From artist studio visits in IGTV to video art, crafting class, architecture, poetry, book launches, exhibition walkthroughs, conversations, performance art, political theater, research into the literal and figurative significance of windows, and even actual magic happening over on Zoom, it might seem like folks are determined to head back inside and stay there for a spell. And who can blame them. But for those venturing out with caution and consideration, there’s some large-scale outdoor art and a number of gallery exhibitions actively engaged in inquiries as to what the heck is going on with our consciousness right now. For those who can think of little else, area museums have teamed up to offer a slate of election-related programming and voter support services.
Wednesday, October 21
Clay Away: Alex Anderson & Neenineen at Craft Contemporary. A pair of exciting contemporary voices in ceramics-based art, Alex Anderson and Neenineen join the museum through IGTV for casual studio check-ins. Hear about their work included in the Craft’s rather epic POTLUCK ceramic auction and what they’ve been up to in the studio lately. Wednesday, October 21, 4-5pm; craftcontemporary.org.
Plugged-In Virtual Connections Artist Series Video Launch Event at Kleefeld Contemporary. Preview the first season of the new series of educational videos, produced from in-studio conversations with Los Angeles-based contemporary artists June Edmonds, Ahree Lee, Lester Monzon, Analia Saban and Samira Yamin. Wednesday, October 21, 4-6pm; csulb.edu.
Frida Escobedo Lecture at Sci-Arc. Frida Escobedo is an acclaimed architect and designer based in Mexico City. Her work focuses largely on the reactivation of urban spaces that are considered to be residual or forgotten, through projects that range from housing and community centers, to hotels, galleries, and public art installations. Wednesday, October 21, 7-9pm; sciarc.edu.
Scott Silven: The Journey at the Broad Stage. Illusionist, mentalist and performance artist Scott Silven invites you on a mesmerizing journey from your home to his in rural Scotland. Silven brings an all-new, immersive and intimate experience, live and online, that will captivate and astonish. Limited to 30 participants per show, this interactive experience explores your sense of home and the transformative power of place. October 20 – November 15, 7pm, starting at $65/screen; thebroadstage.org.
Thursday, October 22
America’s Young Poets at the Berggruen Institute. 2020 has been a year of protest, division, despair, and hope. In the run-up to this November’s Presidential election, a generation growing up in America today are standing up and making their voices heard on the issues that will impact their future. Join Get Lit hosts Mason Granger and Tyris Winter live from Second Home Hollywood’s yellow rooftops to hear from some of the country’s most exciting young poets. Thursday, October 22, 11am; berggruen.org.
Race & The Creative Economy at Otis College. Starting in 2007, Otis College of Art and Design has published the Otis Report on the Creative Economy. In advance of the 2021 edition, this virtual panel will shine a light on the impact of COVID-19 on Los Angeles’ Creative Economy and how Los Angeles can address sustainable racial equity and inclusivity within these important sectors. Thursday, October 22, 3-4:30pm; otis.edu.
Alison Saar: Of Aether and Earthe Catalog Launch. Armory Center for the Arts and the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College partner to present Los Angeles-based artist Alison Saar’s work. Surveying Saar’s sculptures and installations and her use of distinctive forms and materials, the Armory will showcase female figures that suggest elements of fire, air, and aether, while the Benton will highlight work that emphasizes grounded, earthly, and watery qualities. Today’s event celebrates the release of the accompanying publication, and features conversations, poetry, and a toast with a libation created live by Saar, followed by a ceremonial blessing. The drinks recipe will be provided to guests who RSVP. Thursday, October 22, 4:30-6pm; armoryarts.org.
FUPU: Black Women and Performance in the Punk Rock Tradition at CAAM. As a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, Tina Turner paved the way for an entire generation of rock and subgenre musicians to emerge. Amongst them is FUPU, South LA’s own all-Black, femme punk band. During this evening of history and music, trace the group’s roots with FUPU lead vocalist Jasmine Nyende and performance artists Gabrielle Civil and mayfield brooks as they explore Black women’s performance and their work in relation to the CAAM exhibition Nikita Gale: PRIVATE DANCER. Thursday, October 22, 5-6:30pm; caamuseum.org.
Paul Outlaw: BigBlackOctoberSurprise at REDCAT. In 2020, Black Americans continue to face disenfranchisement, inequality and the constant threat of violent death. In the final week before the election, Outlaw offers a meditation on isolation, imprisonment and imperiled Blackness in America — not only in this year of Covid and insurrection, but throughout a history that began in the holds of the slave ships. Performances stream Thursday, October 22 – Saturday, October 31, various times; $15; redcat.org.
Friday, October 23
Kristina Wong For Public Office at USC Visions & Voices. Performance artist, comedian, and elected representative, Kristina Wong is taking her raucous campaign online to arouse civic engagement and counter-hijack our democracy! An actual elected representative of Koreatown, she is now part of the very political system she used to ridicule. Is she more effective as a performance artist or a politician? Is there actually a difference between performance art and politics? This interactive comedic performance mashes up campaign rallies, church revivals, and solo theatre shows to uncover the history of voting, what it means to run for local office, and the impact artists can have on democracy. Friday, October 23, 5:30pm; free; visionsandvoices.usc.edu.
Maggie West: Minerals at Maccarone (offsite). Alongside the gallery’s virtual viewing room, Maccarone will exhibit West’s vibrant images of mineral photography in public art installations throughout the city, in Los Angeles neighborhoods such as Culver City, Koreatown, DLTA, and Glendale. The images will be showcased on several large-scale digital screens and one site-specific vinyl installation in West Hollywood. October 23 – November 7, various locations across L.A.; maccarone.net.
