, Spouts, 2015 (front) Ai Weiwei, Shanhaijing, 2015 (rear) Marciano Art Foundation
Ai Weiwei, Treasure Box, 2014 Jeffrey Deitch
WINE OF THE MONTH
Note: Create joy, one sip at a time. Featured Wine: La Pepie Vintage: 2017 Color: Red Varietal: Cabernet Franc Price: Under $20 Country: France Region: Loire Farming Type: Organic (leaning towards bio-dynamic) “I’m forcing myself into red wine season.” I said that to a guy at Silver Lake Wine today, and he said, “What?” I repeated myself, and he shrugged with an “Oh.” And I remembered my Mom telling me not to talk to strangers…obviously not as a kid, but more importantly as an adult, because, and I quote, “No one wants to hear your bullshit.” I am a craver of things based on the scenario—example, a chilly evening leads me to want something like a hearty stew and an even heartier red wine; or after a Pittsburgh winter, the sunshine of Spring would lead me to wanna pop on some Lynard Skynard. So, red wine it is. And I chill my reds—different grapes, different types of chilling. But for this beauty, I throw it into the refrigerator as soon as I get home. Hours later or the next day, assuming it will be consumed in one sitting, it is opened and no longer chilled. I’ve discussed chilling red wine before, not often, but once with a friend, a long time ago, on a hot summer night, sitting on her porch in Silver Lake, drinking what I can only assume was a $10 bottle of red wine, which I can also only assume, was not cheap to us. She wanted to put an ice cube in her red wine and for some reason felt the need to explain herself to me. Being from Amsterdam, she claimed it was very ‘Euro.’ I exclaimed, no need to explain, and then, in my most educated voice, pointed out how, in ‘castle times,’ wine was stored in a cellar, and I bet it was cold as fuck. Cold as fuck was pretty much their room temperature. Nothing like an air conditioned 70 degree Los Angeles apartment. Not that she had air conditioning… I like this wine, even if it is still very warm outside, which normally leads me to crave white and rosé. I like it because it is organic and almost bio-dynamic. It is hand harvested. Marc Ollivier uses natural yeast, and the grape vines are over 40 years old. It is also easy to like because it is good. The nose is filled with tobacco and a bit of black cherry. The nose makes it appear to be a fuller wine than it is. The first thing you notice, upon taking a swig, is the way the mineral buzzes on your tongue, less than a frisante and at a different spot on the tongue—really nice. So you are hit with the mineral and then the tartness and taste of sour cherry, subtle tobacco and an earthiness that is hard to describe. It ends with acidity. This wine is very versatile, as far as food goes. It is deep enough to pair it with a stew, if you so desire. But the medium body of it also gives you options, like carne asada tacos with beans and rice or even better, a plate of molcajet, spicy red sauce cooked with beef—spectacular. The music should be heavy and female, Macy Gray, or Amy Winehouse, even Edith Piaf. For flowers, a bunch of Mexican daisies mixed with Mexican petunias (purple and orange) would be just right. So, yes, it is red wine season somewhere, and yes, I know that ‘red wine season’ doesn’t really exist, not to the world anyway, but it does to me. So, please, have this delicious wine that I selected just for you. That way you can avoid choosing a wine by its label only, and end up (possibly) being disappointed (although, this wine does have a great rooster label). A toast to my Mom, especially to her advice, and most importantly, to the place I grew up, Pittsburgh, PA, may you heal soon.
