Portraits celebrating Angelenos installed in the park, the Fowler reopens with classic photographs from Cameroon, Thinkspace shows new painting from Cameroon, Black women talk NFTs, LACE screens Salvadoran video art, Soey Milk and Sickid stage very different but equally anticipated solo shows, and the L.A. Poverty Department navigates NIMBYism.

Sam Comen’s Working America: Chris Capizzi and Jenny Yang. Occupation: Booksellers. On view in Grand Park’s Portraits of Freedom.

Thursday, July 1

Portraits of Freedom at Grand Park. Celebrate the spirit of America’s Independence Day this July through stories of Angelenos in photo and video installations across six locations within Grand Park as part of Portraits of Freedom: Building a Life in L.A. Six artists and artist collectives each transform their own site within the park’s campus to a large-scale portrait gallery, highlighting the dignity and diversity of real life in Los Angeles. On view July 1-31 across Grand Park, downtown; free; july.grandparkla.org.

Photo Cameroon: Studio Portraiture, 1970s-1990s (Fowler Museum)

The Fowler Museum reopens with three new exhibitions. The Map and the Territory: 100 Years of Collecting at UCLA, July 1–October 24, juxtaposes rare books and manuscripts, contemporary paintings and drawings, abstract animations, ceramics, musical instruments and more. Photo Cameroon: Studio Portraiture, 1970s-1990s, July 1–December 5, showing over 110 black-and-white images by Jacques Toussele, Joseph Chila, and Samuel Finlak — photographers who worked in the post-independence era. Reflecting Culture: The Francis E. Fowler, Jr. Collection of Silver, opening July 1 for permanent display, comprises 251 objects representing 16th-19th century Europe and the United States. The Fowler Museum at UCLA reopens to the public on July 1; fowler.ucla.edu.

Robby Herbst: Compassion and Self-Deception: A Guide To Los Angeles’ Moral Crisis (Published by LAPD and Llano del Rio Collective)

L.A. Poverty Department at The Box. Compassion & Self-Deception takes on the mind-boggling contradictions of a city (ours) that votes to create housing for homeless people – and then doesn’t want any of it built anywhere near them. L.A.P.D. invited visual artist Robby Herbst to help unravel the situation and he has produced the twelve-page broadsheet exploring the socio-emotional impact of Los Angeles’ housing catastrophe. The July 1 conversation, moderated by UCR Professor of religious studies, Michael Scott Alexander, will be an opportunity to dialogue further about the moral crises, and contradiction induced stasis — what perpetuates it and how to undo it. The Box, (for the parking lot, enter at 822 E. Third St) downtown; Thursday, July 1, 6:30pm; free; lapovertydept.org.

Linda Dounia Rebeiz NFT Artist Talk

Friday, July 2

Artist Talk by Linda Dounia Rebeiz on Black women shaping the NFT space (Virtual). Linda will share her experience creating and collecting NFTs and why she is particularly excited about its potential. She is a transdisciplinary artist, designer, and writer from Senegal whose work interrogates the effects of patriarchal, modernist, and capitalistic power structures on black women’s bodies and minds. Followed by Q&A and afterparty. Museum of Wild and Newfangled Art; online; Friday, July 2, 4pm; pay what you can; mowna.org.

Sickid at New Image Art

Sickid at New Image Art. Loss Prevention Pepino steps into Sickid’s subversive parallel universe, where the comical meets the critical. The artist builds intimate maximal scenes of chaos, where his cast of feverish pink-fleshed oddballs and satiric characters seek retribution against the current prevailing systems of oppression. The critical thought behind his paintings underlies the power of the medieval jester, the coyote trickster, the Greek cynic, the literary satirist, and – in our own time – the graffiti artist. New Image Art, 7920 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo; Opening reception: Friday, July 2, 7-10pm; on view through July 23; free; newimageartgallery.com.

Michelle Okpare at Thinkspace

Saturday, July 3

Real Life is Fragile at Thinkspace. A special group show bringing together ten creatives from West Africa. Curated in co-operation with artist Ken Nwadiogbu, this exhibition serves as a spotlight to help expose just a fraction of the amazing talent coming out of West Africa, in particular the countries of Nigeria and Cameroon. The artists featured offer a vast array of visual languages, all coming together to tell their stories in unique ways. Thinkspace, 4217 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams; Opening reception: Saturday, July 3, 5-9pm; on view through July 10; free; thinkspaceprojects.com.

Soey Milk, Hydrangea Grove, Oil on linen, 28×22 inches (Corey Helford Gallery)

Soey Milk: Ribbons and Connotations at Corey Helford Gallery. Milk works primarily with oils and watercolors to create an outstanding narrative universe that is at once tender and strange. Characterized by the high level of meticulousness, attentiveness to details, and powerful combinations of colors and shapes, her work evokes a certain level of sensibility and mysteriousness, floating between realism and abstraction. Corey Helford Gallery, 571 S. Anderson St., downtown; Opening reception: Saturday, July 3, 7-10pm; on view through August 7; free; coreyhelfordgallery.com.

The Fire Theory at LACE

Ongoing

The Fire Theory: Double Feature/doble función at LACE (Virtual). As part of the programming for Intergalactix: against isolation/contra aislamiento, LACE will stream two essential films by the Salvadoran collaborative art platform, The Fire Theory. Through testimony and performance, the lived realities of Central American migrant experiences are intimately captured in these films. By highlighting the distinct realities of displacement shaped by borders and punitive immigration policies, the intimate perspectives enumerated in these films offer meditative outlooks into how memory, longing, and life-making continue despite the contingencies of many hardships faced. Guevara and Bautista’s films serve to amplify the unique voices and experiences of the Central American diaspora often eclipsed by mainstream narratives of migration. LACE; online; June 30 – July 7; free; welcometolace.org.

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