Saturday, October 24
Raise Your Voice – Vote! at the Fountain Theater (offsite). A guerrilla-style, immersive ensemble theater piece in a series of pop-up performances in public spaces and on live-stream from throughout L.A. Each piece will feature America’s most iconic speeches about voting rights, and the public is encouraged to contribute video pieces ahead of time. As well, volunteers from the organization The Social Ripple Effect will be stationed at every location to offer voter education. Saturday – Sunday, October 24-25; various times and locations; fountaintheatre.com.
Nora Berman: Sparkly22Miracles at Five Car Garage. “The names Nora Berman, Sparkly22Miracles, Harpreet Shanti Kaur, Draedalix, Kayla, and Dr. Panacea the Quack are vessels in a constellation. They are all Nora Berman and not Nora Berman at the same time. My project as a creator encompasses many forces that work together. Painting is the most obvious driving force, but it is one part of a larger configuration of expressions. A “Nora Berman” painting cannot exist without a performance by Sparkly22Miracles, and so on. Art functions in a similar way to sex, and to miracles. It is a pathway for the impossible to become possible.” — Nora Berman. Opens Saturday, October 24, noon-4pm; open by appointment through December 7; Address in Santa Monica with rsvp; emmagrayhq.com.
The Naked Mind, curated by Georganne Deen, at Track 16. This exhibition explores a spectrum of choices made to unveil and understand the effects of trauma on the human psyche. The nine artists included each attempt to demythologize its stigma, intertwined as it is with the process of creativity. The impulse to generate imagery as a means of transforming emotional turmoil into tangible objects serves as a vehicle for deeper self-reflection. Track 16, The Bendix Building, 1206 Maple, downtown; On view Wednesday – Saturday, noon-6pm, October 24 – December 5; track16.com.
Amir H. Fallah at the Fowler Museum. Painter Amir H. Fallah uses personal history as an entry point for discussions of race, the body, and the memories of cultures and countries left behind, while also interrogating systems of representation embedded in Western art. His newest body of work probes the history of portraiture, reimagining it as standing apart from the body altogether and offering a wider representation of personhood. Join the Fowler for an artist-led walk-through of his current exhibition at Shulamit Nazarian, followed by a conversation with cultural historian Shiva Balaghi. Saturday, October 24, 4pm; fowler.ucla.edu.
Rachel Rosenthal: Thanks: Collage Works from the 1970’s at Roberts Projects. An exhibition of works on paper by Rachel Rosenthal (1926-2015), the show features never before exhibited collages from the 1970’s documenting Rosenthal’s autobiographical reflection of a pivotal time in her early artistic development. The show takes its title after the artist’s second performance at Wilshire Plaza West, Westwood, California (1975), in which she thanked those who had actively done something important for her, with the audience participating in the familiar roles of “father,” “mother” and “friend.” At the end of performance, each of the participants received a small box containing a unique miniature collage work, such as these. Roberts Projects, 5801 Washington Blvd., Culver City, on view October 24 – December 12, by appointment; robertsprojectsla.com.
Windowology: New Architectural Views from Japan at Japan House. The exhibit is a multidisciplinary research project conducted by the Window Research Institute, a Tokyo-based foundation dedicated to the development of architectural culture. Curated under the direction of architectural historian and critic Igarashi Tarō, the exhibition features architectural models, drawings, photographs, film, manga, books, crafts, environmental statistics/information and quotes, as well as original artwork by renowned installation and performance artist, Tsuda Michiko. The Windowology exhibition explores 10 themes: Windows on Art, Windows on Craft, Windows on the Environment, Windows on Stories, Windows on Film, Windows on Manga, Windows on the Teahouse, Windows on How We Live Now, Windows on Motion, and Windows on Words. Exhibition-related events are scheduled for November and December. Virtual exhibition begins October 24, the galleries at Hollywood & Highland will open to the public as soon as possible; japanhousela.com
Sunday, October 25
Barnsdall Arts Zoom Class: World Halloween Masks. Art workshops are designed to incorporate art history, visual art skills and concepts as well as cultural, geographical and historical contexts. Each weekly drop-in class is based on the exploration of a global culture, featuring a range of artistic mediums from mask and print-making to cave painting and ancient script writing. The suggested materials list for this weekend’s World Halloween Masks session includes paper plates, cardboard, masking tape, glue, markers, beads and of course, sequins. Sunday, October 25; drop in anytime 10am-noon; free; instagram.com.
Wende Museum Virtual Walkthrough. Transformations: Living Room -> Flea Market -> Museum -> Art speaks to a time when a series of (mostly) peaceful revolutions took down the Berlin Wall, effectively ending state socialism in Eastern Europe, and brought not just a political but also a material transformation. Countless people who lived through socialism discarded the household and consumer items they had lived with and loved or hated for many years, as they finally had access to higher-standard goods. Huge chunks of socialist material culture ended up in dumping grounds or flea markets. The Wende Museum was founded with the mission of safeguarding these materials from oblivion. This exhibition presents the metamorphosis of household and consumer goods from objects of everyday life to items in a museum collection, by way of flea markets, and invites contemporary artists to position them in the here and now. Led by Michael Balot-Garza, the Wende Museum’s Education Manager, the 40-minute tour will be followed by a Q&A session. Sunday, October 25, 1pm; wendemuseum.org.
Explore the 2020 Election at SoCal Museums. As the 2020 elections approach, museums across Southern California are offering meaningful ways to engage in the electoral process by presenting online historical and contemporary exhibitions; holding timely conversations about the ballot propositions, voter suppression, and other relevant topics; serving as polling places; and more, underscoring how culture and art intersect with civic life. Skirball, LACMA, MOCA, NHM, MOLAA, Grammy Museum, the Getty and the Armory are just some of our local cultural institutions stepping up at this crucial moment. A complete list of programs is available at socalmuseums.org.