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Long overdue first solo museum exhibition for Timothy Washington

Love Thy Neighbor: Timothy Washington and the Black Assemblage Art Movement

January 24, 2014

By Mike Sonksen

"Love Thy Neighbor," opening on Saturday, January 25 at the Craft & Folk Art Museum, is the first solo museum exhibition of Leimert Park artist Timothy Washington. This long overdue solo show is a watershed event for Washington, a Chouinard Art School graduate, classically trained in painting, drawing and sculpture, who has been a part of numerous group shows over the last 40 years but has never had his own solo museum exhibition. This week L.A. Letters pays tribute to Washington, and briefly highlights the groundbreaking Black assemblage art movement that came to rise within Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s.

Timothy Washington was born in 1946 and grew up in South Los Angeles. He spent his childhood collecting discarded objects and drawing influence from Simon Rodia's Watts Towers. After graduating from Dorsey High School, he earned a scholarship to Chouinard Art Institute, where he received his B.F.A. in 1969. Chouinard later merged with Cal Arts in Valencia, but for several decades it was near MacArthur Park when the area was known for galleries, architects, and artist studios on streets like Seventh or Wilshire. Washington flourished in Chouinard's lively environment; there are myths that Langer's Delicatessen on Alvarado would stay open to the wee hours filled with art students. Otis Art College was also in the neighborhood before it moved to Westchester in the 1980s. The area near MacArthur Park has a long history with the arts.

Washington was one of the youngest participants in the canon of Los Angeles' influential Black assemblage artists like David Hammons, Betye Saar, John Outerbridge, and Noah Purifoy. As contemporaries of the the L.A. Rebellion school of filmmakers, Horace Tapscott's Pan African People's Arkestra, and the Watts Tower Arts Center, among many other arts organizations, these artists "began to redefine black consciousness in art," writes scholar Daniel Widener. Washington is especially known for his folk art assemblage work, associated with Black heritage and spirituality. Read more.

My Little Pony fans establish scholorship for CalArts

Rise of the Bronies

The male fanbase for "My Little Pony" caught even the show's creators off-guard. Is this the end of American manhood?

January 3, 2014
The American Conservative


At the outset they seem like typical fanboys: they congregate on fandom websites, dissect their favorite episodes with the exacting precision of a surgeon’s scalpel, and live for the convention crawls—after which they post photographs of themselves with BNFs (Big Name Fans), an arm slung over the other’s shoulder in subculture bliss.

But then come the avatars, and they are not only blindingly cute but pastel, with glitter and stars, and they have names like Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle, and Pinkie Pie.

They are “Bronies,” and if you’re like many of us—late to the party—it’s time to get up to speed. This is probably the first American online fandom on record in which gender roles are so flipped as to completely befuddle even normally open-minded folk.

The object of their intense enthusiasm doesn’t wield a light saber, or an ax, or an M-4 combat rifle, though some of them send shock waves and love power though horns in their foreheads. No, this is not your standard sci-fi bromance, this is about man seeking pony, My Little Pony, a show designed for elementary school girls and featured on cable cartoon network The Hub.

Read more.

Video: Alumnus director of Urban Jazz Dance Company is "ambassador of Deaf culture."

Dancer Antoine Hunter infuses art with Deaf culture

Born completely deaf in his left ear and “hard of hearing” in his right, Antoine Hunter is the founder and director of Urban Jazz Dance Company and the President of the Bay Area Deaf Advocates. Here, he discusses how he engages with music and his role as ambassador of Deaf culture.

December 26, 2013
Oakland North

OAKLAND — Antoine Hunter is used to talking about what most would call his disability. Despite a prestigious resume in ballet and jazz dance, Hunter is labeled first and foremost a Deaf dancer. But instead of distancing himself from the label, Hunter has embraced it by becoming an ambassador for “Deaf culture” in the Bay Area. He is the founder and creative director of Urban Jazz Dance Company, an ensemble that incorporates sign language into its choreography, and the President of the Bay Area Black Deaf Advocates.

A native of West Oakland, Hunter was born completely deaf in his left ear and “hard of hearing” in his right. Nonetheless, he learned to dance at Oakland’s Skyline High before attending the California Institute of the Arts on scholarship.

Read more and view video.

Alumna creates backyard museum as sculpture

The Los Angeles Museum of Art is Eagle Rock’s hidden gem

December 31, 2103
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

By Michelle Mills

Hidden from a busy Eagle Rock street at the end of a long driveway sits a structure the size of a small bedroom. Its walls are comprised of sliding door panels and it is topped by a corrugated metal roof. One big step up, made shorter by a simple cinder block, lets us inside, where art is gracefully arranged. The intimacy makes it feel as if the exhibit was created just for us. This is the Los Angeles Museum of Art, a sculpture and project by artist Alice Könitz.

Könitz has many artist friends who, when visiting from out of town, would ask where they might be able to show their artwork. So she decided to create a museum of her own.

Read more.

Alumna designs fashion for Barbie

La española Neysa Bové aporta el estilo latino al vestuario de la Barbie

31 de diciembre de 2013

Los Ángeles (EE.UU.), 31 dic (EFE).- Cuando Neysa Bové emigró de España a Estados Unidos era una niña que cargaba con sus tres barbies en la maleta y hoy, como diseñadora de moda profesional, crea nuevos vestuarios para la icónica muñeca de la empresa Mattel.

"Diseño barbies con vestidos de noche, con una manera de lucir elegante, como si fuera a una fiesta, y otras con bañadores de una sola pieza", dijo a Efe Bové, que crea prendas para esta referencia de elegancia y estilo en la ciudad de El Segundo (EE.UU).

