After last week it’s like the whole art and culture landscape knew we’d need some nesting. Recuperate, art lovers, with a cornucopia of virtual events — art and literature talks, performances, storytelling, biography and more — along with a few appealing in-person gallery, museum, immersive, theatrical and book release events for anyone having art fair frenzy withdrawals.
Thursday, February 24
Aperture Conversations: The Narrative Arc of Latinx Photography, at the Lucas Museum (Virtual). In a conversation introduced by Pilar Tompkins Rivas (guest editor of the “Latinx” issue of Aperture, and chief curator and deputy director of curatorial and collections at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles) and moderated by professor and writer Jesse Alemán, artists Sofía Córdova, Ken Gonzales-Day, and Perla de León reflect on the importance of narrative art, storytelling, and the role archives play in documenting forgotten histories. Thursday, February 24, 4pm Pacific; free; aperture.org.
Filming Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred, with Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Library of America (Virtual). A close-up look at Octavia E. Butler’s visionary masterwork — a time-travel thriller that transports its heroine from Southern California in the 1970s to a plantation in antebellum Maryland. Obie-winning playwright and screenwriter Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (An Octoroon, HBO’s Watchmen) discusses the process and challenges of adapting the novel for an eight-episode TV series. Thursday, February 24, 3pm Pacific; free; loa.org.
Friday, February 25
25th Annual Masters of the American West Art Exhibition & Sale at the Autry. With new works by over 60 top contemporary painters and sculptors working in the Western genre, this beloved annual tradition returns with an opening weekend of artist talks, awards, exclusive viewing hours, and a couple of fancy parties. Purchases support not only the Autry but also the artists themselves. Even if you’re not in a buying mood, the show is always worth a visit as it stays up for a month after the fundraiser. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park; Friday, February 25, 6-9pm; Saturday, February 26, 10am-10pm; $95-$475; after the opening weekend fundraiser, the exhibition remains on view through March 27; $14 regular museum admission; masters.theautry.org.
Lecture: Hilton Als at REDCAT (Live & Virtual). Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and author of two acclaimed collections of essays, Hilton Als’ writings are provocative contributions to the discourse on the arts, race, class, sexuality, and identity in America. His conversations with and about visual artists and his work as a playwright and cultural critic invigorate our understanding of desire, vulnerability, and artistic practice. As the CalArts MFA in Creative Writing Program’s 2022 Katie Jacobson Writer in Residence, he will read from a curated set of new and previous works, infused with the arresting insights and rigorous style for which he is known. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown; Friday, February 25, 8:30pm; $12/$10 virtual; redcat.org.
Saturday, February 26
John Fleck: It’s Alive, It’s Alive! At the Odyssey Theatre. The legendary performance artist’s latest work is a rambunctious and provocative cabaret-style performance. Using musical numbers, dance sequences and characters-in-conflict, Fleck creates a hilarious and uniquely ribald theatrical rollercoaster that skewers our fears and assumptions about everything from COVID-19 to our identity as earth dwellers at this precarious moment. 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A.; performances Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 5pm through March 20; $20; odysseytheatre.com.
Culver City Book Festival at the Wende Museum (Live & Virtual). The Culver City Book Festival returns to the Wende Museum. Highlighting work from over 20 individual small press publishers, the one-day festival will also provide a platform for lesser-known talents to showcase their literary works, from poetry to novels. 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City, Saturday, February 26, 11am-4:30pm (hybrid zoom program noon-2pm); free; wendemuseum.org.
Zine & Comic Reception and Musical Performance at Cornelius Projects. Seo’s DUST series is an homage to a long time admiration for the art of comics, and concerned with what happens after death. Celebrate the release of Seo’s comic book DUST and Daniel Porras’ show zine, and the continuation of the exhibition, which has been extended through March 26. Songs will be performed by San Pedro’s Herman Dune. 1417 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro; Saturday, February 26, 3-6pm; free; corneliusprojects.com.
Theodora Allen: Saturnine Book Launch and Musical Performance at Blum & Poe. In celebration of Saturnine, the first monograph on Los Angeles-based artist Theodora Allen, and the final day of Allen’s exhibition Syzygy a book launch featuring live music by multi-instrumentalists Blake Mills and Sam Gendel. 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; Saturday, February 26, 4-6pm; free; blumandpoe.com.
William Downs, Long Runner at Band of Vices. Large scale works on canvas alongside his signature works on paper. Through his repetitive and focused process, Downs understands his work as an awakening of human experience that is objectified via visual representations of subjective feelings; anxiety, fear, angst, and lust are concepts that form through lines throughout his work. Truth, broadly, figures heavily in Downs’ practice, especially within the context of an emotional spectrum. 5351 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams; Opening: Saturday, February 26, 5-8pm; On view through March 26; free; bandofvices.com.
