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Recent Exhibitions

Peruse recent and past exhibitions from El Camino's Art Gallery collection.

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Student ExhibitionShruti Walker: Dawning Thoughts : 20 X 15 : Mixed Media, marker, colored pencils, typed paper

2021-2022 Student Exhibition

 

STUDENT EXHIBITION 2022

RETURN TO CAMPUS POST PANDEMIC, SPRING 2022

El Camino College Art Gallery is pleased to present works from the students of the El Camino College Art Department, Spring 2022. This is the first semester back on campus for many returning and new students. All of the artwork in this exhibition has been selected by the instructors of each of the studio classes, awarding outstanding students in each section, placement in this exhibition. Despite an occasional departure from tradition, the majority of the works in this exhibit are grounded in an academic approach to art study and training.

The annual Student Art Exhibition includes a variety of art works from a wide range of two-dimensional painting media (oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas, watercolor on paper) as well as drawing media on paper (graphite, charcoal, ink, pastel and conte). Printmaking techniques include linoleum block, collography, etching and screen printing. The computer design classes produced video animation as well as photo-based laser printed graphic designs and illustrative pieces. Additionally, the exhibition includes a cross section of traditional three-dimensional techniques taught in the department – jewelry making; wheel thrown and slab-constructed clay vessels and hand-built objects as well as a variety of mixed media constructions. This Exhibition provides a unique glimpse into the educational and an aesthetic philosophy advocated by the El Camino College Art Department and illustrates a diversity characteristic of the contemporary art world.

The Student Exhibition may be characterized by an energy and vitality unique to emerging artists. Please join us in celebrating the creativity, talent and tenacity of this particular group of artists.

SurveyTake a Closer Look; A Survey of Work by LAURA STICKNEY

TAKE A CLOSER LOOK 

A Survey of Work by Laura Stickney 

EL CAMINO COLLEGE ART GALLERY  
16007 Crenshaw Blvd. Torrance, CA 90506 
310-660-3010 

Gallery Hours: Mon & Tues 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Wed  & Thurs 1-7 p.m. 
Exhibition Dates: February 14-April 29, 2022 
Reception: Thursday February 24, 7-9 p.m. 
Artist’s Talk: Tuesday, March 1 at 1 p.m. in the art gallery 
        
" I think the heart of everything (I do) is looking at nature and finding stories and connections."
Laura Stickney 


Laura Stickney’s work evidences the keen nature of her gaze, a vision that finds beauty in a leaf equal to photographic portraiture of women poets (Poet and Leaf Series) and then spills into three dimensionality with artist’s books such as The Agave Book, based on the strong form of an agave inflorescence, which was made while she was recovering from cancer surgery; or the Madame Curie Cabinet of Curiosity that addresses the complexity of the discovery of Radium. (Each of the book works and The Cabinet of Curiosity is a result of collaboration with Vilma Mendillo, Stickney’s life partner).  

Stickney circumspectly delves into women’s history, primarily in the US and Europe, employing techniques of etching and aquatint to include photographic portraits from the 19th and early 20th centuries along-side patterns derived from American quilting and lace, long considered women’s work.   She deftly interweaves images and issues from present day life with techniques that could be seen as both antique and contemporary.  In Stickney’s series of mythological goddesses the artist uses photographs of women from multi-racial backgrounds to depict her archetypal pantheon. 

Using repurposed Polaroid film containers as her canvas Stickney uses oil paint to produce nearly psychedelic snap shots of flowers, sticks and pods bursting with juicy color and detail that urge the viewer to take a closer look at what’s around you.  The most recent of the Polaroid paintings are individually dedicated to specific shooting victims in the U.S. 

In a series of large black and white etchings, bee-keepers are featured as emblems of man in harmony with nature, where hooded humans tend bees and stand on a ground of enlarged leaves.  Similarly orange vendors from the streets of Los Angeles populate another series of large black and white etchings dealing with man and nature. 

Whether she is working with etching, aquatint, intaglio, silkscreen, monoprint, painting, drawing or book arts this artist and poet is simultaneously perceptive, but not didactic.  She draws upon the riches of history to tell stories based sometimes in mythology, sometimes in actual fact, always expressing fundamental recognition of the importance of nature. 

All visitors to the El Camino College campus will be required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination.  Masks are mandatory inside all buildings.  

 

 

PHYLLIS GREEN 

DRESS UP                                                            

Constructing Other Selves                                                     
2014 - 2021

October 29, 2021 – February 13, 2022

 

DRESS UP exhibit is available online only

 

These sculptures function as both objects of contemplation and props for performance…   Phyllis Green

Extensively exhibited both nationally and internationally, Phyllis Green has made objects and performances that refer to the human body for more than forty years. Through these stand-in corporal forms she addresses gender politics, cultural mores and matters of the human mind and spirit.  Full of humor, her visual commentary is witty, pithy, questioning and never didactic.
 
Phyllis Green moved to So Cal from Canada, where she was raised, to pursue graduate studies in art.  She was awarded an M.F.A. by UCLA in 1981 and began her professional career as an artist, educator and curator in Los Angeles, where she currently resides, making art, lecturing and occasionally curating exhibits.  Green is multi-faceted in her approach. Although her initial focus was on ceramics, she shifted to include mixed media construction, elaborate costume, audience participatory installation and video.

Green acknowledges the influence of the international Feminist Art Movement of the 1970’s as a seminal event that profoundly changed both her life and her art. During the 70’s many artists dealt with charged images of the female psyche and with issues of anger in response to a male dominated art world. Green was specifically affected by the work of artists who questioned the status of women in the art world.  She chose to move to Southern California particularly because of the vibrant activity of women artists here.

A long-time a fan of fashion and costume design, Green developed her own visual language using clothing as a metaphor, first of all, for the human body and also as signifier of gender, cultural identity, historical period, and role. The symbolic use of color, texture, structure and inflated scale easily followed.

Green is an avid reader and has traveled widely.  Her visual work sometimes reflects both elements of traditional clothing design, spirit of place and culture.  The works in the photographs below are derived from recent travel in Brazil and subsequent research into Candomble, a spiritual practice in the region, combined with the clothing worn by men in the Candomble ritual.  She has intentionally exaggerated the scale in order to evoke numinous presence and to enable the visitor to engage, sometimes quite literally, by inhabiting a piece. 

The Dress Up exhibition focuses on Green’s exploration of identity through the experience of making, wearing, performing and seeing others perform in symbolic costumes and sculptures. The dates of works included in this grouping span the years 2014-21.  El Camino College Art Gallery is proud to present the deftly inquisitive work of Phyllis Green.

Following this introduction is the text/script for the video directed and produced by the artist with the assistance of Waleska Santiago. Click on Link to access video.

Dress Up Online Video

 

Still (Sitting) wood, fabric, foam core 61" x 19" x 24"

Still (Sitting)
wood, fabric, foam core
61" x 19" x 24"

 Infanta Margarita Ceramic, fabric, flocking  9” x 47” x 16”  1994-98

Infanta Margarita
Ceramic, fabric, flocking 
9” x 47” x 16” 
1994-98

 

Tree and Birds Aquaresin, acrylic paint, feathers, fabric, wood  Hat form:  15” x 13” x 13”  Tube form:  50” x 20” x 21”  2017

Tree and Birds
Aquaresin, acrylic paint, feathers, fabric, wood 
Hat form:  15” x 13” x 13” 
Tube form:  50” x 20” x 21” 
2017

 

Five Sheaths Five garments, each 48” x 14” x 4”, suspended on wood rods  Cotton, wood  2017

Five Sheaths
Five garments, each 48” x 14” x 4”, suspended on wood rods 
Cotton, wood 
2017

 

 Lion/Lamb Aquaresin, fiber  70” X 107” X 36  2020

Lion/Lamb
Aquaresin, fiber 
70” X 107” X 36 
2020

 

Count Down

Showing: August 30 - October 24, 2021

Sarah Perry, Speak for Me
Sarah Perry, Speak for Me / welded steel frame, acrylic paint and patina (on frame,) burned scapulae, graphite, sealants, 11" x 11" x 3", 2004View Exhibition

Works by: Adrian Amjadi, Hilary Baker, Phoebe Barnum, Nancy Buchanan, Mary Clark-Camargo, Susan Davis, Lauren Evans, Satoe Fukushima, James Griffith, Gregg Hamby, WS Milner, Cynthia Minet, Lowell Nickel, Sarah Perry, Vojislav Radovanovic,  Samuelle Richardson, Nancy W. Romero, Nancy Webber

View Exhibition

View Online Gallery

All artwork on this site remains the property of each artist. Any unauthorized use of images from this website is strictly prohibited, unless written consent is received from the artist for each artwork used.

