Viola Davis gets classical, Alison Saar takes over two museums, Art Share throws a block party, Cakeland turns one; Tristan Eaton in Long Beach, a kite festival in the park, MUSE/IQUE channeling Carole King, Soundpedro exploring the sounds of nature, a talk on ancient time machines at LACE, art lights up the Plaza de la Raza, Torrance Art Museum and 18th Street.
Thursday, July 15
Alison Saar at the Armory and the Benton Museum. Armory Center for the Arts and The Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College teamed up to produce the largest museum survey to date of the work of artist Alison Saar. Alison Saar: Of Aether and Earthe includes 29 of the artist’s multi-media and mixed installation works in one exhibition installed across the two venues. This exhibition spans the broad spectrum of Saar’s career, from her sculptures of the early 1980s to a new installation, Hygiea, at the Armory and the large-scale, site-specific commission Imbue, at the Benton. The Armory, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; Virtual Artist Talk: Thursday, July 15, 6pm, free; Exhibition on view by timed visit, Friday, July 16, on view via timed ticket through December 12; free; armoryarts.org. The Benton Museum, 120 W. Bonita Ave., Claremont; on view by timed ticket through December 19; free; pomona.edu/museum.
Peter and the Wolf with Viola Davis and Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl. The Oscar, Emmy and Tony-winning Viola Davis shares her powerful voice when she joins Gustavo and the L.A. Phil as narrator for Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. Dudamel also leads Prokofiev’s Haydn-inspired symphony and selections from Margaret Bonds’ Montgomery Variations. Written in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, the Variations are a cycle of spirituals that were lost, restored, and finally performed for the first time in 2018. The Hollywood Bowl, Thursday, July 15, 8pm; $8-108; hollywoodbowl.com.
Friday, July 16
Tristan Eaton at the Long Beach Museum of Art. Tristan Eaton: All At Once: 25 Years of Art and Design is a career-spanning retrospective of the Los Angeles native’s work. Eaton began pursuing street art as a teenager, painting everything from billboards to dumpsters in the urban landscapes of the cities where he lived — from London to New York City. After growing up on comic books, graffiti and skateboard culture, Eaton designed his first toy for Fisher-Price at the age of 18 and soon became a driving force in the world of Art Toys, designing the Dunny and Munny figures for Kidrobot. Triston Eaton: All At Once will include street art, illustration, rock poster design and printmaking. LBMA, 2300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; Opening night party feat. Z-Trip, Friday, July 16, 6-10pm; $20; on view through October 3; $12; lbma.org.
Emilia Cruz and Rick Ortega at Plaza de la Raza. Futuro Pasado is a two person art exhibit featuring Emilia Cruz and Rick Ortega that explores the concepts of hybridity, historical culture, relationships and self-actualization. The work embraces the concept that culture can guide us into the future but continues to evolve as we build relationships and awareness with one another. Curated by Jimmy O’Balles, Summer Bernal and Juan Escobedo. Plaza de la Raza, Boathouse Gallery, 3540 N. Mission Rd., Lincoln Park; Opening reception: Friday, July 16, 5-8pm; free w/ rsvp; on view by appointment through August 21; free; plazadelaraza.org.
Salon de Imperfectionism at Wonzimer. Conceived by Alaïa Parhizi and co-curated by Lucien Dante Lazar, this group show’s premise is the recognition of the beauty in human flaws and their elevation to the sacred within made objects. This reflects the underlying philosophy that happenstances are a natural, persistent, and a divine element in human existence. In the new millennium, where artificial intelligence and robotics can produce precise outcomes and flawless duplications in seconds, Imperfectionism frees the artist from old paradigms. 621 S. Olive St., downtown; Opening reception & performances: Friday, July 16, 5-10pm; On view through August 11; free; wonzimer.com.
Saturday, July 17
Kite Festival at LA State Historic Park. Clockshop presents their first annual Community & Unity Kite Festival — a fun and family-friendly opportunity to bring together diverse communities in L.A. through the art of kite making and a day full of joy, culture, and uplift through the arts. It will feature a “gallery in the sky” flying demonstrations with kite masters Ron Gibian, Scott Skinner, and Joe Hadzicki; art and printmaking workshops with Yuju Yeo and Dewey Tafoya; and musical performances with the Maqueos Band and Neon Dots (Andres Leñero). LA State Historic Park, Chinatown; Saturday, July 17, 2-6pm; free; clockshop.org.
The Comeback Fest at Art Share L.A. Art Share L.A. is ready to open their doors again, so they’re throwing a bit of a block party. The free event features Main Stage performances by Los Angeles bands Sunny War, Sin Color, and Very Be Careful and all-vinyl Latinx DJ collective Chulita Vinyl Club; 40 independent creative vendors curated by Our Piece of the Pie; a Patio Stage featuring poets, dancers, and musicians; live painting with Tanner Goldbeck and Sticky Shaw presented by Art at the Rendon; live mural-making by UTI Crew; video art in the theater selected by Take Your Medicine and Smile Productions; and gallery viewing and programming all day for the current exhibition Defiance of Juncture, curated by Badir McCleary — a group survey exhibition highlighting Los Angeles contemporary artists across multiple art practices. Art Share L.A., 804 E. 4th Place, downtown Arts District; Saturday, July 17, 3-8pm; free; artsharela.org.
