arts calendar los angelesWhile we ought to be spending every day praising the beauty of the planet, Earth Day is at least a good reminder. In tune with the assignment are color-forward landscape photographs, salvaged materials spoofing recycled culture, an all-day symposium on modern urban greening, seafaring people’s music and spoken word highlighting rising oceans; paintings reframing colonialism of indigenous cultures; and a billboard exhibition sparking elevated consciousness. Plus, Ukrainian musicians, LGBTQ+ graphic designers, immersive street art, political theater, and more for your week’s arts calendar.

earth day arts calendar

Matthew Brandt: Llyn Celyn 13, 2016. Chromogenic print soaked in Lake Vyrnwy water, 20 x 30 inches. (Courtesy of the Artist / Forest Lawn Museum)

Thursday, April 21

Light & Matter: The Art of Matthew Brandt at Forest Lawn Museum. Matthew Brandt creates large-scale photographs through labor-intensive processes evoking the earliest origins of the medium and particularly inspired by classic landscape photographs of the American West. Curated by Colin Westerbeck, the exhibition features more than 20 distinct bodies of work from throughout Brandt’s career, including large-scale portraits rendered in molten metal, photographs altered by lakes and waterfalls, and images printed in edible materials. 1712 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale; Opening: Thursday, April 21, 5-7pm; On view through September 4; free w/rsvp;

Alan Bell in conversation with Austen Villacis, “Looking at ACT UP / Los Angeles poster of Raymond Robert Navarro,” c. 1990. Xerox Print taped to posterboard. (ACT UP/Los Angeles Records, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries)

Days of Rage at ONE Archives (Virtual). A web-based multimedia exhibit featuring newly digitized LGBTQ+ activist posters from the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives. Days of Rage engages with these historical LGBTQ+ posters by looking to the lived experiences of six graphic designers: founder of BLK Alan Bell, artist Daniel Hyo Kim, HIV/AIDS and trans activist Chandi Moore, educator Silas Munro, activist and photographer Judy Ornelas Sisneros, and activist Jordan Peimer. “Days of Access: Finding Our Histories” is an online public program that explores the potential impacts of making accessible and putting archival LGBTQ+ posters in dialogue with today’s activist and image cultures. Thursday, April 21, 3pm; the exhibition is online now; free;

We Gather, original painting by Kevin McCants (CAAM)

We Gather: Black Life in Santa Monica told through Music, Visuals, and Narrative at CAAM. A screening of this very special short film from Orchestra Santa Monica (OSM) includes remarks from musician and We Gather composer, Derrick Skye, who will share his approach to composition, his experience creating We Gather, and the themes presented in the film. Prior to the talk and screening an ensemble of OSM musicians will perform works by Black American composers William Grant Still, Duke Ellington, Scott Joplin, Valerie Coleman, and Skye. 600 State Dr., Exposition Park; Thursday, April 21, 7pm; free;

Street Art Alive at The Lume Los Angeles

Friday, April 22

Street Art Alive at The Lume Los Angeles. A new permanent digital gallery located inside Magic Box in downtown transforms the world’s finest art into fully immersive sensory encounters. The new venue’s debut project is the world premiere of Grande Experiences’ Street Art Alive — a multi-sensory journey created in collaboration with over 200 street artists from around the globe including D*Face, Lady Pink, Blek le Rat and many more. The experience also features eight original full-size sections of the Berlin Wall, ready to be activated by the best street art talent in L.A., with an audio score sweeping you away to each location and fully immersing you in the era in which the artwork was created. 1933 S. Broadway, downtown; Opens April 22; $29 and up;


Kenny Irwin, Jr. at REN Gallery

Kenny Irwin, Jr.: Recycled Media at Ren Gallery. In a day and age where all of our favorite shows and films are being recycled, but not our waste, Irwin plays with the disparity in a parody of so-called recycle culture in a mixture of childhood favorites, from Storm Troopers to dragons, dinosaurs, and everything mystical and magical in between. Fusing the entertainment world, which is a part of our daily consumption, and our necessities that end up in a landfill, Irwin has been using recycled materials in his artwork on small and large scales to create a show that the gallery calls the perfect partnership for their reopening on Earth Day. 743 Santee St., downtown; Opening: Friday, April 22, 5-9pm; On view through June 11 (closing reception 2-6pm); free;