ODE TO BUKOWSKI By Linda Kaye
As she reached for that last glowering and stank cocktail thinking how many times has this matron fool sat before at this filthy bar justifyingly thinking the same dour useless curdling thoughts of wasting borrowed time the harsh sips of whiskey jolt and seer her throat a daily wicked reminder of that unlived crime of a life the sweet and also the sour of a mixed messaged drink the flat constant reminders of failed relationships gone south not fully committed detoured by unrelished adjustments to the loss of time, hair, flesh flexibility and unwanted differences craving subsistence then dismantling the world weary norms that smash one in the face year after year. No love ever befell or existed as she thought it would or could the ugliness that was seen in the mirror of the past only reflected inside wedlock yet outside it deadlocked grifting towards unknown territory secreted behind the crippled lost loves of others Those lives left behind them from their own broken doors living parallel-fantasized lives dreaming and lusting for the march to fulfillment. (Linda Kaye writes poetry and produces poetry events in the local NELA area. Linda recently produced a socially and politically inspired event at the border wall of Tecate, Mexico on the Jacumba, Ca. side of the US border. A free screening of the documentary short film and live performances, will beheld on Nov. 17, 7 p.m. at Ave 50 Studio in Highland Park which will be part of a series of community events “REMEMBRANCE” hosted by the Arroyo Arts Collective, Ave 50 Studio, Rock Rose Gallery and The Autry Museum of the American West. Linda is also reading poetry Nov 10, 2 p.m. for this series ”Remembrance, Faces Places” at the Autry National Center, SW Museum campus. ) www.lindakayepoetry.com Twitter/Instagram: lindakayepoetry
LA ART NEWS
Florence The Dog of READ Books “Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism.” ~ Neil Postman (Amused to Death) Now when I say that bipeds are bizarre, I do not merely adduce to their boorish infatuation with latrine pooping, the comical aversion to butt sniffing (aren’t you people just the slightest bit interested in getting to know thy neighbor?), nor even the ludicrous act of bipedalism itself. For all the boasting about the breadth of their brains, I’ve rarely snuffled a species as prone to losing focus as the two-legged man-ape. Y’know how they’re always mocking our predilection for being diverted by squirrels? Well, I’ve seen their version of squirrel-gazing, and I tells yuh, it ain’t so cute. * Still, we share many commonalities, my bipeds & I. Walking, for instance. One of our incipient sojourns, soon after I was adopted into the READ Books familia, was along Isabel St. thru the foothills of Cypress Park. “This is where that family got gunned down back in ’95,” said my tall biped, Stretch, who enjoys reading about & visiting crime scenes in disreputable neighborhoods. “They were decent, pale people driving to their nearby home after a Christian BBQ— at 2 in the a.m.— and whilst looking for a shortcut they turned here & got lit up by a buncha swarthy gang members. An infant was killed. Front page, national news. I had relatives moved away from L.A. behind this thing, I shit you not.” “That happened here?” the short biped, Stumpy, inquired skeptically. Exactly, barked I. Something smells rotten in Denmark! As we sauntered onward & unmolested thru the pleasant precinct, we three noted myriad incongruities, the most troubling being the topography of this street. “Nobody,” noted Stumpy, an ex-engineer, “would use Isabel as a shortcut. Leave well-lit Cypress Ave., a most direct route, in favor of turning up a dark, windy hill? Nonsense.” Stretch, who’s worked & lived in several gang-intensive neighborhoods, opined that gangsters rarely concern themselves with comings & going of pale families, as white bipeds are rarely affiliated with their rival gangs. Denmark, I tells yuh. Rotten. Back at home, Stretch spent umpteen hours researching old newspapers on the internet. The initial frontpage articles had been borderline hysterical & presumed the narrative of the victims to be true (“unprovoked ambush”). Time passed, and buried deeper in sundry periodicals were progressively briefer reports of those BBQers having been in Cypress Park that eve to purchase drugs and then attempting to leave the scene sans paying for wares they were provided. Stretch conducted a name search on the adult male BBQer present in the car that night and eventually found out that he was now a recovering drug addict. “So,” said Stretch. “A random murder? Or thieves (who bring their infants to drug deals) shot by piqued drug-dealers? Bad news, surely, but not exactly random killing of white people by brown people, right? This is what yuh get when a story is rushed. Truth is trumped by the need to be the first one with the hottest headline.” This, said I, Florence, is what yuh get when your species does not take the time to sniff out the facts. And if you think jumping to inaccurate conclusions was an issue in 1995, mi amigo de dos patos, well allow me to welcome you to the high-tech present, where most news is instantaneous, oversaturated, and then just as soon forgotten in favor of the next tantalizing tidbit. Approximately 2/3 of bipeds get their news from social media, predominantly on Facebook, a filthy rich organization that uses algorithms to choose for you the posts they think you want to see, which are the posts that merely reinforce your current positions. Not the best written, or best researched, or most accurate articles. Not the ones that make you think, but the one that make