Overview

El Camino College Art Gallery is proud to present Count Down, an exhibition addressing global concern regarding the increasing number of animal species threatened with imminent extinction.  

Due primarily to actions and practices of unwitting, uncaring or otherwise hungry and desperate human beings, vast numbers of species have already vanished or are on the verge of doing so.  There are certainly plenty of arguments on both sides of the questions regarding the possibility of saving animal species versus the process of evolution and the rights of the individual

Please be invited to make your own choice as to whether you would like to be part of an attempt to rescue the animal kingdom and all that implies, in terms of balance of nature for the health of the planet or whether you prefer to observe the slaughter of elephants as threat to crops and for trophy hunting, whales for meat, tigers, cheetahs and jaguars as threat to livestock, and so on down the long list that descends to the microbial level of being. Take a look at the numerous revelatory films available on Netflix by British naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, including A Life on Our Planet.  He, remarkably, is still able to declare that human beings are his favorite animals.  In an astonishing gift of positivity, Attenborough offers, despite his vast knowledge of the harm that has already been done, the possibility for slowing or even reversing some of the damage. I, for one, hope that he is correct and will contribute in whatever way I can to this cause. Enough preaching…

Eighteen artists currently residing in Southern California present passionate images in a wide variety of media including sculpture, painting, drawing, video, mixed media installation, digital media and photography, dealing with the progressive extinction of many species of animals. Each of these artists has written a statement about his/her particular works exhibited in Count Down that follows below.  El Camino College Art Gallery expresses its deep regret that this moving exhibition cannot be seen in the physical gallery space and is limited to a website exhibition. Please be sure to look at the identification for each piece so that you are able to ascertain the actual size of the image.

Thank you,
Susanna Meiers, Curator

 

View Statements and Images

Adrian Amjadi

Watching our closest relatives fade away... we notice patterns. Our patterns.

In struggling to understand our current situation and our future path we forget the sensitivity to the initial conditions of biological networks. We postpone and question means of resolution, but the pattern continues. We know the constants to which we attribute seemingly infinite chaos, but we don't know when. We are ultimately unaware of our absolute chronological position, yet we allow the continuance of these patterns.

Blinded by simple and seemingly simple systems we become ignorant to the deep complexities they create. Rarely are we privy to the complete initial conditions...

...except we notice our patterns. We know many of the conditions of our environmental footprint. So why wait for any particular demise, any articulated chaos?

Adrian Amjadi; Feigenbaum's Cloche; mild steel, resin, glass, water, LEDs, turntable; 15¾" x 11½" x 12"

Adrian Amjadi
Feigenbaum's Cloche
mild steel, resin, glass, water, LEDs, turntable
15¾" x 11½" x 12"

 

Hilary Baker

I grew up in post-war Los Angeles watching a landscape of orange trees and ocean views morph into an urban grid tricked out with freeways, movie studios and industrial buildings. The Los Angeles of my childhood has never been more intricately woven into the Los Angeles of the present than in my latest body of work, Predators. The title refers both to the predatory nature of our local wildlife, as well as the threat by developers of the loss of their habitats. In Predators, graphic depictions of wildlife are presented among a variety of historic locales. I consider my Predators portraits and present them straightforwardly. My urban dwellers position themselves at the forefront of the canvas. Their gaze is oblique. Their confrontation with the viewer is unflinching, and their presence – like the past – uncompromising. It might be argued that these mostly nocturnal creatures serve as stand-ins for any city resident (or at least this artist) attempting to co-exist with a disappearing homeland.  

www.hilarybaker.com

Hilary Baker; Heron, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; acrylic on linen; 24" x 24"

Hilary Baker
Heron, Los Angeles
Memorial Coliseum
acrylic on linen
24" x 24"

 

Phoebe Barnum

Phoebe Barnum; Transcendence 4; mixed media; 11" x 8½"; 2019Phoebe Barnum
Transcendence 4
mixed media
11" x 8½"
2019

The Salton Sea is a land locked body of water that was created by accident in 1905 when water from the Colorado River was diverted for an irrigation system and ultimately became a 400-square-mile body of water with no outlet to the Pacific Ocean. The Water has either evaporated or seeped into the soil that has caused an extremely high toxic saline content. The fish can't survive the conditions and consequently the entire shore is strewn with fish in the throes of dying and decaying. The beach is made of sun-bleached bones, the "sand" is crunching vertebrae. The dramatic play of light and shadow on the fish skeletons is remarkably beautiful.

The name for this series is “Transcendence” exemplifying the life cycle of the Salton Sea.                                     

 

Nancy Buchanan

Portraits from No One’s Ark (2006 - present)
Each animal has a unique format and/or medium, in order to stress that all creatures are very individual. Scientists are still uncovering new information about the natural world—as it continues to disappear. For example, it seems clear now that zebra stripes are a defense against biting flies—the markings seem to “dazzle” them, so zebras have far fewer flies than other ungulates. The harmless pangolin can consume enough ants to keep a rubber plantation safe, yet these gentle creatures are still illegally harvested for their scales. In research for this series, I have continually found that habitat encroachment and other human actions are responsible for extinction. My hope is that the tightly-knit fabric of the planet might still recover, at least partially.

https://nancybuchanan.net/ 

Nancy Buchanan; Bengal Tiger; ink on paper with patterned paper overlay; 16" x 22½"; 2019

Nancy Buchanan
Bengal Tiger
ink on paper with patterned paper overlay
16" x 22½"
2019

Nancy Buchanan; Bengal Tiger; ink on paper with patterned paper overlay; 16" x 22½"; 2019 Nancy Buchanan
So Unjust Stories:
Pangolin and Tiger Join Forces


A PDF document of this piece can be viewed at the link below:

So Unjust Stories

 

Mary Clark-Camargo

WE WILL NOT FADE AWAY 2020
In the summer of our youth the majestic Monarch butterfly fluttered around elegantly and gracefully heralding the arrival of our favorite season.

In Mexico, their presence has a deeper and even more beautiful meaning.

These butterflies return to Mexico on Nov. 1 and 2, el Día de los Muertos — the Day of the Dead — when tradition holds that the Monarchs are the returning spirits of loved ones who have died.

Monarchs are threatened by deforestation of their habitat in Mexico, disruptions to their migration caused by global warming and poisons that kill Milkweed, a flower that is important to their survival.

Their numbers are dwindling rapidly.

This piece represents the fragility of our deteriorating eco system, which is supposed to support a tiny being as delicate as a butterfly and the futility of time slipping away from us.

If the Monarch represents our loved ones returning to comfort us, who will save her ?

Do the spirits know? Do the butterflies know?

http://www.newstoneagemosaics.com

Mary Clark-Carmargo; We Will Not Fade Away; glass mosaic and found object wall hanging; 17"x 22½"; 2020

Mary Clark-Carmargo
We Will Not Fade Away
glass mosaic and found object wall hanging
17"x 22½"
2020

 

Susan Davis

19th century periodicals and journals documented the degree to which global imperialism changed the planet. Engraved illustrations were the mass media of their day and critical to extolling the virtues of Western dominion over foreign cultures and the natural world.

I find these images to be beautiful and foreboding at the same time. They document an age in which we assumed control over the habitats of creatures deemed to be both exotic and exploitable. I also see humor in their earnest depictions of an era that seriously overestimated its own virtues. I subvert these engraved images and their original intent with irony by combining and re-contextualizing them in a digital format.

The animals used in my pieces are recognizable as endangered through scientific study and media exposure but the spider in several of my images is not readily known as an endangered species. I use spiders in two ways – as a metaphor for the insect/animal world trapped by human aggression and as a species that is reviled by many while also in peril.