"Trabajo en el departamento de barbies realistas, en donde creamos ropa que podría llevar una persona normal, que es diferente de nuestro departamento Fantástico, en donde hacen barbies como sirenas, hadas y otros personajes imaginarios", indicó la creadora, de 27 años.

Read more.

Trustee Nominated to National Council on the Arts

Obama Names Tom Rothman To Plum Arts Post

December 12, 2013

He launched TriStar Productions with Sony Pictures in August, and today Tom Rothman has another new gig. President Obama nominated the former Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman and CEO to join the National Council on the Arts. “These dedicated and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America,” the President said today in nominating Rothman and several others to administration posts. “I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.” The National Council on the Arts’ main role is to advise the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts on agency policies and programs. It also reviews and makes recommendations to the Chairman on applications for grants, funding guidelines, and other similar initiatives. A contributor and bundler for Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, Rothman is the latest in a line of Hollywood supporters to get appointments from the President since his reelection.

Read more.

Stacey Allan and School of Art Dean Tom Lawson Profiled

'East of Borneo' Editors Bring Art to All

December 2013
LA Confidential


When Scottish artist, educator, and longtime REALLIFE Magazine publisher Thomas Lawson, 62, arrived in Los Angeles in the late ’80s, it was “a tiny art world” that greeted him. MOCA was “the game in town,” and prior to Santa Monica’s burgeoning Bergamot Station galleries, “a few little pod malls” garnered scarce traffic. “It was a very lowkey, quiet little art scene,” says the otherwise jovial dean of the School of Art at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), recalling the unassuming and decentralized community he described as “a city hiding in plain sight” in earlier essays. “Coming from the high-intensity and high-density of New York, you could almost think that there was no art world here.”

How does one then go about uncovering, connecting, and essentially “unforgetting” what is such a rich but elusive narrative? It starts with Lawson’s keen and forward-thinking notion that this is not a task for one; that, particularly in the Internet era, learning isn’t just the solitary act of reading a single voice, but rather engaging in a conversation and welcoming insight and perspective from many. And so, the art collector/connoisseur— whose work has graced The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Hammer Museum—enlisted the precocious and poised Stacey Allan, 35, a Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies graduate with a nonprofit background, who promptly traded New York for a city she’d never before been. For years, the pair helmed the academic Los Angeles and London-driven art journal Afterall, until October 2010, when, with continued support from publisher CalArts and the Andy Warhol Foundation, they founded a groundbreaking new online contemporary art publication and book imprint, East of Borneo. Alongside original essays and interviews, the site boasts a shared and growing archive, so that writers and readers alike can contribute texts, videos, images, and links to help fill in the pieces of Los Angeles’s storied art history—collectively.

Read more.

Late faculty member Allan Sekula memorialized among peers

In Memoriam: Remembering the Photographers We Lost in 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013
By Mia Tram

There are some who would argue that every picture a photographer makes is a self-portrait, whether they intend it to be or not. What did this photographer mean to show us of themselves with a particular picture? What did another one unknowingly reveal? These questions resonate most fully when recalling the photographers we’ve lost each year — some better known than others, but all worthy of remembrance.

For photographers, the camera is a tool of existential negotiation. Regardless of the genre in which they work, they use the camera to mediate what is before them with what lies within. The best pictures are not a statement of fact, but a fully formed and articulated opinion. “Every man’s work,” wrote the English novelist and critic Samuel Butler, “is always a portrait of himself, and the more he tries to conceal himself the more clearly will his character appear in spite of him.”

The photographers we lost this year pursued their craft with rigor and passion. Nearly all photographed until the very end, which for some came all too soon. They lived their lives with, and to varying degrees through, their cameras.

Read more

Tune in: Hear an excerpt from the Center for New Performances' Prometheus Bound on "Marketplace"

December 10, 2013

by Noel King

What's wrong with giving money away? Even generosity has critics

The term “philanthropist,” meaning “lover of humanity,” is said to have been coined by the Greek playwright Aeschylus, to refer to Prometheus*, the mythological Titan who gave fire to mankind. The gods, unfortunately, hadn’t approved his gift, so Prometheus was chained to a rock for eternity, eagles nibbling at his liver.

Modern-day philanthropists don’t have to tussle with vengeful gods, but they are not without critics. The bulk of the criticism has to do with where gifts of millions - or even billions - of dollars, are donated.

A simple way to ascertain where large gifts, at least those with the giver's name attached, are going, is to browse the Million Dollar List. For more than a decade, researchers at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy have been compiling a list of every publicly announced donation of one million dollars or more. The list is a fascinating archive of causes that wealthy donors value, and some patterns are instantly evident. Colleges and universities, many of them top-tier, appear on nearly every page of the list.

Read more and listen to the podcast here.

Celebrated faculty member Charlie Haden performs at REDCAT

December 9, 2013
LA Times

By Chris Barton

Five musical reasons to see Charlie Haden at REDCAT Tuesday

You can't talk about modern jazz without talking about Charlie Haden.

The bassist who forged a woodsy backbone for groundbreaking recordings with Ornette Coleman and later went on to found the jazz program at CalArts, Haden has been in poor health since the onset of post-polio syndrome in 2010 -- a disease that first struck him at 15 years old.

As a result, Haden hasn’t performed in public since 2011, but Tuesday night he conducts an ensemble of CalArts musicians through pieces from his invigorating Liberation Music Orchestra, a fiery venture into the politically charged side of the avant garde jazz the bassist formed in 1969. To whet your appetite, here’s a selection of recordings to remind us what we’ve been missing in Haden’s absence from the bandstand. Read More.

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