New performance art that’s all about a new reality, art about the magic of the city and the fraught life of the mind, a showcase of Black voices in poetry, a lazy person’s guide to enlightenment, sculpture and video for liberation, architects dreaming of Japan, a ghost who craves Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, many approaches to healing through art, art films on the lawn, potluck still life.
Thursday, August 24
Allison Lu Wang: Little After Sunset at Mey Gallery. A sprawling ode to the City of Angels, the presented paintings and accompanying installations are kaleidoscopic visions of a city existing at the edges of reality and imagination. Her layered dreamscapes feature iconic Hollywood landmarks and lush flora, speaking to the dichotomy of the city and resulting in worlds that are at once easily recognizable and entirely foreign. Her interdisciplinary approach to art making—a blend of printmaking, painting, and sewing—is heavily inspired by her fashion design background. 8967 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Opening reception: Thursday, August 24, 6-9pm; On view through September 20; free; meygallery.com.
NOW Festival: Week Two at REDCAT. Vanessa Hernández Cruz’s solo dance work examines the contradiction of over-consuming social media; Melissa Ferrari’s experimental documentary is performed with antique magic lanterns and digitally projected hand-drawn animation; and Kevin Williamson offers a dance-based meditation on self-preservation and solidarity. With a sharp interest in rituals, fantasies, and memories, these works use history and technology to formulate diverse, other-worldly futures that provide a counterpart to our reality while allowing us to examine the injustices around us. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Thursday-Saturday, August 24-26, 8:30pm; Saturday’s performance will be live-streamed as well; $25; redcat.org.
Friday, August 25
Black Voices Poetry Night at Grand Performances. In “Return the White Breath to its Black Body: A Black Lives Matter Poetry Performance,” Black voices take center stage during a special Friday evening poetry showcase curated by award-winning author/poet, Shonda Buchanan. Performers: Bridgette Bianca, Conney Williams, Nailah Porter, David Judah 1, Curtis Robertson; live music by Curtis Robertson. 350 S. Grand Ave, downtown; Friday, August 25, 6-9pm; free; grandperformances.org.
Elephant Shavings at Odyssey Theatre. In this “lazy person‘s guide to enlightenment” written and directed by Ron Sossi, one member of a theater’s acting ensemble finds herself challenged to confront the true nature of reality. A lighthearted introduction to both Eastern philosophies (Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism), and modern Western teachers like Rupert Spira and Mooji, Elephant Shavings evolved out of Sossi’s interest in the realm of metaphysics and his lifelong quest to understand the essence of human consciousness. 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd.; Performances August 25 – October 1; $15; odysseytheatre.com.
Saturday, August 26
Luke Chueh: Peering through the Darkness at Corey Helford Gallery. Known for his insightful and thought-provoking commentary on modern society and the human experience, Chueh’s distinctive style blends elements of pop art, minimalism, and surrealism in explorations of human emotions, relationships, and identity. His work is both haunting and humorous, inviting the viewer to contemplate their own experiences and question the world around them. He tackles difficult and controversial topics such as loneliness, depression, and the meaning of existence, challenging viewers to question our place in the world and to reflect on the human experience in all its beauty, tragedy, and absurdity. 571 S. Anderson St., downtown; Opening reception: Saturday, August 26, 7-11pm; On view through September 30; free; coreyhelfordgallery.com.
Autumn Breon: Essentials at Crenshaw Dairy Mart. The CDM’s Fellowship for Abolition and the Advancement of the Creative Economy (CDM-FAACE) presents “Inglewood & Prototyping the Abolitionist Imagination”—a three-part fellowship culmination featuring solo exhibitions by Autumn Breon, Oto-Abasi Attah, and juice wood. The first exhibition, Autumn Breon: Essentials comprises sculpture and video that invite the audience to interact with relics from the planet Esoterica—a planet powered by care where creativity is plentiful. Even though Esoterica is 300 light-years from Inglewood, Esotericans have activated many wormholes there, shortcuts to liberation hidden in plain sight—such as a newly arrived interactive monolith that invites the viewer to engage with the concept of care. 8629 Crenshaw Blvd., Inglewood; Opening reception: Saturday, August 26, 5-9pm; On view by appointment through September 1; free; crenshawdairymart.com.
Greene & Green’s Vision of Japan at Gamble House. Greene & Greene scholar Bruce Smith will speak to the sources of the brothers’ inspiration, and how, through their architecture and design, they created a poetic, elegiac vision of Japan that came, in the end, more from themselves than it did from Japan. Smith’s lecture will be preceded by a reception and preview of the subsequent post-talk Japanese marketplace and artisan folk art sale, benefiting Gamble House. 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena; Saturday, August 26, 3pm; $20; gamblehouse.org.