“The Nature Conservancy, in cooperation with the Network of Natural Heritage Programs (NHP) and Conservation Data Centers, maintains one of the most comprehensive biological databases in the Western hemisphere. This database includes global, national and state conservation priority ranks (Master 1991). Only 114 spider species are being tracked in these databases, with 57 assigned priority ranks, clearly illustrating the lack of compiled information on the status of spiders. Of these, 40 species are considered of national concern, with 29 species considered imperiled or critically imperiled (The Nature Conservancy 1997). The other 11 species are considered rare and not necessarily imperiled, but six of these have some uncertainty regarding their status.”

Source: University of Michigan

Technological advancements from the past and accelerated destruction of habitat in our own time endangers species and nearly guarantees their demise – to their great peril and ours.

I thank the New York Public Library's Archival Resources for the source materials used in these digital photo-collages.

Susan Davis
June, 2021

https://www.instagram.com/p/CS-RdwwhSGp/?utm_medium=copy_link

Susan Davis; OctoGlobe; archival digital print; 8" x 8"; 2019

Susan Davis
OctoGlobe
archival digital print
8" x 8"
2019

 

Lauren Evans

Welcome to the Rhino
The “Rhinoceros” is a metaphor for the frightening, inner turmoil residing in each of us. It is that hidden creature, prehistoric and powerful yet fragile and endangered. How we live our lives while trying to control this turmoil is something that has intrigued me for decades. This ongoing human struggle is at the heart of my work. In my work, the Rhino is a container, canvas, silhouette, portrait, pattern, form, shadow and texture. It is an actor, prisoner, ally, toy, adversary, observer, and patient. The Rhino is passion and passivity, ugliness and beauty, strength and vulnerability. My Rhino is universal and unique. So is yours. I deploy multimedia and multi-technique processes throughout my work. Found objects bring their unique histories to their repurposed functions. 

I like to use repetitive units requiring repetitive tasks such as casting and glazing hundreds of Rhino tiles or gluing hundreds of ping-pong balls or by creating multiple colored pencil shavings. Repetitive activity can be both frenetic, like racing thoughts, or meditative, like repeating mantras. 

The series “Welcome to the Rhino” was the first series when the Rhino entered my work. It was a time of turmoil both personally and in our country. Facing my own demons felt like a Rhinoceros breaking through my chest. This image sparked the work. The series includes seven relief sculptures hung around the space like a circus parade. The Rhinos lumber up and down in a whimsical but awkward way. 

laurenevansvisualartist.com 

Lauren Evans; Welcome to the Rhino #4; wood, rubber balls, mixed media; 82¼”x 48”x 7½”; 2017

Lauren Evans
Welcome to the Rhino #4
wood, rubber balls, mixed media
82¼”x 48”x 7½”
2017

 

Satoe Fukushima

“Helium is the only element on the planet that is a completely nonrenewable resource.”  
Geoff Brumfiel

It too is in the realm of potential future over-use and extinction.

Its unique characteristics have been used in medical and industrial setting; MRI to quantum computing as cooling agents or non-flammable shielding agent.  It is an element we highly depend on in order to have technological advancement and party decorations.  Helium balloons can become too expensive to decorate the parties someday. 

About the Artist

Satoe Fukushima earned her MFA in Fine Art and Integrated Media from California Institutes of the Arts in 2013.  Her art often deals with the gaps of language and its transmitted information; these gaps concern not only verbal communication, but also cultural agreements and disagreements. Fukushima uses a wide range of media including bread, video, sculptures and whipped cream, and humor in desperation. Intentional miscommunication is often part of the mix.

Satoe Fukushima has exhibited, curated and performed at various venues both locally and internationally, including the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts, LA Municipal Art Gallery, Artists’ Union Gallery, California Institutes of Arts, California State University Long Beach, Otis College of Art and Design, El Camino College Art Gallery, and Huashan Creative Park in Taipei.

Satoe Fukushima; Helios' Animalis Installation Documentation; helium filled balloons, kids, parties, mess, instant films, blue tapes, measuring tape; 2021

Satoe Fukushima
Helios' Animalis Installation Documentation
helium filled balloons, kids, parties, mess, instant
films, blue tapes, measuring tape
2021

 

James Griffith

One of the goals of my paintings is to raise the question of the presence of sentience and emotions in all animal life. I believe in the equal value of all living beings.  This is a very inconvenient idea.  As humans have come to dominate the entire planet by developing the advantages of agriculture, architecture, weaponry, massive population, and other technologies, we have institutionalized our power over other species so that we cannot easily give up our mantle of self-proclaimed superiority.  Now, although the lives of every living being on earth is at the mercy of human choices, we as individuals have very little power to save another species. We must act in groups and coalitions to preserve the diversity of life needed to survive changing conditions and altered ecosystems.  Humans are creative and inventive enough that we might actually succeed in postponing the worst of the Sixth Extinction. However imagination is a double-edged sword: Humans have a unique capacity to believe in imaginary realities and to behave as if the actual facts of our existence do not apply to us.  The desires of our egotism and our false superiority may bring us all down.

My response to this dilemma is to try to resist the easy tendencies toward human egotism in my personal life, to support ecological equality any way I can, and to paint these images to inspire others to regard all life as magnificently beautiful and valuable to us all.  

James Griffith, 2021
 
jamesgriffithpainting.com

James Griffith; Okapi; tar on canvas; 58" x 42"; 2018James Griffith
Okapi
tar on canvas
58" x 42"
2018

 

Gregg Hamby

Animal Spirits
“Man vs. Nature” is a narrative we’ve all heard. Western culture has taught us that nature is the enemy of humanity. The divide created between the natural world and ourselves has made us see nature as an object. As something to exploit for personal gain. This distancing has also made us numb to the perils nature faces and even harder for us to empathize with what is happening in nature. We have now reached a point in time in which we are finally realizing the impact our actions are having on the natural world. Foolishly there are people that still do not believe that we are causing harm and have forgotten that we, too, are animals.

There was once a time when it was Man & Nature. When we knew our place and treated nature with respect and reverence. The earliest instance of
humankind’s acknowledgment of nature and animal spirits can be traced back more than 35,000 years to the cave paintings in France. It can also be seen in the cultures of the Native American people. They believed that every animal, plant, waterway, and other element of the natural world all hold spirits. Because of this, they treated everything that they believed had a spirit as they would another human. Animal spirits were how they passed down their thoughts, reflections, ideas, theories, beliefs, and history through symbols and signs to the next generation, in the form of stories using animals like the eagle, bear, or wolf.

It is in the tradition of the Native American’s honoring of the animal spirit, that I create my art as one-of-a-kind original drawings. Each drawing is in recognition of the animal’s innate talents and is meant to be a gift and a teacher to those who have made a spiritual connection with the animal. In much the same way as the Native Americans, my goal is to use my art to continue to pass down stories, ideas and believes that reflect our continued connection to animals and the natural world that surrounds us.

“One thing to remember is to talk to the animals. If you do, they will talk back to you. But if you don’t talk to the animals, they won’t talk back to you, then you won’t understand, and when you don’t understand you will fear, and when you fear you will destroy the animals, and if you destroy the animals, you will destroy yourself.” ~ Chief Dan George,

I believe, if I can personalize nature in a way that will make people want to take better care of and empathize with nature and animals more then we can take steps towards a better relationship with the Earth, like that of the indigenous tribes of the Americas.


About the Artist
Gregg Hamby was born in Iron Mountain, Michigan. He received an AA degree from El Camino College and a Bachelor of Fine arts degree in painting and drawing from California State University Fullerton, graduating with honors in 1999. Growing up, nature played an important role in his life. His mother was the only child of an avid outdoorsman and learned from her father the beauty of nature. In turn, his Grandfather passed this same love to him while spending many hours together in the woods of Northern Michigan. This instilled in him an understanding and respect for all living things.

Additional statements for individual pieces by Gregg Hamby can be viewed at the COUNT DOWN: ARTISTS' STATEMENTS AND IMAGES link.

gregghambyart.wix.com/gregghamby 

https://www.instagram.com/gregghamby/

https://www.wyland.com/product-category/featured-artists/gregg-hamby/

Gregg Hamby; Mountain Ghost - Snow Leopard; pencil drawing; 63” x 28”
Gregg Hamby
Mountain Ghost - Snow Leopard
pencil drawing
63” x 28”

 

WS Milner

WS Milner; We Are All The Same; wood, dried devil’s claw seed pod, polymer clay, acrylic epoxy, acrylic and oil paints; 6-20" x 4-10" diameterWS Milner
We Are All The Same
wood, dried devil’s claw seed pod,
polymer clay, acrylic epoxy, acrylic and oil paints
6-20" x 4-10" diameter

 

We Are All The Same is WS Milner’s illustration of our deep, ebullient, if you will - animal selves, the essential lightness of being which is who we are long before gender, ethnicity, family, community, religion, or politics.  These better angels are us regardless of our backgrounds.  Created as a self-tutorial in 2019-2020, my intent was to undo the personal, psychic damage of living in an unconscious and polarized America where
nature is disregarded and man blunders about in enmity.