An Intervention (Hudson Guild Theatre)

An Intervention at the Hudson Guild Theater. A heartfelt, darkly funny and presciently timely play written by Mike Bartlett, directed by J. Mehr Kaur and starring Rebecca Lee and Jeremy Sender. A looming government intervention in a foreign war drives a wedge between two good friends leading their relationship to a breaking point where they are forced to reevaluate what they really owe each other in their friendship. The story touches on themes of military intervention, conflicting ideologies between loved ones, substance abuse, lack of mental health access, and the spiraling of a friendship. 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Performances April 22 – May 7; $27;

James Florio: The Truffle by Ensamble Studio

James Florio Julius Shulman Institute Award exhibition at The BAG. The Julius Shulman Institute at Woodbury University has announced James Florio as the recipient of this year’s Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award. The exhibition, titled “On Light, Time, and Materiality,” will present a selection of images from Florio’s book Radical Logic: On the Work of Ensamble Studio. This year, JSI is pleased to present a “triple-header” exhibition featuring JSI Award for Excellence in Photography winners from 2020 and 2021, Lee Bey and Victoria Sambunaris alongside Florio. 2030 Hyperion Ave., Silverlake; Opening: Friday, April 22, 6-8pm; free;

Thomas Adès Photo: Marco Borggreve
All rights reserved

Voices of a Generation at LA Phil. Thomas Adès both curates and conducts an evening featuring an international selection of Gen X composers Anna Meredith, Felipe Lara, Veronika Krausas and Francisco Coll; and violinist Pekka Kuusisto shines in music by Francisco Coll and the U.S. premiere of Adès’ own Märchentänze. As a post-concert bonus, Adès turns from conductor to pianist with Pekka Kuusisto for two duets, Stravinsky’s Duo concertante and Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Piano. 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Friday, April 22, 8pm; $63-$214;

James Hubbell’s Sea Ranch Chapel (Seeding the City)

Saturday, April 23

Seeding the City: Nature in LA in the 21st Century at Helms Bakery District. The Southland was once a garden of Eden. Now, as Los Angeles continues to build up its cityscape, connection to the land is out of reach for many — a rupture underscored by the pandemic, when access to clean air, open space, plants and pets became an essential tonic. But talented and creative designers are finding ways to green the City in ways beyond the traditional backyard, injecting trees onto rooftops, flowers under transit lines and plants into defunct concrete pools. Artists and writers are creating works reflecting on new ways of coexistence with all species. Today’s celebration of the 21st-century garden forms a daylong program of talks, tours, and popups, featuring some of LA’s leading landscape designers and thinkers. 8800 Venice Blvd., Culver City; Saturday, April 23, 11am-5pm; free;

Marc Horowitz: Fragment Time, 2022. Oil and archival ink on canvas, 41 x 34 x 2 in. (de Boer Gallery)

Marc Horowitz: The Aesthetics of Stability at de Boer Gallery. The exhibition brings together the core tenets of Horowitz’s practice — performance, installation, sculpture, and painting. The Aesthetics of Stability centers around the ideas of stability and its parallel counterpart instability in both business and interpersonal life. Performed through new renditions of 17th century still life paintings, a sculpture that has lived through a fire, industrial fans, coffee makers, a chair, and a desk. Showing the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death, and contrasting symbols of wealth, Horowitz upends this genre and offers by way of messy text, uneasy solutions for reform and restructuring. 3311 E. Pico Blvd., Boyle Heights; Opening: Saturday, April 23, 4-8pm (performance at 6pm); On view through May 28; free;

Chicome Itzcuintli Amatlapalli – El Descenco de Quetzacoatl (ArtBug Gallery)

