1976 – 2020
The Box Project
November 9th 2019- January 18th 2020
The Box Project originated in France where Rebecca Dolinsky assembled the Salonistas in 2015, a group of
creative women who meet regularly to talk about their work and support one another’s independent endeavors.
Dolinsky’s initiative soon inspired the creation of two sister groups, one in Mexico City and another in Los
Angeles, which quickly grew with women wishing to participate. Last year, Dolinsky imagined a way to exchange
works with the two groups. In a world that is increasingly virtual, she wanted to exchange something real, not
virtual, with the women in these two cities. The Paris Salonistas sent small artworks in the form of
matchbox-sized boxes to their sister groups, and responding to this generosity, the women in Mexico City and
L.A. sent works in return.
Made by artists, scholars, psychologists, curators, writers and community organizers, among others, the objects
that traveled between cities were many. This fluid exchange was born from the desire to communicate through
ideas, letters, and personal materials. Their authors produced the objects with the collective in mind. The pieces,
regardless of size or form, were to be viewed as a group. No singular creation was intended to stand separate
from the others.
The Women’s Salon in Los Angeles, Paris, and Mexico City would like to thank SPARC, its Co-founder and
Artistic Director Judith F. Baca, and its staff for making this exhibition possible. It would also like to thank Jeff
Young and Gloria Westcott of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for the generous donation of display
vitrines. Finally, it is grateful to those who helped shuttle art between countries: Daniel Bally, Diana Magaloni,
Nicolás Mariscal, Roberto Rochin, and Haydeé Rovirosa. Much appreciation goes out to all the participating
artists, as well as their friends and family, for their hard work and support.
De Colores Means All of Us: Art and the Dialectics of Coalition Building in Communities of Color Curated by Claudia Huiza. September 21 – November 16, 2019
This exhibition will focus on cross cultural relations between female-identified Latinxs, artists of Caribbean descent and African American communities living in Southern California. The curated effort focuses on Black, Caribbean and Brown relations and our shared history of struggle and how more than ever we need to work hard to continue strengthening our alliances. The premise asserts that knowing and exploring each other’s cultural production and history through our art, we can move beyond the petty and the divisiveness that seems to be rampant in our country today.
The multimedia exhibition, featuring artists Cole James, Star Montana, Lavialle Campbell, Claudia Rodríguez, Zeal Harris, Ana Navarro, Patrisse Cullors, and Maritza Álvarez furthers the alliance work started decades ago by organic intellectual-scholars Elizabeth (Betita) Martinez and Angela Davis, who worked together in the early nineties and onward to bring attention to how art, music, poetry and literature are crucial in building strong social movements for meaningful change.
As performance artist Patrisse Cullors has shown with her most recent body of work, “Respite, Reprieve and Healing”, bringing together diverse communities that inhabit Neighboring communities in LA in an exploration of healing and ceremonies that highlight our shared histories of struggle, art has an enormous potential to change people, communities and our world. The collaborations, the dialogues created by bringing together artists from very different communities who would otherwise not come together to explore the commonalities of their socialization, struggles and perdurance demonstrates that art can be a vehicle for increased consciousness raising, awareness about other cultures, and a serve as a foundation for strong movements for social change, because art offers us ways of seeing the world through a different, more well-rounded lens.
For more information, please visit the official Sur: Biennial Website
Down the Rabbit Hole by Mercedes Gertz: September 27th-August 5th, 2019
Down the Rabbit Hole explores the symbolic language of images from a Mexican feminist perspective. Symbolic language has the ability to express abstract ideas that are otherwise difficult to translate in direct, analytical speech or text. This language of images is felt more so than it is heard, and honors the realm of instinct, dreams, and intuition.
In this exhibition, I present three bodies of work that investigate this symbolic language through the lens of archetypes, dreams, and fairy tales. This exhibition has been shown in Paris in 2018, and has now come to SPARC. Down the Rabbit Hole continues to grow as new participants step forward to tell their story. I invite you to participate in this language of images and insert yourself into the world of our untold narratives.
-Mercedez Gertz, PhD
About the Artist:
Mercedes Gertz works in Mexico City, California and Switzerland. Her interest in art as a language has informed her artistic practice and community work. Gertz currently has a PhD in the study of Depth Psychology. Her focus is on the study of dreams and Fairy Tales as the symbolic language that articulates what words fail to express.
In 1990, she received her bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of Art and Design in New York. In 1998, she was honored with the Fonca Young Creators Scholarship. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts in 2001 from the Otis School of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Her graphic work “Lotería de la Vida” is part of the collection of the Luis Cuevas Museum, Mexico City. Her interest in art as a language has informed her artistic practice and community activities. She has also developed workshops for Hispanic families in Los Angeles, where she has worked since 2001 to date. Gertz teaches Dream and Fairy Tale workshops in Mexico, Los Angeles and Paris. Her paintings, conceptual installations and graphic art have been exhibited in Mexico, the United States, and Europe.
Tomboys by Christina Schlesinger: June 8th – August 16th, 2019
SPARC presents Christina Schlesinger in the Durón Gallery . Tomboys features a vibrant collection of artworks by Christina Schlesinger that examines the intersections between gender, identity, fashion, sex, and representation. The exhibition includes over twenty mixed media oil paintings that explore self-portraiture, feminist nudes, and lesbian sex. Schlesinger’s body of work honors tomboys everywhere and contributes to an evolving conversation on gender and identity.
July 19 by Ellie Shakiba: July 19th- August 9th, 2019
July 19 by Ellie Shakiba is an exhibition of photos and videos documenting Australia’s inhumane offshore detention center on the remote island nation of Nauru. Shakiba created the images while imprisoned for nearly six years in the Nauru Regional Processing Centre where she was held after fleeing Iran in 2013 to seek asylum in Australia. July 19 at SPARC marks the premiere of Shakiba’s images in the United States.