 

Cynthia Minet

Unsustainable Creatures: Elephant, 2013
Unsustainable Creatures: Elephant is the largest of the sculptures commissioned by the LA Dept. of Cultural Affairs and the Los Angeles World Airports for Packing (caravan), a solo installation in the Tom Bradley International Terminal. On view April-September 2013.    The installation filled the display case in the Customs Hallway with a series of new sculptures made specifically for the 43’ foot display case. It consisted of four life-size pack animals. Inspired by working animals that international travelers could identify with, it featured a camel (11 feet), an elephant (11 feet), and two oxen (9 feet each). In addition to providing tourists with an exciting visual display, the Packing (Caravan) presented a humorous parallel to the international travel experience. Additionally, the work draws upon the artist's ongoing reflection on the complicated relationships and dependence humans have with the world we inhabit, and points to the ecological hazards that plastics and petrochemicals present to our planet. 

More About the Elephant:
Her nickname is Gladys. She is based on an adolescent female Asian elephant.  Among other items, she is constructed from a large red car bed found on the street by a friend, as well as other materials culled from dumpsters and thrift stores.

Cynthia Minet; Unsustainable Creatures: Elephant; post-consumer plastics, PVC, LEDs, hardware; 80" x 115" x 52"; 2013
Cynthia Minet
Unsustainable Creatures: Elephant
post-consumer plastics, PVC, LEDs,
hardware
80" x 115" x 52"
2013

Seconds to Last, 2021
Seconds to Last is a new solo installation by Cynthia Minet, made for the Torrance Art Museum Dark Room.  Minet is known for her life-scale illuminated sculptures of animals. Made from recycled plastics and lit by LEDs, her works draw attention to our human dependencies on fossil fuels and electricity, as well as the resulting environmental degradation facing our planet.

The artist's first inflatable sculpture, Seconds to Last, depicts the nearly extinct Northern White Rhinoceros: there are only two surviving members of the subspecies on Earth.

In a nod to her most recent work, which focused on both human and animal migration, Minet utilizes repurposed camping tents sourced from her neighbors' visits to the Burning Man festivals. As our cities fill with people living in tents, the result, in part, of our profit-based economy, so too does the rhinoceros face extinction, due to poaching and loss of its habitat. 

The sculpture is lit by LEDs whose colors reference the seven energy chakras. Presented in a darkened room at the museum, the project's sequenced lighting slowly extinguishes before the viewer, until its presence is only sensed in darkness. 

Seconds to Last can be viewed online at the following link:
https://youtu.be/Vh40YsDcaDM 

Cynthia Minet; Seconds to Last; (inflatable) repurposed camping tents, sequenced LEDS, rope, lead weights, fan; Lighting Design: Vaughn Hannon; 60" x 120" x 64"; 2021
Cynthia Minet
Seconds to Last
(inflatable) repurposed camping tents, sequenced
LEDS, rope, lead weights, fan
Lighting Design: Vaughn Hannon
60" x 120" x 64"
2021
http://www.cynthiaminet.com

 

Lowell Nickel

This digital art making images can be associated with what has recently been labeled as the “Anthropocene”. The term Anthropocene or Holocene Epoch begins when human activities started to have a significant global impact our earth's biology and ecosystems.

The basic concept of these axe heads can be strengthened as a perceptible iconic symbol… these are long lived (double edged) tools. The “clearing of the land" was once necessary but we now find limitations by recognizing earth as a biome. Over time, when the weathering forces of nature serve as the ultimate liberator of all human creations, the flora & fauna will again develop fully and richly.

These artistic investigations are mixed media, i.e. Slab built Ceramic axes (7”x12”) then photographed and used in digital compositions that can be printed any size.

Lowell Nickel; Axes Comp; mixed media slab built ceramic axes with branches; 7" x 12"
Lowell Nickel
Axes Comp
mixed media slab built ceramic axes with branches
7" x 12"

 

Sarah Perry

Speak for Me, 2004
If we climb down the Tree of Evolution far enough, we discover that all life is kindred. Unfortunately, most of us have forgotten how to howl. But the ones who can translate to the rest of the human horde are asking to please make room for the profound beauty and breathtakingly mysterious lives of others.

Additional statements for individual pieces by Sarah Perry can be viewed at the COUNT DOWN: ARTISTS' STATEMENTS AND IMAGES link.

sarahperryartist.com

Sarah Perry; The Meek; aluminum grate, altered shed cicada skin abdomens, silicone; 20½" x 11" x 3½"; 2009Sarah Perry
The Meek
aluminum grate, altered shed cicada skin abdomens,
silicone
20½" x 11" x 3½"
2009

 

Vojislav Radovanovic

Wanderers is an audio-video artwork by Vojislav Radovanovic in collaboration with composer Joseph Carrillo. This work is about grief and anxiety for the growing climate crisis and the sixth mass extinction-level event that our planet is currently experiencing due to human impact. The video tells the story of the two last surviving birds flying through a desolate landscape of a burned forest, as told by a human puppeteer (performed by Jason Jenn), suggesting that the action is taking place in a barren future where there is little other life in existence. The use of some repetitive sequences is a reference to looped social media videos, a popular visual style we have grown accustomed to in this human-influenced Anthropocene era.

This piece can be viewed online at:
https://youtu.be/IYCbF8_P2zQ

https://www.vojislavradovanovic.com

Vojislav Radovanovic; wanderers; digital video; 2021

Vojislav Radovanovic
wanderers
digital video
2021

Directed by Vojislav Radovanovic
Music by Joseph Carrillo
Puppeteering by Jason Jenn
duration 8’24”

 

Samuelle Richardson

Samuelle Richardson; Ghost Dogs 2; mixed media; 4' x 7' x 4'Samuelle Richardson
Ghost Dogs 2
mixed media
4' x 7' x 4'

 

Ghost Dogs
A memory of the African Savanna haunted me for years until I knew I had to tell my version of it.

There was a buzz of excitement that morning.  A rare pack of African Wild Dogs had been sighted in the area as we rumbled off into the bush hoping to find them.  At last we did and with hearts pounding, inched closer as they locked eyes on us.  I stood transfixed as I watched their kaleidoscope of dappled fur on stiletto legs, jostling and head-butting like a kinetic sculpture.   Then they gathered to move on, and aching to prolong the moment, we followed them until they disappeared into the mist.

The Ghost Dog sculptures are handmade armatures of tree branches and found materials that include wire, wood, paint, foam rubber and wool sweaters. 

Samuelle Richardson,  2021 

https://www.samuellerichardson.com

 

Nancy Romero

Nancy Romero; Tiger; tempura on clayboard; 6" x 6"; 2020-21Nancy Romero
Tiger
tempura on clayboard
6" x 6"
2020-21

 

Fooling around in the studio during COVID isolation, I made a couple of small tempera paintings of animals around me . Normally, most animals will not directly look at you because it is confrontational .The eyes from the frontal position of these faces seemed to follow me and say j’acuse. The power in the gaze challenged me to develop this format to speak to the loss of habitat and diminishing numbers of animal species around the world. Ultimately I made 46 portraits that I hung together for mass effect. This collection of faces is a selection from that work.

https://www.pinterest.com/Openstudiodena/nancy-romero/

 

Nancy Webber

Recent work from four murals commissioned by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs for the Harbor Animal Care Center in San Pedro and the drawings of endangered species/animal portraits, is concerned with my love of animals. These are rendered from digital photographs, in pastels and colored pencils and are intended as an awareness and appreciation of the planet’s variety of wildlife now at risk from global warming, loss of habitat and human greed. As my “Life imitates Art” photographs was an ongoing series begun in 1979 continuing until 2015, this series of drawings, is ongoing due to the persistence of factors related to the disappearance of animal species. 

https://nancy-webber.com

Nancy Webber; Orangutan and Infant. Mountain Gorilla with Baby; graphite and colored pencil on paper; 18” x 24”; 2021
Nancy Webber
Orangutan and Infant. Mountain Gorilla with Baby
graphite and colored pencil on paper
18” x 24”
2021

There are many organizations world wide devoted to environmental and wildlife issues.  See below for a short list of four of the most well known in the U.S.

