ECC News Release

El Camino’s Art Gallery features Exhibit on Fenceline Communities

November 17, 2022 Torrance, CA

A “fenceline community” is a neighborhood that is immediately adjacent to a company, military base, industrial or service center and is directly affected by the noise, odors, chemical emissions, traffic, parking, or operations of the company. These communities (typically disproportionately inhabited by people of color, Indigenous communities, and the working poor), are exposed to hazardous chemicals, high pollution levels, and environmental degradation along with the threat of chemical explosions.

Artist and community activist Edith Abeyta’s eye-opening, thought-provoking, and emotional exhibition, “Below Our Feet and Above Our Heads: Fenceline Resistance from Pennsylvania to California,” is a moving collaboration with artists, activists, organizers, colleagues, academics, students, and friends in towns and cities across the world. Members of these “fenceline” communities are protecting their land, water, and air by going up against powerful corporate interests with their bodies, minds, and hearts.

Artist and fenceline community member, Edith Abeyta from Braddock, Pennsylvania has transformed the El Camino College Art Gallery into an environmental justice hub, constructing a space for networking, conversations, and resources with interactive sculptures, photography, film, workshops, and events. Embracing the community within community college, Abeyta will work with various departments in a series of workshops and discussions to amplify the campus as a resource not only for students, faculty, and staff but also for residents, activists, and artists in the region.

This exhibition, part static artworks, part interactive workshops, highlights some of the processes of people from many sectors who are working toward a more just future and dismantling sacrifice zones. Using data from crowd-sourced purple air monitors across the country, victory headlines of environmental justice communities, visualizations of heartbeats, university implemented surveillance cameras, and do-it-yourself air filters, Abeyta and the many collaborators who made this exhibition possible visualize some of the aspects of environmental justice work.

Abeyta invites all who enter the exhibition to collaborate with her as she will be onsite in the El Camino College Art Gallery Nov. 21 through Dec. 2, 2022. The public is invited to participate in a variety of opportunities connected with this very special exhibit taking place in the ECC Art Gallery:

  • Master Class discussion with Edith Abeyta on Tuesday, Nov. 29; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.,
  • Campus Reception, Wednesday, Nov. 30; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Public Reception, Saturday, December 3; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Social Justice Workshop, Tuesday, December 6; 1 p.m. to 4 p. m.