A new post-digital artist platform launching a biennial, musicians and artists collaborating to evoke the liminality of the Scottish isles, a citywide arts-based mental health initiative, an experimental myth-based opera, and gallery exhibitions about the links between our cosmic and physical bodies.
Friday, April 30
The Museum of Wild and Newfangled Art 2021 Biennial. mowna is a fresh face in the online art platform space — a digital venue for interactive visual and sound-based exhibitions, marquee conversations, festivals, parties, special events, performances and sales with a ticketed/membership model designed to directly support the artists. This weekend’s launch of the ambitious inaugural biennial gathers artists working in painting, photography, AR/VR, sound and more hailing from 44 countries in a mindful, post-pandemic manifestation of new conversation around post-digital contemporary art experiences. To kick off the Biennial with opening night festivities, mowna will host a special screening of the feature documentary “The Faithful: The King, The Pope, The Princess,” by Annie Berman on Friday, April 30th at 6pm Pacific, followed by a Q&A, a party, and the first look at the Biennial. On view April 30 – September 22, with further events to be announced; $18/day admission or free with membership at $15/month; mowna.org/biennial.
Arthur King: Changing Landscapes (Isle of Eigg). Los Angeles-based experimental art group Arthur King continues their exploration into the unknown with their location-based musical and visual series. In 2019 Arthur King joined their friend Jason Lytle (Grandaddy) on a trip to the Scottish Isle of Eigg to create a truly unique record and film. The album dropped April 16, and beginning this weekend it will be accompanied by not only the experimental short film, but also an immersive multimedia pop-up art installation. Participants enter a spatial interpretation of Eigg, complete with sights, sounds, and smells. Depending upon their timing and position in the space, audiences create their own unique lucid dream experience through an amorphous soundscape and visual field, brought to life through sculpture, projected video, and amplified audio. 3801 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; April 30 – May 28; $10; changing-landscapes.
Saturday, May 1
WE RISE. The arts-based campaign is an ongoing — and more imperative than ever — project of the L.A. County Department of Mental Health, leveraging art, performance and creative expression. WE RISE events are calls to action, asking you to join a movement to break through barriers and to defy old assumptions about mental health and the many related social conditions, which compound problems and hurt our communities. The 2021 edition kicks off Saturday, May 1, with a slate of programs including the world-famous Drag Queen Story Hour (10am), opening ceremonies (6pm), Git Lit! Words Ignite youth poetry Classic Slam Finals (7pm), and a month-long visual arts takeover of Grand Park is unveiled (all day). A series of public art projects all over the city under the rubric ART RISE begins May 7, and a robust menu of online and in-person events and experiences continues through Memorial Day weekend. Everything is free and all are welcome. whywerise.la.
Millo: At the Crack of Dawn and Mando Marie: Tell Me All About It at Thinkspace. Italian muralist Millo’s U.S. debut solo show is built around the ephemeral point in time just before waking when everything is whimsical and the lines between dreams and reality are blurred. Mando Marie pulls inspiration from Golden Age picture books crafting a world reminiscent of childhood adventure and wonder. She incorporates elements of street art juxtaposed with the familiarity of the picture book inspired world to create work that is both edgy and comforting. 4217 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams; opening reception, Saturday, May 1, noon-6pm; on view through May 22; free; thinkspaceprojects.com.
Lisa Diane Wedgeworth: Passion, Power, Prayer at Band of Vices. Wedgeworth is an interdisciplinary artist whose large-scale abstract paintings are informed by memory and employ energetic mark-making in order to interpret psychological and emotional energies. She is an abstract painter whose work sits at the intersection of an engagement with fraught historical events of America’s past and present balanced by a personal desire to know where she fits in the world. The exhibition comprises 12 large-format works, encompassing a spiritual journey and exploration that spans several years of the artists’ sojourn, including works that culminated in her 2020 COLA Award — made for a show that because of the pandemic never opened to the public, until now. New second gallery location: 5351 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams; Opening reception: Saturday, May 1, 4-8pm; on view through June 12; free; bandofvices.com.
Mikael B: FLOW STATE at Maddox Gallery. Vibrant canvases where colors and geometric shapes organically flow into one another form the basis for a special vision that encompasses the entire gallery space even beyond the walls, offering total immersion in Mikael B’s world of color, gesture, cosmos and emotion. With a mix of graphic design, graffiti and contemporary art, his kaleidoscopic paintings are as dynamic and vibrant as a dream about Los Angeles itself. 8811 Beverly Blvd., WeHo; May 1 – 31; opening reception, Saturday, May 1, 8-10pm; free; maddoxgallery.com.
Micaela Tobin: BAKUNAWA: Opera of the Seven Moons at REDCAT. Part sonic ritual, part diasporic storytelling, BAKUNAWA: Opera of the Seven Moons is an immersive, experimental opera based on Micaela Tobin’s critically-acclaimed album of the same name that reclaims the pre-colonial mythology of the Philippines back from centuries of violent, colonial erasure. Saturday, May 1, 8:30pm; $15; redcat.org.
Sunday, May 2
Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio: Pansa del Publico at L.A. State Historic Park. Clockshop presents Aparicio’s new work of public art — both a sculptural object and functional beehive oven. Beehive ovens are one of the oldest traditions in Central America and often serve as the main cooking source and a hub for community connections in rural areas of El Salvador. In this work, the artist centers his own family’s history, the strength of collective organization, and a material investigation that draws from the deepest well of indigenous technology to shift the object away from the modernist conception of the supremacy of form as a universal given. The sculpture will be activated throughout June and July through an Oxy Arts collaboration over the run of the project’s installation. The project is also part of WE RISE, a month-long initiative that encourages wellbeing and healing through art, connection and community engagement. On view May 2 – July 25; free; clockshop.org.