Open Mind Art Space 6th Anniversary Exhibition. Each year, Open Mind Art Space celebrates its anniversary with the tradition of an annual exhibition to honor its diverse and eclectic artists who have contributed to the gallery’s program. For its 6th edition, popular and new works by OMAS artists will be featured, and works by newly selected artists will be introduced. 11631 Santa Monica Blvd., Brentwood; Opening reception and party: Saturday, February 26, 5-9pm; on view through March 12; free; openmindartspace.com.
Sunday, February 27
Through Vincent’s Eyes: van Gogh and His Sources at Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Presenting 20 works of art by van Gogh alongside some 75 objects selected to reflect the surprisingly varied art that he most admired, the show firmly reconnects Vincent to his late 19th-century context. Over 60 artists are represented in the exhibition, including Eugène Delacroix, Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin. By juxtaposing celebrated artworks by van Gogh with works by the many artists he admired, the show seeks to foreground both Vincent’s indebtedness to and radical departure from the art world of his day. 1130 State St., Santa Barbara; February 27 – May 22; $25; sbma.net.
Crack Rodriguez: Dream Team at Museum of Latin American Art. MOLAA and LACE present the first solo museum exhibition in the United States of the Salvadorean artist Crack Rodriguez. As a multi-disciplinary creator and as a Central American, Crack Rodriguez is interested in investigating and interpreting the cultural, religious, spiritual, social, economic, and political codes that delineate and characterize particular aspects of the System. Above all, Rodriguez is most interested in the different modes of seeing this reality, exploring new pathways of interconnectivity, new ways of creating, and dreaming of possible worlds. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach; Opens February 27; $10; molaa.org.
Monday, February 28
Dionne Warwick, Damon Elliott & Symone Sanders at 92nd Street Y (Virtual). Join iconic Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winning singer (and Queen of Twitter) Dionne Warwick and record producer (and Warwick’s son) Damon Elliott on her life in music and late-career renaissance with MSNBC’s Symone Sanders. Hear Warwick and Elliott discuss her remarkable career, the joy of making music together, their new single “Power in the Name,” Warwick’s recent cameo on SNL, stories from the studio, and much more. Monday, February 28, 4pm Pacific; $20; 92y.org.
Hold These Truths: A Celebration of AAPI Theater Artists at Boston Court Theater (Virtual). Created in response to the sharp rise in hate directed toward the AAPI community, Boston Court Pasadena, East West Players and the Pasadena Playhouse have joined forces to share a virtual presentation of Jeanne Sakata’s play Hold These Truths. The play tells the extraordinary true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, who, through the humble courage of his convictions, stood against racist actions he knew to be wrong. This livestreamed event features six of the actors who have given tour-de-force solo performances as Gordon in Hold These Truths productions across the country. Monday, February 28, 6pm; free; bostoncourtpasadena.org.
Tuesday, March 1
Winter 2022 Art Opening & Reception at UCLA Hillel. Ruth Weisberg, Aline Mare and Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik each exhibit extraordinary work about the ways in which the body, mind and spirit are all infinitely, inextricably connected. 574 Hilgard Ave., Westwood; Reception: Tuesday, March 1, 7-9pm; on view through March 11; free; uclahillel.org.
Wednesday, March 2
Midweek Feast: Poetry & Cooking Inspired Writing Workshop with Nancy Woo at Angel’s Gate Art Center (Virtual). Each month, Woo and series attendees will be cooking and writing together, following one of the recipes from the anthology Feast: Poetry & Recipes for a Full Seating at Dinner (Black Lawrence Press, 2015). In this anthology, poets share their original poems alongside tried-and-true recipes, from appetizers to full course meals. Book purchase is not necessary to participate, however registered attendees will receive a discount code from the publisher. The cohort will be cooking and writing using the recipes and poems as inspiration. March will feature a recipe called “Cabbage Fritters.” Wednesday, March 2, 6:30-8pm; free; angelsgateart.org.
JEFRË at the L.A. Art Box. Showcasing JEFRË’s captivating larger-than-life multimedia sculptures and installations in a selection of works recently exhibited at the Orlando Museum of Art. JEFRË activates spaces in ways that reimagine the urban landscape and connect people to a common experience. The Pop-Up Exhibit includes The Talking Heads, a digitally activated multisensory experience. The exhibition also introduces JEFRË’s Branded Series, created specifically for The LAAB. This collection is inspired by visions of the American dream, immigration, social status and consumerism. Using the technique of cartography, JEFRË recreates environments, land formations, and city grids with repurposed materials. Expired rice and paint is integrated onto the landscaped canvas as an expression of cultural and social movements and environments. 8020 Melrose Ave., WeHo; EXTENDED through March 20; free w/ rsvp; thelaartbox.com.