Chicome Itzcuintli Amatlapalli: Nahualtezcatl: Shapeshifting Mirror at ArtBug Gallery. Amatlapalli explores Mexican and Mesoamerican indigeneity, cultural identity, and issues of decolonization. His paintings in oil, done in a style reminiscent of Colonial and baroque European art, merge both European and Indigenous traditions. The paintings imagine a past in which indigenous concepts were given respect and importance, and a present in which neither our Spanish nor Indigenous heritages are denied, but are rather embraced and understood as mutually forming us. In his work, Amatlapalli hopes to inspire new visions of ancient wisdom. 2441 Hunter St., downtown; Opening reception: April 23, 1-9pm; On view through June 11; free;

(Left) Alexander McQueen, Woman’s Ensemble (Dress and Leggings), Spring/Summer 2010, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift from the Collection of Regina J. Drucker (Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA. (Right) Manuel Cipriano Gomes Mafra, Urn, circa 1865-1887, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Barbara Barbara and Marty Frenkel (Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA)

Sunday, April 24

Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse at LACMA. One of the most significant contributors to fashion between 1990 and 2010, McQueen was both a conceptual and technical virtuoso. His critically acclaimed collections synthesized the designer’s proficiency in tailoring and dressmaking with both encyclopedic and autobiographical references that spanned time, geography, media, and technology. The first McQueen exhibition on the West Coast contextualizes McQueen’simaginative work within a canon of artmakers who drew upon analogous themes and visual references. Displaying select McQueen garments from the Collection of Regina J. Drucker alongside artworks largely from LACMA’s permanent collection, Mind, Mythos, Muse presents a case study of the designer’s methods and influences, and in doing so, provides the opportunity to better understand artistic legacy and cycles of inspiration. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; On view: April 24 – October 9; $10-$25;


DahkaBrahka at the Theater at the Ace Hotel. DakhaBrakha is an “ethno-chaos” quartet from Kyiv, Ukraine. Their name means “give/take” in the old Ukrainian language, and that’s what their brand of “ethno-chaos” is all about. They break down styles, reterritorializing foreign timbres into their own folk theater vernacular, taking from the old and giving something new, creating a trans-national sound rooted in Ukrainian culture. They are experimental cartographers remixing the map of world music, exploring shared resonances, embodying an experimental, playful approach that cuts across traditional boundaries. 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sunday, April 24, 7pm; $40-$61;

Marcelo Pinel: ISIS Magna Mater. SaveArtSpace Location: W. 8th St & S. Westmoreland Ave

Monday, April 25

Cosmic Shift on SaveArtSpace Billboards. A public art and gallery exhibition across Los Angeles, curated by Jen Stark and featuring artists Alphachanneling, angelfire, Dang Olsen, Ellie Pritts, Judy Ostro, Krisztina Lazar, Lala Abaddon, Maalavidaa, Marcelo Pinel, Nicole Buffett, Remi Emdur, and SPACEFILLER. This group attends to the progress of consciousness, direction, optics or energy to inspire exploration, helping unlock the mysteries of the universe, shedding light upon the role of variety, evolution, and multidimensionality. Cosmic Shift aims to draw attention to the infinite coexisting vibrancies all around us, generating myriad lenses through which to examine, connect, and challenge our methods of perceiving ourselves, our minds, our environments, and the intricacies of our existence. Billboards on view beginning April 25; Original art work on view at Gabba Gallery beginning April 30; free;

Small Island Big Song: Sauljaljui

Wednesday, April 27

Small Island Big Song at Warner Grand Theater. Eight indigenous artists from islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans unite our coastal community with their seafaring cultures through uplifting traditional and contemporary oceanic grooves, soulful island ballads, and spoken word. Part of a larger multi-platform project that includes an award-winning album and a documentary film, this concert is a joyous presentation of a mutual love of the ocean while also raising awareness about rising sea levels in the context of Earth Day. 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro; Wednesday, April 27, 7:30pm; $28-$105;


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