Hungry Ghost at Skylight Theatre. Dean and her partner Amanda are getting ready to start a family in a secluded house Dean inherited from her estranged mother. But, their future begins to unravel when their new home is burgled by a mysterious hermit—a Stevie Nicks worshiping, hot Cheetos eating trickster—who haunts the forest. Hungry Ghost is a frighteningly funny meditation on identity and isolation, seeing and being seen, and the insatiable hunger in us all to be truly free. Written by Lisa Sanaye Dring and directed by Jessica Hanna. 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Performances August 26 – October 1; $20-$38; skylighttheatre.org.
Sovern LA presents Ingrid Yuzly Mathurin’s Black Joy: Healing from the Inside Out in collaboration with SoLA Contemporary. Across poignant large scale oil paintings, drawings, mixed media work and silk-printed photography, Yuzly, a Haitian American artist, has been honing her craft for over two decades, drawing inspiration from the rich legacy of the Harlem Renaissance, the vibrant energy of ‘90s and 2000’s hip hop culture, and the history of the civil rights movement. Highlighting the importance of healing in Black and brown communities, and underscoring social injustices that happen to everyday families of color through the lens of her own story, each piece serves as a bold yet gentle reminder for the viewer to cherish and nourish themselves. 5757 West Adams Blvd., West Adams; Closing Reception: Saturday, August 26, 4-7pm; artist talk moderated by Anefertiti Bowman, Executive Director of SoLA Contemporary at 4:30pm; sovern.la.
Sunday, August 27
Dan Kwong & Paulina Sahagun: We Were All Here at 18th Street Arts Center. The launch of Artful Watching, a special series of outdoor film screenings exploring the rich history and cultural treasures of Santa Monica. The series kicks off with We Were All Here by local artists Dan Kwong and Paulina Sahagun. Weaving together the personal and the political through oral histories, historical and family photos, poetry, music and a sprinkling of irreverent humor, the film honors the multicultural history of the unique Pico Neighborhood. The film focuses on the extended Casillas family that began settling around Olympic Blvd. and 20th Street (”La Veinte”) in 1918. 1639 18th St., Santa Monica; Sunday, August 27, 7pm; free; 18thstreet.org.
Jack Kabangu at The Cabin. The Copenhagen-based Zambian / Congolese artist has been working at The La Brea Studio Artist Residency in Los Angeles this summer, and will now exhibit his latest paintings at twinned alternative exhibition spaces The Cabin and The Bunker. “I work without rules. I physicalize memories, dreams, music, etc.,” says Kabangu. “My mission is to balance the ugly and the beautiful, the light and the dark. To create an energy that speaks to me. I feel that the work is finished when I have captured this energy. But the work is never finished until it has found its final surroundings.” Hollywood/Melrose area address provided with rsvp; Artist Reception: Sunday, August 27, 4-7pm; free. thecabinla.com.
Monday, August 28
Still Life Club at Coaxial Arts. In something between a show & tell and potluck, artists collaborate by bringing an interesting object from home; together, the group builds a unique still life for everyone to draw. BYO: snacks, art supplies, and “any object larger than a banana (for visibility purposes).” Some examples of what to bring: pineapple, candle, rock, vase of lilies, ceramic dinosaur, goldfish bowl, beach ball, clarinet, metronome, strappy shoe, plastic water bottle, cowboy hat, trophy, half-inflated mylar balloon, cake, lamp, barrel of pretzels, picture frame, stuffed dog, etc. The event is in two sessions, 7:30-8pm & 8:15-9ish. 1815 S. Main St., downtown; Monday, August 28, 7pm; $10-$15; coaxialarts.org.
Tuesday, August 29
Exploring Identity & Healing Through Art at LACMA. Join art therapist Dr. Louvenia Jackson for a creative journey exploring the profound connections between art, identity, and healing while interacting with the current exhibition Afro-Atlantic Histories. How do we digest, comprehend, and heal in the presence of art that moves us? How do we sit and find resolutions to our feelings? Participants will be guided through an experience of music, song, poetics, and pictures which will encourage examination, exploration, and connection—prompting creativity, introspective reflection, didactic sharing, and collective response. All are welcome; no artistic ability needed. Materials will be provided. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Tuesday, August 29, 6:30pm; $12; lacma.org.
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