Previous Exhibitions for 2017 in The Durón Gallery:20 Years of the UCLA/SPARC Digital Mural Lab: January 24 – April 8 20 Years of The UCLA/SPARC Digital Mural Lab showcases a sampling of projects that highlight instruction, community organizing, research and artistic production. These projects are emblematic of partnerships with nonprofit advocacy groups, civic institutions, public schools and municipalities that provide students, artists, academics and community members an alternative model for articulating community needs. The images in the show are small scale reproductions of large scale permanently installed public artworks or, in the case of the CARECEN mural, represents a major phase in the artistic production. In any case, the final image memorializes a much more expansive scope of work that establishes the lab as preeminent partner of vulnerable and underrepresented communities. The Inuit Send the World a Canary: May 13 – June 24 “The Inuit Send the World a Canary” is an exhibition of the ninth panel added to The World Wall, A Vision of the Future Without Fear. Designed by artist Tania Godoroja Pearse, the mural speaks to the issues of global warming and the exploitation of natural resources, and their profound and uncontrolled destruction of Canadian life and landscapes. Inspired by Sheila Watt-Cloutier who brought international attention to the spectra of global warming changes in the north several years ago at a circumpolar conference, the rampant nonrenewable resource development in the form of mining, oil sands and shale gas extraction, along with leaking oil and gas pipelines crisscrossing our waterways and lands like a web of bleeding arteries, continue to threaten our collective ways of living and the natural systems we all depend on. The exhibition will document the process of producing the mural as well as the activism surrounding it. TOMBOYS: Christina Schlesinger (SPARC Co-Founder) and invited artists: July 8 – September 9 Christina Schlesinger exhibits mixed media paintings based on images and memories as a tomboy. Painted on her tomboy clothing: jeans, flannels, and T-shirt, the work reflects her clothing as an expression of resisting gendered norms. “I fought with my mother over wearing dresses. I wanted to wear pants, shoot marbles, and ride my bike really fast. I led a little gang that stole comic books from Scannel’s drug store. That bright and sturdy tomboy spirit saved and saves me.” The “Tomboys” paintings fit snugly within a body of work that draws on images from all aspects of Ms. Schlesinger’s life, much of it informed by a collage aesthetic that combines images with other materials. “Now that I’m at the other end of my life, I’m thinking of who can be my mentors as I’m getting older. And I thought of my grandmothers. Grandmother Schlesinger was a suffragette, and Grandmother Cannon wrote books and was a classmate of Gertrude Stein.” Influences of cultural iconography “ Ni de aqui ni de alla”: September 23 – November 17 Migration has played a major role on the influence of Mexicano/Chicano/Mexican-American and what is today called Latino art in the United States. The impact of artists living this dual reality across borders from Oaxaca, to Mexico City, Los Angeles and throughout the US, has influenced a powerful exchange of ideas and visual dialogues for a new generation of young artists. Contemporary Mexican artists are re-contextualizing the visual iconography of Chicanos, Cholos, urban Mexicans, adding indigenous language and visual cultural identification to the new Latino art scene in Los Angeles and Oaxaca. They are asking for resistance and defiance on issues that are currently affecting their lives, their land their main source of food (maize), their language and culture. The new generation of Mexican artists is empowered, highly educated and aware of an oppressive racism against them in both countries, which they are no longer willing to accept.
To Protect & Serve? Posters Protesting 50 Years of Police Violence by the Center for Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) / Vincent Valdez:
December 2 – January 27
Current struggles against police violence and state repression are part of a long history of resistance, that is documented by and reflected in graphics produced by the artists, activists and organizers who participated in these struggles. This exhibition will continue CSPG’s mission to reclaim the power of art to educate, agitate, and inspire people to action. In addition to the posters, artist Vincent Valdez will exhibit a series of new etchings, serigraphs and lithographs depicting historical incidences of police violence in Los Angeles.
The Mission of the Durón Gallery is to present socially relevant and politically conscious art, weather visual or performing, especially for underserved audiences, by established and emerging artists, artists’ collectives and student projects. The Gallery will seek to engage its audiences to allow for an art experience beyond that of the passive viewer through its exhibitions and other programs.
The gallery is named after Armando and Mary Durón, renowned art collectors and long time supporters of SPARC. Here’s what Armando has to say about the naming:
“Mary and I are deeply humbled by the naming of the art gallery at SPARC as The Durón Gallery. We cannot imagine a more cherished honor than having such a sacred space at SPARC named after our family. From a jail to an art gallery that has presented socially conscious art from all over the world, this space speaks to all who understand the true place of art in any society. Since first coming to SPARC in 1987, Judy and SPARC have held a special place in our restless hearts. We know that SPARC often stands alone among arts organizations, as it stays true to its original mission, without compromise or detours. Judy’s unique artistic vision founded on her social consciousness has been an inspiration to us and to our children, all of who deeply love SPARC and are equally proud to have their name forever associated with SPARC.”
Occasionally SPARC will exhibit from the Durón Family Collection, which consists of hundreds of works, together with an extensive library of books, catalogs and ephemera collected over 30 years. Armando Durón has spoken and written widely as a knowledgeable collector on Chicano art of Los Angeles. His unique perspective as a collector, long-time friend of Chicano(a) artists and avid student on the subject is widely sought from Los Angeles, to the Smithsonian, from high school students to professional appraisers. Durón writes an occasional column for Brooklyn & Boyle newspaper, “From the Living Room Couch” on Chicano art. Works from the collection are regularly shown throughout the country.
The Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) opened its gallery with “Jailhouse Break” a celebration dating back to 1977 in the Old Venice Jail. Our first show was of a local unknown Venice Artist named Anthony Fiorelli a senior citizen from our neighborhood. His delicate plaster relief works were intricate narratives criticizing what he believed was capitalism out of balance creating a disregard for the poor and aging.
Since that time SPARC has hosted over a thousand exhibitions. We have often been the first to draw attention through an exhibition to an issue of national or international importance such as California’s growing anti-immigrant sentiments in our Borders Barriers and Beaners Show, or to Apartheid in South Africa, in our “End Apartheid Now” exhibition or to the beginning of the epidemic of AIDS, the arms race in the 80’s in our “Thanks but No Thanks Show” and many others. We have hosted regularly youth art shows and the works of local Venice artists. We like shows initiated by groups of artists on important issues. We are not a commercial gallery and since funding cuts we particularly support artists who can help with hanging, gallery sitting and managing the exhibition in which they participate. If you would like to be considered for a show please send digital files to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPARC’s Gallery hosts a variety of shows annually depending on funding available. Typically we host three theme related shows on socially relevant issues and three community generated shows per year. One exhibition is reserved for youth or younger artists. Any artist or curator can propose an exhibition for a sponsored show in our gallery on a timely issue or for any other type of show if they can provide for the expenses of professionally mounting and advertising the show themselves. SPARC’s Artistic Director and Artists Advisory Board review all proposed shows periodically throughout the year. If you are interested in proposing and exhibition please contact us with a proposal.
If you are an artist who would like to be considered for inclusion in our exhibitions please send us digital images of your work with a statement. In the description field please indicate your medium size and title of the artwork. Also please indicate if you are local Venice Artist based in Los Angeles or another city.
By submitting your artwork you agree to have your art reviewed for future exhibitions.