High Beams #4 & ULTRA! at Torrance Art Museum. The museum reopens to the public with a lively group show and an interactive outdoor installation. ULTRA! Is an adventurous new public art exhibition featuring more than 20 artworks from some of the region’s most exciting contemporary artists in accessible locations throughout Torrance including various parks, storefronts, schools, and government buildings. For opening day, the artist collective behind the High Beams drive-through pop-up exhibition series features works from 16 prominent artist collectives working in Los Angeles, Northern California, and Colorado. 3320 Civic Center Dr., Torrance; Saturday, July 17, noon-3pm; ULTRA! Continues through August 28; free; torranceartmuseum.com; highbeams.art.
Cakeland First Anniversary Party. Celebrate the one-year anniversary of the inception of Cakeland L.A.’s The Beauty War, an immersive and subversive light-meets-dark conceptually hyper-decorated sculptural frosting-based fine art experience. Get down with a DJ set from Vanessa Burgundy, enjoy magic from award-winning magician Nathaniel Segal, a drag performance by Cakeland’s own Foxie Adjuia, and receive a tarot card reading from fortune teller and psychic adviser Patricia Rose. Performances will be followed by a prize-fueled costume contest, because we’re all ready to dress up again, right? Cakeland, 936 Mei Ling Way, Chinatown; Saturday, July 17, 7-11pm; $25; cakeland.la.
Sunday, July 18
Mechanism for Actualizing Speculative Soundscapes (MASS) – Live NatureSound Experiments (Virtual). Alex Braidwood, SoundPedro and World Listening Day present a live performance that uses the popular platform of the party DJ to explore nature sound in a new context within live events and streaming media culture. Using various synthesis and composition techniques, the overall arch of the performance is modeled after the vocalization energy and activity of a dawn chorus from the time of day before first-light to after sunrise is complete. Nature sound specifically, and listening in general, is under-appreciated in our culture that prioritizes nature as a resource to be extracted and time as something to be filled in the celebration of busyness as a marker of success. Streams Sunday, July 18, 6pm; free; soundpedro.org.
MUSE/IQUE at the Skirball. L.A. Composed: A Festival of Los Angeles Music, led by Artistic Director Rachael Worby, celebrates Los Angeles as a city of dreamers and doers; a collector of transplants, a haven for explorers; a bubbling hub of innovation and wild creativity. What happens in Los Angeles can only happen here. The musical legacy of Los Angeles is full of musical change-makers, rule-breakers, and risk-takers. It’s a vibrant tapestry woven with thousands of threads. In the spirit of rediscovery and radical celebration, MUSE/IQUE tells the story of Los Angeles, celebrating the intersections where musical magic was made. The first of three programs — celebrating the 50th anniversary of Carole King’s iconic Tapestry — happens at the Huntington on July 14-15, and at the Skirball on Sunday, July 18. Save the dates now for programs honoring Bob Dylan in August, Nat King Cole in September, and Etta James in October. Sunday, July 18, 6:30pm; annual membership (includes all MUSE/IQUE productions) $200; muse-ique.com.
Monday, July 19
Maj Hasager: Three Structures Touching, at 18th Street Arts Center (Santa Monica Airport). When Copenhagen-based Hasager first visited Santa Monica for a six-month residency in 2018, she was drawn to 18th Street’s Culture Mapping 90404 project, a resident-led oral history archive and mapping platform for the 90404 zip code, as it complemented her artistic process of plumbing the depths of personal memories, oral histories, and hyperlocal cultural identities to reveal deeper sociopolitical complexities and imbalances of power. In her 2019 presentation titled Iterations, Hasager delved into the history of contested places in Santa Monica, becoming deeply interested in the myriad formal and informal ways we remember and honor places of cultural significance in our communities. 3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica; on view July 19 – September 24; free; 18thstreet.org.
Wednesday, July 21
FIEBRE Ediciones, Kaqjay Moloj, and Beatriz Cortez artists talk at LACE (Virtual). Objeto antiguo (Ancient object) is a collective project by Kaqjay Moloj, Beatriz Cortez, and FIEBRE ediciones that imagines ancient objects as time machines that allow communities to form across time and space. Based on the idea that the lands that we, the Maya, inhabit are filled with fragments and objects that reveal themselves and are linked to men and women through their k’u’x, the force that bonds life across time and space. Moderated by LACE Chief Curator Daniela Lieja Quintanar, the talk is about their collaborative project based on the Mayan Kaqchikel community idea of “Objeto antiguo” (Ancient object) — its processes, results and critical thinking. The works are on view as part of Intergalactix: against isolation/contra el aislamiento through August 14, 2021. Wednesday, July 21, 6pm; free; welcometolace.org.