 

 

 

 

2021 Student Show

El Camino College Art Gallery is pleased to present works from the students of El Camino College Art Department, Spring 2021.  The majority of the work has been produced during the online season of classes taught during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The college is particularly proud of both the students and the instructors who have persisted throughout this stressful period and who have succeeded in creating admirable examples of artwork .

All artwork in this exhibition has been selected by the instructors of each of the studio classes, awarding two outstanding students within each section, placement in this online show.

The annual Student Art Exhibition includes a variety of art works fabricated from a wide range of media.  The show provides a unique glimpse into the educational and an aesthetic philosophy advocated by the El Camino College Art Department and illustrates a diversity characteristic of the contemporary art world.

Melissa Davis (Left)
Portrait of a Man
Charcoal on Paper
24" x 18"

Kassie Simons (Top Center)
Better Together
Copper, Aluminum, Found Objects
2" x 3" x .5"

Katie Masciotti (Bottom Center)
Light Writing
Digital Photograph

Roanne Kim (Right)
Letterform Negative Shape Portrait
Digital Vector Drawing

 

Despite an occasional departure from tradition, the majority of the works in the exhibit are grounded in an academic approach to art study and training.  Represented in the exhibition are traditional two-dimensional painting media (oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas, watercolor on paper) as well as drawing media on paper (graphite, charcoal, pastel and Conte).  Printmaking techniques include linoleum block, lithography, etching and screen printing (serigraphy).

The computer design classes produced video animation as well as photo-based laser printed graphic designs and illustrative pieces.  The animation is available to view by clicking the designated links.

Additionally, the show includes a cross section of traditional three-dimensional techniques taught in the department  -- jewelry construction; wheel thrown and slab-constructed clay vessels and hand-built objects as well as a variety of mixed media constructions.

The Student Show may be characterized by an energy and vitality unique to emerging artists.  Please join us in celebrating the creativity, talent and tenacity of this particular group of artists.

 

2021 Student Show Online Slide Exhibition

 

Myriad 2020

Design & Production by SP 20 students of Art 143 Digital Publishing Fundamentals
Perfect bound book, Color Cover, BW pages, 5.5"x8.5"

Tense

Design & Production by SP 20 students of Art 143 Digital Publishing Fundamentals
Perfect bound book, full color, 7"x7"
Price: $19.31 + shipping

El Camino College Digital Arts YouTube Channel

Animations by students of:
Art 141 Digital Art Fundamentals (multiple sections)
Art 144 3D Modeling & Animation
Art 145 Web Animation and Games
Art 147 Motion Graphics

Statement and Study Guide PDF

 

kasmer livestreaming performance

Artist LAUREN KASMER will present a series of unscripted LIVE STREAMING PERFORMANCES and film screenings as part of her virtual solo show “MOMENTA” on MAY 1 and 2

Watch live on LaurenKasmersMomenta.com

 

Live performances include readings, dance, movement, tai chi, a story time, guided meditation, and spontaneous interstitial episodes – Kasmer’s films will also be looped onscreen

 

An exhibition in five parts, Momenta comprises: Mount, a video; Wardrobe, photographically printed wearables; Equipoise, an installation with activation; Collaboration at a Distance, photography; and Flourish from Fire, documentary images

 

During the Live Streaming Event there will be a limited edition Viewmaster giveaway

A COMPANION BOOK will be released in June 2021

Performance schedule is below

kasmer performance schedule 1

kasmer performance schedule 2Kasmer performance 1

Kasmer performance 2

Kasmer performance 3

 

LAUREN KASMER - MOMENTA: Online Exhibition

 

MOMENTA

An online exhibition
by LAUREN KASMER


El Camino College Art Gallery
Torrance, California

January 4, 2021 – May 16, 2021   


Curated by Susanna Meiers,
ECC Art Gallery Director

Mount Video Still 9'; 2019-2020; Video Still; Dimensional variable
Mount Video Still 9

2019-2020
Video Still
Dimensional variable

Due to the technological limitations of the ECC website the exhibit, Momenta will be available to be viewed on a website www.laurenkasmersmomenta.com created specifically as a new form of art exhibition.  Please watch this site for upcoming details regarding exhibition related events.

El Camino College Art Gallery is pleased to present the work of Lauren Kasmer in an online solo exhibition, Momenta.  Lauren Kasmer is a multi-disciplinary artist who has worked extensively in photography, textiles, installation and video. She has also curated shows in galleries and in multiple alternative spaces.  Her background includes a degree in design from UCLA and an early introduction to clothing design as the daughter of an American fashion designer.  Early on, Lauren decided not to follow in the commercial footsteps of her mother but rather to approach clothing from a personal standpoint.  She incorporates her photographs into digitally printed sensuous wearable art that acts as an element in of each of her installation/performance projects and video works over the last ten years.

Momenta is comprised of five segments: Mount, a video; Wardrobe, photographically printed garments; Equipoise, an installation with intended activation; Collaboration at a Distance, photography; and Flourish from Fire, stills of the Blind Courier exhibition installation project, presented at the Brand Library in 2019.  When link is available, please click on still photographs presented in grids throughout the Momenta exhibition to view the expanded images.

Mount
In this context the title refers specifically to the surmounting or overcoming of an obstacle and to the geologic formation, mountain.

Mount is a poetically charged, non-narrative video originally intended for exhibition in the context of a multi-media gallery installation. It is a visually layered piece that reflects on a devastating fire that engulfed Kasmer’s home, destroying not only much of her artwork but literally altered her past and present. Additionally Mount addresses the wildfires that have recently ravaged California and Oregon and tackles the overall climatic impact of man upon nature, along with the imperative that humans must develop an essential respect for the natural world or perish.

Through the exclusive use of female actors and models in natural settings throughout Momenta, one senses an inference by the artist that the feminine or receptive mode of existence is potentially a route to a global healing.

“As our collective and personal lives are impacted by external elements I find that the connection to nature becomes the grounding vehicle for healing and new growth. What grows from ash is an inspiration for personal recovery, creativity and seeds new ideas, stories, and explorations. A force majeure causes one to reach for beauty, contemplation and a return to an internal Eden.” 
-  Lauren Kasmer

Film composer Jennifer Ricciardi has worked in tandem with visuals by Kasmer to create liquid arrangements of electronically synthesized sounds pooled with sounds captured in nature to underscore both the Mount video and the Activation cycle of Equipoise.

Wardrobe

On view is a collection of the garments made of the artist’s digitally printed photographs on fabrics, sewn into wearable clothing.  These wearable art pieces have been shown with Kasmer’s installation projects spanning the last ten years. The garments contain imagery pertaining to the individual installations- i.e. bee/hive imaged clothing was a component in a project that dealt with honeybees.   Frequently the artist’s imagery contains native plant life and forces of nature.

The hand-painted hangers and small tufted rugs were made in 2020, partially stimulated by the urgency and isolation generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Her up-cycled Sitting Rugs are produced from the shredded remnants of her digital fabrics.

Wardrobe Detail; 2020; Documentary photograph; Dimension variable
Wardrobe Detail
2020
Documentary photograph
Dimension variable
Equipoise

Equipoise:  1: a state of equilibrium. 2: counterbalance.
 
Housed in an apartment bedroom, Equipoise is Kasmer’s current installation, presented in an alternative context.  Her original intent was to open this thoughtful environment to an invited public, however, the global pandemic intervened.  As the Covid time period of necessary self-isolation extended, this space morphed into a meditative chamber with sacred objects, ritual instruments and rugs, intended for the practice of meditative sitting.  The artist has a serious practice of meditation and deep interest in the therapeutic properties of specific minerals as well as the potential healing influence of sound.  This installation intentionally combines the artist’s history, through use of clothing hanging in the closet and projected images from her videos with her meditation practice.  The Activation segment of Momenta is intended to demonstrate not only her own artistic sensibilities but also to suggest a possibility of what individuals can privately create as a contemplative space within their own environment.