The title and opening date of the show, July 19, marks the six-year anniversary of the signing of the Regional Resettlement Arrangement (RRA) by the Prime Ministers of Australia and Papua New Guinea in 2013. The RRA built upon Australia’s already harsh policies to deter migrants attempting to reach Australia by boat. Since the fall of 2012, Australia has forcibly turned away refugees arriving in Australian waters by boat, even towing the vessels back to their points of origin, or transferred refugees to offshore island detention centers, where they face intolerable conditions for years on end. The RRA created a hardline policy in which no migrants attempting to reach Australia by boat could ever be resettled in Australia, regardless of refugee status. In the words of Shakiba “The 19th of July is the worst day of many people’s lives.”
While incarcerated on Nauru, Ellie Shakiba documented the living conditions of her fellow refugees with first a PSP gaming console and later a camera secretly sent to her. Defying strict rules forbidding recordings of any kind, Shakiba produced some of the only first-hand photos and video of the detention center on Nauru. Her bravery and journalism have played an important role in alerting the world to the plight of refugees held in Australia’s offshore detention centers, such as Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, a tiny island nation nearly 200 miles north of Papua New Guinea. The last children held in detention on Nauru were resettled in the US as refugees in February of this year, largely in part due to the impact of Shakiba’s photos.
“Many of my stories, video, and photography were used by media outlets all over the world. I was credited with playing a major role in ending the illegal detention of children in Nauru through my media activities, documentaries, and reports.”
Her images continue to play an important role in alerting the public to the plight of the refugees still held on Nauru and Manus in unimaginable conditions. July 19 at SPARC marks the premiere of Shakiba’s images in the United States. Ellie Shakiba arrived in Los Angeles this February as part of a resettlement deal Australia signed with the US during the Obama administration.20 Years of the UCLA/SPARC Digital Mural Lab: January 24 – April 8 , 2017 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, 2017 “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, 2017 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, 2017 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, 2017
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.
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May 31 – July 31, 2014 – Lost Horizons: Mural Dreams of Edward Biberman
| 685 Venice Blvd., Venice, CA 90291 | Old Venice Police Station
March 1st – April 11, 2014 – Loss, Memory, and Recovery, Dwora Fried & Linda Vallejo
See Press Release
February 16 – March 30, 2013 – Behind Bars by Los de Abajo Printmaking Collective
See Press Release
Sunday, 20 May 2012 – Youth from Camp by David Gonzales
See Press Release
April 27 – June 7 2012 – UPRISING: Los Angeles 1992 by Christine Burrill
See Press Release
March 31 – April 22, 2012 – I CAN REQUIEM FOR I CAN’T: GROUP SHOW
January 14 – February 24, 2012 – Created Equal, Photographs by Lekha Singh
See Press Release
November 2, 2011, 6:30 – 9:00pm – DIA DE LOS MUERTOS Performance
See Press Release
June 4 – 17, 2011 – POLITICAL CARTOONS & Performance by Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo
See Press Release
April 2, 2011 – IGNITE An Evening of Music, Art, Poetry… by The Roots & Wings
Go To Their Website
February 19 – March 13, 2011 – WINDOWS & MIRRORS, Reflections on the War in Afghanistan
See Press Release
June 8 – July 22, 2009 – Current Public Art Productions of the UCLA/SPARC CESAR CHAVEZ DML
See Press Release
November 1, 2008 – Death of Bush Era
April 30, 2008 – Bingo Fundraiser by RIO DIAZ
23 February – April 5, 2008 – REINTERPRETATION Commentaries on Iraq
November 2, 2007, 2007 – SPARCS ANNUAL DAY OF THE DEAD EVENT
June 30- July 21, 2007 – MUJERES DE COLORES by V.Kim Martinez
May 19 -June 8, 2007 – FORCES OF NATURE: A Feminine Perspective
April 1 – 28, 2007 – REFUGEE NATION Legacies of War
See Press Release
March 24 – 31, 2007 – MAQUiL.A. Celebrating International Woman’s Month
November 12, 2006 – OAXACA IN OUR HEARTS Mexican Photographers
June 10 – July 29, 2006 – URBAN RAYS by Andrea Oliveira
November 19 – December 11, 2005 – MONIQUE VERDIN A Visual Diary of Disaster & Loss in the Bayous
November 2, 2005 – SPARC’s ANNUAL DAY OF THE DEAD
March 28, 2005 – Linda Jacobson and Students, Community Show
October 20, 2002 – Hijas de Juarez
August 2, 2001 – Other Footprints to Aztlan – WORKS FROM THE COLLECTION OF MARY AND ARMANDO DURON
January 14, 2001 – Paintings and Politics – Jim Prigoff
January 20, 2001 – Gathering Riches – Images from the Brazilian Amazon by Christine Burrill
October 20, 2000 – ELECT THIS
September 3- November 4, 2000 – LOS CIELOS by Linda Vallejo
August 12 – September 16, 2000 – MITO Y METAFORA by Raoul dela Sota
June 24 – July 29, 2000 – ARTE ADREDE: FROM THE BASEMENT TO THE ALLEY: Willie Herron
May 13 – June 10, 2000 – LUIS BERNAL BENEFIT Art Exhibit and Auction
February 19 – May 5, 2000 – ARTE INTIMO: Judy Baca Solo Exhibition
March 14, 1992 – Luis Jimenez, Solo Exhibition
February 20 – March 15, 1981 –ART ACTION AUCTION – Curated by Marty Simonelli