you click & scroll quickly to the next post. And you have issues with my butt-sniffing as a means to procuring the news? Think about that as you sit with your paws in the air gazing at inadequately researched clickbait, while the world is burning, and the head arsonist is trying to incinerate the free press. Instead of Facebook, bipeds could be investing in a professionally staffed newspaper, reputable news magazine, or NPR. While bipeds such as Naomi Klein, Michelle Alexander, & Ta-Nehisi Coates take the time to research & write thoroughly intriguing books that explain the world bipeds live in (and create), a majority of the upright monkey men are dissipating their focus on an internet that largely dispenses half-assed knowledge in quantities so large as to be ultimately uninterpretable. Internet kingpins are getting richer and richer, as newspapers and magazines perish because bipeds choose the cheap, quick fix. Or at least that’s what I’m seeing. Ah! I’m just a fucking dog that writes a monthly article that you’re still reading. I suppose we all have our strug… SQUIRREL! * Stumpy eschews all social media in favor of newspapers & books, and spends for-real money on a NYT subscription & KPCC membership, while Stretch struggles with his conscience and says it’s really hard to stay away from Facebook “because of pheromones and shit.” “Listen,” I told him, “I’ll stop barking at squirrels if you stop clicking on Facebook.” Presently, as my paws race across the keyboard, he is sifting thru (and occasionally cursing at) the L.A. Times Voter Guide. He sets his bottle of Mezcal and its rapidly evaporating contents on the table, and he barks at me: “Hey Florence! I haven’t clicked on a facebook article in three days! I feel, almost… clean.” I skip over to him, fully intending to lie on my side and let him scratch my magical belly, when I suddenly hear rustling outside the living room window, in a tree, could it be a… “Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.” ~Neil Postman (Amused to Death)
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY continued from page 11
Live art by Votan and Levi Ponce
Indigenous Peoples Day Pow Wow Presented by Southern California Indian Center, Inc.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis
Art by Levi Ponce at the front steps of City Hall
LA ART NEWS
REMEMBRANCE, THE FACES AND PLACES Beauty and poignancy in the midst of sorrow are interpreted though the lenses of death and grief rituals of a variety of cultures in “Remembrance, The Faces and Places,” currently on exhibit at the Historic Southwest Museum Mount Washington Campus. The exhibit and related programming are presented by The Arroyo Arts Collective, in conjunction with The Autry Museum of the American West, Avenue 50 Studio and Rock Rose Gallery. Remembrance is a distinctly Los Angeles show. The artists love and honor those who have left the world better than they found it through the rituals and cultural practices of their ancestors. But they also reach out and share in practices of other groups; the exhibit witnesses to what happens when populations migrate, adopting the beauty in the practices of others, while still honoring ancestors and loved ones in ways the departed would find familiar. Anyone who remembers the Native American Dioramas in the tunnel of the Southwest Museum will be happy to see the Suzanne Siegel and Sara Siegel niches used once again for the celebration of culture. For Remembrance, 20 artists have created altars in the niches, representing practices of a variety of ancestries. A second large group of artists displays art upstairs in the museum’s Sprague Hall. Mary Clark-Camargo
Remembrance, The Faces and Places Through December 8 Historic Southwest Museum Mt. Washington Campus
234 Museum Drive Open Saturdays, 2-4 p.m. Tunnel artists: Nzingha Camara, Mary Clark-Camargo, Cris Coloni, Crying Bear, Ruth DeNicola, Leo Eguiarte, Rene Fisher-Mims, Sophia Gasparian, Leslie K. Gray, Betty Wan Hamada, Dr. Patricia Jessup-Woodlin, Kristen Johannesen, Andy Ledesma, Cecilia Marmol, Margarita Medina, Mi Vida, Beth Peterson, Michael Possert Jr., Sandi “Mama” Romero, Sara Siegel Nurinda, Suzanne Siegel, Stormie Art, Melly Trochez, Suzette Vidal.
Saturday, November 1010:30am – 12:30pm: Paper Flower Headdresses workshop with Margarita Medina. 2pm: Poetry Reading with Gloria E. Alvarez, Ron Baca, Zoe Blaq, and Linda Kaye , concluding with Open Microphone audience participation. Saturday, November 1710:30am – 12:30pm: Air-Dry Clay Mask workshop with Fahrenheit Ceramics. 2pm: Meet the Artists. Ruth DeNicola, Betty Wan Hamada, Dr. Patricia Jessup-Woodlin. Saturday, November 2410:30am – 12:30pm: Miniature Nacho workshop with Mi Vida Boutique. 2pm: Meet the Artists. Kristen Johannesen, Andy Ledesma, Sandi “Mama” Romero. Saturday, December 110:30am – 12:30pm: Papal Picado workshop with Margarita Medina. 2pm: Meet the Artists. Leslie K. Gray, Margarita Medina, Suzette Vidol. Saturday, December 82pm: Meet the Artists. Michael Possert Jr. 4pm – 6pm: Closing Reception. Made possible in part through the generous support of the Autry Museum of the American West, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council and the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council.
Ruth De Nicola
MORE REMEMBRANCE, THE FACES AND PLACES
Sophia Gasparian, The Armenian Genocide Flag Girl, 2018
Nzingha Camara and Rene Fisher-Mims (Nigeria/Yoruba), Original Settlers of Los Angeles in 1781…THE POBLADORES
Mi Vida Boutique, Danza es Vida
Cecilia Mármol, La Catrina Garbancera
LA ART NEWS
The holiday season is upon us, so please enjoy this copy of the LA Art News November 2018 issue.