Equipoise Installation Activation 10; 2020; Documentary photograph; Dimension variableEquipoise Installation Activation 10
2020
Documentary photograph
Dimension variable
Collaboration at a Distance

Lauren Kasmer
Digital photographs on textiles; 2010-2020

Photographers: Chandler Kennedy, Chris Kennedy, Monthira Soonthorsarathool
Models: Gabriella Ortega, Leilah Franklin, Natasha Nunez, Cody Kennedy, Emily Rosenstein, Satoe Fukushima, Cilka Mark
 
Lauren Kasmer temporarily moved out of the Los Angeles area mid-Spring, 2020.  She continued her work on the Momenta exhibition via Zoom, Skype and email to create an impressive collaboration with ten women friends who intermingled to model and photograph each other, wearing and interpreting ten years of an archive of Kasmer’s photographically printed wearables.
Cilka 11 (multi); 2020; Photograph; Dimension variableCilka 11 (multi)
2020
Photograph
Dimension variable

Flourish From Fire

Lauren Kasmer's Flourish From Fire, is an installation composed of two poetic non-narrative videos surrounded by domestic furnishings and photographically based wall works whose photographic imagery is sourced from a devastating home fire. The arrangement is an inviting space, a reinterpretation of shelter, one that proposes that what can be seen as personal tragedy could instead welcome contemplation and reflection of universal themes.
 
The barn's burned down:
 now
 I can see the moon.
 
                               Mizuta Masahide
Flourish from Fire Installation View 5; 2019; Documentary photograph; Dimension variableFlourish from Fire Installation View 5
2019
Documentary photograph
Dimension variable

 

Black Lives Matter Online Exhibition 

BLACK LIVES MATTER:

An online exhibition of works by 31 artists in response to the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing protests.

Work by:
Phoebe Barnum, Terry Braunstein, Gail Brown,  Garrett M. Brown,  Pirkko De Bar, Russell Ellis, Keiko Fukazawa, Satoe Fukushima, Yrneh Gabon, Zeal Harris, Wayne Alaniz Healy, Tom Whittaker Kidd, Joyce Kohl, Margaret Lazzari, Gordon Lewis, Peter Liashkov and Don Saban,  Karena Massengill, Kathleen Migliore-Newton, Lowell Nickel, Ann Page, George Page, Victor Raphael, Marianne Sadowski, Carl Shubs, Matthew Thomas, Sandra Trepasso, Richard Turner,  Robert Tyler,  Frank James Williams, David Jordan Williams

October 1, 2020 - January 3, 2021

ONLINE EXHIBITION ONLY

Go to elcamino.edu  then type in Art Gallery

Frank James Williams Self Portrait (fire) Pastel on paper 29” x 19”
Frank James Williams
Self Portrait (fire)
Pastel on paper
29” x 19”

In June, 2020, incensed and saddened by the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police and heartened by subsequent nation-wide protests, it seemed essential to provide a public platform for artists to respond to the issues surrounding Black Lives Matter.  At the same moment I contacted Dr. Russ Ellis, a professor whose class titled “Niggers, Negroes and Black People” I had attended in 1967 at Pitzer College.  My initial reason for contacting him was to thank him for the class that was to permanently affect my thinking.  When I asked Dr. Ellis if he had any lectures online that might be used in tandem with this exhibition he suggested that I pose a series of questions instead.  The questions and Russ Ellis’ responses follow.

As a brief introduction: Russell Ellis is a visual artist, musician and educator.  He went on from teaching at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA to teach in the Department of Architecture at U.C. Berkeley where he later became the Vice Chancellor of the University.  He simultaneously worked as a sculptor in both metal and stone and later trained as a painter.  Please see his bio that follows the question/answers.

I want to thank Russ Ellis for his willingness to engage in this process of questions and answers and again for his initial class.  Also, thank you to the more than 25 artists who take the subject of racism and Black Lives Matter very seriously and respond through their artwork in a broad array of approaches and medias ranging from painting-both figurative and abstract, sculpture, drawing, performance and mixed media installation.
- Susanna Meiers, Art Gallery Director/Curator

Susanna Meiers: Given that you are a visual artist and educator and the fact that this is a   website for a college gallery, what do you think the role of the arts might best be during this time?  And the role of classes taught within an Art Department?

Russ Ellis: I think my background qualifies me to hazard a modestly informed response to your question. However, indulge me while I enter my response through a side door.

A few years ago I accompanied my art class instructor, painter Katie Hawkinson and her husband, sculptor Joe Slusky, to a joint showing of their work at Stanford University. To my surprise, their work was spread across three campus sites: Center for Integrated Systems, Electrical Engineering, and the psychology Department. The art was scattered among lobbies, conference rooms, laboratories through the windows of which active research could be seen in progress.

In one lobby, I encountered a young man who had set up several interacting computers processing images of various sorts. I asked him about his project. As he was describing it to me he reminded me of applicants to UC Berkeley’s Ph. D. program in architecture.  Wildy brilliant, intellectually unmoored, confident to a fault.  I failed to understand his explanation of what he was demonstrating, but he clearly felt at home and I felt him to be at home.

This was 2014. I was unaware of Stanford’s Arts Initiative launched in 2006.  <https://arts.stanford.edu/about/>  But later, reflecting on the whole experience, I thought Stanford understood something fundamental about human inventiveness; keep art intertwined with everything.

Stanford is securely endowed. Community colleges, state colleges and universities are not.  But, to the extent possible, I think we should all struggle to keep art intertwined with everything curricular. Whatever may be dominating the public attention at the moment.

I know nothing of art pedagogy, but I’m guessing that burgeoning artists will, as ever, come bursting with improbable impulses. As ever, the instructor/guide’s job will be to respond inventively to those impulses; especially leaving them be.

 
In 1967 I attended your seminar at Pitzer College in Black Studies.  If you were to teach a course now, in light of the current extremis and potential for new understanding, how might you structure it?

The class you took from me in 1967 was titled “Niggers, Negroes and Black People.” The goal of the course was to examine race relations from the standpoint of the evolution of how a people are named. That was being publicly contested at the time, as it continues to be today.

 Pitzer College had been formed in 1963. It’s initial student market was middle to upper-middle class women.  In 1970 it went co-ed. I was on the faculty from 1966 to1969. There’s no doubt that I chose to use “Nigger” in the class title in order to break open delicate sensibilities.  (Course titles at Pitzer tended in that direction. My wife taught a demography class she titled “Hatched, Matched, and Dispatched.” Ellen Ringler taught an English literature class she named “Hell: A Survey.”)

I did not choose a career trajectory that expanded my expertise in race relations. If I were to teach that course again, I would definitely not title it “Africans, Niggers, Nigras, negroes, Negroes, black people, African-Americans, People of Color, and Black people.” (Although that could be the bones of a course outline).

The learnings about naming and the struggle for the name of a people are exportable over time and space, especially in this nation of immigrants. I would cover the same terrain today. Now, it would be a two-semester course.

“What Next?” is the phrase in the minds of most people who are invoking change in the prevalent culture of racism.  Would you be willing to speak to this question?

For years I have been mentally framing an essay titled “My Mother’s Racism and Mine.”  It would compare her very hard-wired anti-white sentiments with my fluid, never-ending struggle to manage my judgements of others and keep them from attaching to categories like, Jews, Chinese, Mexican, Women, etc.  My thought has been that making my relationship to racist tendencies public might help others think about their own.

We in the United States have chosen to acknowledge, to one degree or another, the principles of our sacred documents. Freedom, equality, caring for those in need, etc. For generations, when it comes to inequality, racism and  xenophobia, these have been held as personal responsibilities. That’s what my essay would cover.

But the killing of George Floyd somehow shifted significant public consciousness toward an interest in “systemic racism,” not the racism of individuals.  The necessity of personal anti- racist work is permanent. Dealing with systemic racism is the answer to your question, “what next?”

Are there particular questions that you would encourage individuals to personally tackle in order to further their own consciousness regarding racism?

I’m reluctant to give advice to people I don’t know with pathways in life I can’t comprehend. Nonetheless, I was recently struck by this haiku:

untitled haiku

because white men can't
police their imagination
black men are dying

-- Claudia Rankine

After 85 years as a Black person in America, I’ve settled into an understanding that dealing with racism is like freedom of speech, freedom of the press, justice, etc. Their accomplishment, protection, and improvement is not permanently engraved anywhere. They are a constant struggle, both socially and individually.

A practice that I have developed over the years is to confront my own incessant judgments with an incessant “why’d you do that?”  I’m in a constant conversation with myself. No one is safe from my leaning toward final judgements and assignments of behaviors I don’t like to categories.

In the arena of prejudice, I’m quite astonished by my progress with homosexuality, for example. In my community a “punk” was the lowest of the low. I still have a few problems, but I am not anywhere near where I was before I got to college.

Managing my relationship to race and ethnicity are, in my everyday life, emotional and intellectual equivalents of three-dimensional chess where the game never ends. A constant struggle. Although coming late in my life, five years as Student Affairs Vice Chancellor at U. C. Berkeley was indelibly educational.

Hurtful mistakes, unplanned breakthroughs, constant attention seem to have accumulated into some small form of wisdom and improved life practices for me. Constant attention can be fatiguing. But there are rewards. And it’s better than relaxing into the cultural drift. It can be rewarding to stay a constant participant in your own becoming.

 
As destructive policing appears to be the symptom rather than the root of racial power politics, how would you imagine beginning the re-education of the American public?
 
After fifty years in and around higher education, my first thoughts spring from those experiences.

When you took that class from me in 1967 U. S. higher education was struggling with the academic accommodation of Black Studies. Pitzer actually did not have Black Studies. Just my class.

For years the U.C. Berkeley faculty struggled with whether or not to make ethnic studies classes a curricular requirement for undergraduates. In 1991, a thoroughly negotiated solution was the creation of a program called American Cultures. <https://americancultures.berkeley.edu>

Upon close inspection, this is not exactly an ethnic studies requirement. But it encompasses and expands the domains of interest. I think now is the time for higher education to look closely at the possibilities of such programs. This is especially relevant because colleges and universities are where other aspects of systemic racism are touched on; economics, political science, business, sociology, health care, justice, demography.

If an individual has had negative experiences in their history with someone of another race how does one overcome the racial supposition that all people who are of another color are suspect?

I am less racist than my parents were. My children are less racist than I am. My grandchildren are the least racist members of the family. Progress is possible; in individual lives and over generations.

I am Black. I have friends who are not Black who have had bad experiences with Black people. I still have white friends and I have had a load of bad experiences with white people over the last eighty years.

I will never be fully free of my prejudicial impulses. It’s a constant struggle. My hopeful fantasy is that I walk in a world of people dedicated to the constant struggle.

2020 Bio for Russ Ellis


I was Born in Los Angeles in 1935. During WW II, I lived on a farm in Fontana, California. The KKK were vigorously represented in Fontana.
 
After the war I went to live with my father and step-mother in a new house purchased in the George Washington Carver Manor Annex at the southern end of Central Ave. in Los Angeles.

A track scholarship to UCLA from Compton High School paid for my college education.

Two years after graduation from UCLA, I returned to its graduate program in sociology where I earned a Ph. D.  I married my fellow graduate student, Judith Fairston, here from the London School of Economics. We had two children.

I have had teaching appointments at The University of California, Riverside, Pitzer College, The State University of New York, Old Westbury, Yale University, and The University of California, Berkeley.

The latter appointment was in the Department of Architecture of Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. There, I dealt with social issues in architecture and urban design.

My last five years at Cal I served as Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Affairs

Upon retirement I continued my untutored practice of stone carving until I hurt my back. I turned to modeling clay and bronzes for a while, but that gave way to painting.

I have had several local shows and had the support of a wonderful painting teacher, Katie Hawkinson for ten years. See also <poopah.net>

Last year I stumbled, accidentally, into song writing. With the help of my children and their friends in the music world, I have completed an album of about eleven tunes called Music From The Garden. It can be found at Berkeley Cat Records (Russ Ellis).

Russ Ellis; Photo credit: Judy Dater
Russ Ellis
Photo credit: Judy Dater

 

There are also two additional video links provided for Russ Ellis:

Chika Ding - (Change That)
Chika Ding is a collaboration between Poopah McVout aka Russ Ellis and Alcide Marshall. Enthisic celebration of American Democracy. Especially the VOTE!

This video piece can be viewed online at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZknpbwCFTYQ&t=31s

Oom Chugga (Remix)
(feat. MicBlake feat: Chris Burger for Panther Fist Studio​​/​​PFS)

This audio piece can be listened to online at:
https://russellis.bandcamp.com/track/oom-chugga-remix-feat-micblake-feat-chris-burger-for-panther-fist-studio-pfs-2

Black Lives Matter Online Exhibition 



An Acrobat PDF document with the Artists' Statements and Images from the exhibition can be viewed or downloaded from the link below.

Black Lives Matter: Artists' Statements and Images



In addition to the artwork shown in the sldeshow, several artists' work is available either in Acrobat PDF documents or in online media presentations. Those artists' works are below.

 

Garrett M. Brown

 

Peter Liashkov and Don Sabon; Strange Fruit
Garrett M Brown; Candlelight Vigils #9...

Candlelight Vigils # 9...Passing An Orchard By Train...by Robert Bly.
In Memoriam, GF.


This video piece can be viewed online at:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rm12_waS7HPFvNLSrmaLv1wsHt9vgHRO/view

Satoe Fukushima

 

Sotoe Fukushims; Relax, Panic, Eat...
Sotoe Fukushims; Relax, Panic, Eat...
Rosa Park’s Pancake Recipe
Featherlite Pancakes
Put together
1C flour
2T B.Powder
1/2t salt
2T sugar
Mix
1 egg - 1 1/4C milk
1/3C peanut butter
1T melted shortening or oil
Combine with dry ingredients
Cook at 275°
On griddle

Adapted version
1C All purpose GF flour
1 1/2T B.B.Powder
(use less if the GF flour has B.P.)
1/2 t salt
2T beets sugar
1/4C unsweetened Applesauce
1C alternative milk
1/3C Coconut oil with
3T Kinako (ground roasted soybean)
1T coconut oil Cook as directed in the original recipe.

 

Relax, Panic, Eat...
It is not only a delicious tradition, but also it gives an opportunity to talk about her courageous action and its meaning for change.  America is still suffering the same racial disparity and it became more visible  thanks to the technology.  We are finally sharing the long sufferings of Black lives and cries for change.  We all need Rosa's motherly side to carry on this painful movement to punch through the intolerance.  It's okay to panic and cry a bit, but eat breakfast and get ready for action.

This performative audio piece can be listened to onlne at:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1abj7ws2kqmuki3/BLMRosaParksPancake.mp3?dl=0

An acrobat file for the Rosa Parrks Pancakes recipe can be downloaded from the link below:
Rosa Parks Pancakes

 

Yrneh Gabon



Yrneh Gabon: Diversity In The University; An Exceprt From A Garden Of Thorn
Yreneh Gabon; Diversity in the University

Diversity in the University
This video piece can be viewed online at:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BdH_qUEbAY2-Qs_E81U8c2NTLzvOxqZy/view?usp=sharing
 

 

Joyce Kohl

 

Joyce Kohl; Remembering Jeremiah
Joyce Kohl; Remembering Jeremiah

Remembering Jeremiah
This powerpoint presentation can be accessed online at:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HhU_oFFqvoDbbTQ7v148MfJFR9W3j00t/view

Margaret Lazzari

 

Margaret Lazzari; Start, Flow, RestartMargaret Lazzari; Start, Flow, Restart

Start, Flow, Restart
Start, Flow, Restart also is a video of my process in making a watercolor painting.  In this case, I needed to use video not to show raw emotionality as with Conflict.  Rather, I used its the time-based linearity to show the cycles of building/obliterating/restarting.  So much political activism is basically fighting the same battles over and over again.  The ground under foot always seems to be dissolving away.  Start, Flow, Restart was for me an act of faith that progress will be made.

This  video can be viewed online at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZZ4-8CPTBk

 

Margaret Lazzari; ConflictMargaret Lazzari; Conflict

Conflict
Conflict was made after a political fight with a family member, which left me feeling very angry and outraged.  I made this mixed media watercolor with splattering marks, gritty charcoal, and scraping pencils that built up on and tear away at the paper.   In this case, a finished watercolor is too static to show the energy and emotion that went into this work.  Therefore, I recorded my process and edited the video so that it had jarring cuts and staccato rhythm.

This video can be viewed online at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_8cvU2DgwA

Peter Liashkov and Don Saban

 

Peter Liashkov and Don Sabon; Strange Fruit
Peter Liashkov and Don Saban; Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit
The STRANGE FRUIT project was conceived after doing a residency at Pike school of Art in Mc Comb , Mississippi. I  gathered documentation and  photographs dealing with the legacy of slavery & lynching in the Southern United States & soaked up the haunting atmosphere of the countryside as seen through the eyes of photographer, Sally Mann. This resulted in a body of  work that included a series of multimedia paintings , short videos & an installation of a tree branch superimposing a series of  small prints in a grid formation .  My good friend, a prominent L.A . photographer, Don Saban  was intrigued by these prints & offered to rework them to enrich the color & the spatial qualities of the images. The addition of the audio of Billie Holiday singing the classic song, Strange Fruit, seemed to be appropriate to evoke the deep sorrow imbued in these works.
-- Peter Liashkov

This collaborative video piece can be viewed online at:  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vtt9QQnQV0&feature=youtu.be


Marianne Sadowski

 

Marianne Sadowski; Justice/Injustice ebookCarolyn Kessler Eaton; Justice, from Justice/Injustice ebook

Justice/Injustice ebook

An acrobat ebook for a printing class project by Marianne Sadowski in coordination with a LACMA online program can be downloaded from the link below:
Justice/Injustice ebook
 

Black Lives Matter Study Guide Questions 

 

An online exhibition of work by 41 Southern California artists plus one musician in response to the onslaught of COVID #19

 

Work by:
Luis Alderete, Andrew Alvarez, Victoria Arriola, Mariona Barkus, Phoebe Barnum, Catherine Bennaton, Barbara Berk, Terry Braunstein, Garrett M. Brown, Pamela Burgess, Joyce Dallal, Pirkko De Bar, Raoul De la Sota, David Doms, Aaron Donovan, Lauren Evans, Suvan Geer, Ellen Giamportone, Phyllis Green and Ave Pildas, James Griffith, Rebeca Guerrero, Brenda Hurst, Kira Junge, Tom Whittaker Kidd, Margaret Lazzari, Peter Liashkov, Betsy Lohrer Hall, Michael Lewis Miller, Nancy Mozur, Lowell Nickel, Ann Page, Nancy W. Romero, Marianne Sadowski, Mia Salazer, Christine TsuTsui Saldana, Cory Sewelson, Carl Shubs, Annie Stromquist, Dusty Tailor, Sandra Trepasso, David Jordan Williams

August 15 - September 30, 2020

ONLINE EXHIBITION ONLY

Peter Liashkov; Mister Pandemiko 2020; Acrylic, oil, charcoal, print transfer, washers on fiberglass mesh; 23" x 18"; 2020
Peter Liashkov; Mister Pandemiko 2020; Acrylic, oil, charcoal, print transfer, washers on fiberglass mesh; 23" x 18"; 2020

In early March this year, 2020, much of humanity was gripped by fear at the news of a globally transmitted virus of new and astonishingly dangerous proportions.  In China, where the virus originated through animal to human contamination, the government rapidly mandated that all citizens completely shut down interpersonal contact beyond the family bubble in attempt to contain the spread.  Countries throughout the east and west followed suit as the virus traveled and voraciously consumed lives.  Within a fairly limited time span China was able to contain the proliferation of the disease by means of rigid and potentially punitive enforcement of rules of conduct.

In the relatively small, parliamentary democracy of Finland where healthcare is entirely socialized and there is a high degree of intentional cooperation, the COVID 19 has been contained and deaths have numbered 329.   Different countries have handled the pandemic in ways that are unique to the cultures involved and suppression of the virus has varied accordingly.

Unfortunately the US has been hard hit by the disease due to a variety of problems that range from lack of cohesive strategy in approaching this health crisis, complex American expectations concerning freedom of choice and the politicization of mask wearing, inadequate testing, contact tracing and medical protective gear and growing desperation to recover a collapsing economy.  As a result, the pandemic rages on with approximately 155,000 deaths in the US at the end of July 2020.

In April, I began contacting a number of artists, inquiring as to whether they were doing artwork in response to this stressful situation in which human contact is limited, diversion is at low tide and introversion and introspection are given carte blanche.  To my amazement a plethora of artists eagerly responded.  The work that has emerged during this time period is varied and fascinating - ranging from encaustic abstractions that deal viscerally with anxiety, to stitched political commentary, a community based book project, performance video, printmaking, and photography to meditative paintings and drawings depicting new life and hope.  Please take a look at this somewhat lengthy slide show of images and artist statements and weigh your own responses.

This exhibition will be followed by a separate online show in October 2020 addressing the death of George Floyd in the hands of the Minneapolis police and broader issues of Black Lives Matter.  If you are interested in be considered for the BLM exhibition please send images and image identification plus statement to: smeiers@elcamino.edu

Susanna Meiers, Curator

 

Pandemic Response Online Exhibition 

 

An Acrobat PDF document with the Artists' Statements and Images from the exhibition can be viewed or downloaded from the link below.

Pandemic Response: Artists' Statements and Images

 

Am Acrobat file for study guide questions for students can be viewed or downloaded from the link below:

Pandemic Response: Study Guide Questions

 

In addition to the artwork shown in the sldeshow, several artists' work is available either in Acrobat PDF documents or in online media presentations. Those artists' works are below.

 

Garrett M. Brown

Candlelight Vigils # 6...The Wisdom Line, adapted from Maira Kalman's brilliant book, The Principles Of Uncertainty.

This piece can be accessed online at:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VS4pSoYiRZd8lZB-RcbDtarbRjV-Bh46/view

 

Joyce Dallal

Safe at Home
This video is a collage of images and sound recorded at home while my family remained inside during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic from March 16 through July 30, 2020. It encapsulates the fluidity of time as the days ran together, and all we knew of outside life was perceived through screens.

This piece can be viewed online at:
https://vimeo.com/443560087

 

David Doms

Noise Wheel 1
Noise Wheel 1 was created in the early stages of the Covid 19 pandemic. The origin of the sound is from a realtime performance using a Prophet 12 hardware synthesizer. A sound was designed for the instrument that would allow for the generation and control of noise and distortion freely, while also producing pitched tones. Noise Wheel 1 is from a series of improvisations that explore the space of foreboding, uncertainty and rising anxiety.

This piece can be heard online at:
https://soundcloud.com/user124339966/noise-wheel-1/s-EvEmzUXnF4I

Lauren Evans

I weave toy imagery throughout my work using game pieces to evoke the journeys that we all take over the course of our lives. Toys and game pieces evoke nostalgia for childhood friends and play. With nostalgia comes emory of joy and trauma, connection and loss.

This piece was sparked by the extraordinary and trying times in which we live due to the global pandemic and the response from our government agencies. I'm trying to grapple with the mystery of why science is being overlooked and experts pushed aside. With rampant conspiracy theories taking over logical thought it feels like policies are being communicated through a toy, The Magic 8 Ball.

The video uses actual questions asked of a variety of national news media sources regarding the novel coronavirus. The name of the piece draws from the phrase, Behind the Eight Ball, referring to the game of pool, and means being in an unfavorable or uncomfortable position.

This piece can be viewed online at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux3AFMkFneA&feature=youtu.be

An Acrobat PDF document to accompany this exhibit is available for viewing and download below.
Lauren Evans: Behind the Corona Eight Ball

 

Mia Salazer

The Pandemic resulting from the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has challenged us in ways that we couldn’t have anticipated, and each of us has been tasked with making sense of it in his or her own way.

In an effort to provide a forum for sharing advice and encouragement, I invited people on my email list to contribute something ― anything ― to what I conceived would be a simple newsletter, perhaps a page, front and back. I had hoped for at least 10 responses and was surprised and deeply touched when over 60 got back to me including friends of friends.

I ended up making 71 handbound booklets, one for each of the contributors, and one woman graciously created a digital version which will be shared here.

The project has had a heart of its own.

Mia Salazar,
2020

A PDF file of the booklet is available for viewing and download below.
Mia Salazar: Pandemic 2020