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Dorit Cypis and Elena Siff Press Release

Exhibition Openings for Dorit Cypis’ FabLab (looking for patterns) and Elena Siff’s Making Change at 18th Street Arts Center, Saturday, October 23, 6pm-10pm

Santa Monica, CA—18th Street’s 2010 Visual Art Fellowship Winners, Dorit Cypis and Elena Siff, debut their projects FabLab (looking for patterns) and Making Change in the 18th Street Gallery and Project Room, beginning October 23, 2010 and running through December 17, 2010. Cypis and Siff’s projects mark the concluding exhibitions for 18th Street’s Status Report: The Creative Economy project. Their exhibitions and projects will activate the 18th Street galleries in new and innovative ways and create laboratories for experimentation, synergy and extreme public engagement.

FabLab (looking for patterns): towards an economy of inner and inter action

Artist Dorit Cypis’ FabLab (looking for patterns), is a living laboratory centered around Cypis’ research and reflection on her past 30 year artistic practice of exploring the psycho, physical, social and political implications of identity and social relations. As Cypis converts the 18th Street Gallery into her personal research lab, the room will become a visual platform of text, image, props and media evidencing overlapping patterns in Cypis’ seminal investigation on engagement across personal and cultural differences. During December, Cypis will host several interactive workshops of invited creative professionals from local communities in education, mediation, social activism and somatic arts to engage with and adapt the patterns into tools for their own personal and social engagement needs. Additionally, Cypis will present a performative event on December 18th that is as whimsical as it may be practical, inviting the public to witness the artist as she inner/inter reflects and scrutinizes her own work.

Elena Siff’s Making Change project addresses how the Internet plays a major role in this new artistic economy by setting up a virtual marketplace and a physical store in the 18th Street project room. Siff’s project began months ago when a public announcement was made to local artists in Los Angeles who create political and environmental works of art. Like a conductor looking for the perfect blend of instruments for her orchestra, Siff chose diverse artists whose works would bring diversity to her new distribution system and address political and environmental injustices. Artists who responded to the call-out answered the following questions before being selected: How is the idea of activism apparent in you art? Do you think political and environmental issues can be effectively addressed in art? Which artists do you admire who have an activist agenda? What issues are important to you? Siff is calling the group of artists chosen for her project the Making Change Artists team. Their novel artworks, varying from crafts and clothing, to paintings, prints, and sculptures, are Siff’s major capital for operating her Making Change online Etsy store and her store in the Project Room. The store will be open Wednesday through Saturday beginning October 2nd from 1pm-6pm.

About 18th Street’s 2010 Artistic Theme

Dorit Cypis and Elena Siff are the final two of the eight Artist Fellowship Winners for 18th Street’s 2010 theme, Status Report: the Creative Economy. The Artist Fellowship Winners were chosen to create projects that explore and promote ideas through works in progress. The artists’ projects are structured to stress processes that stimulate a maximum amount of public engagement and shared critical inquiry that are manifested in the 18th Street galleries. According to 18th Street’s Artistic Director, Clayton Campbell, “ Our artist fellows are examining this dislocation of resources and entitlement, and responding to a market system that privileges some while discarding many others. The residencies are designed to be a platform for ideas and exchange. Los Angeles is often described as having a dynamic creative economy. Yet after a turbulent economic year in which markets for consumption of art have radically changed, the artists are asking key questions such as; where do we stand? Are we on the way up, on the way down, or stuck in neutral? Who are the players and mediators in a creative economy, and how is it changing? Who is included and who is excluded?  How are artists responding to seismic changes in the arts and culture market, and what are the new models they are developing to support the production of their work, and the dissemination of their ideas? How should our cultural institutions, both non-profit and for profit, be responsive to the overall health of the Los Angeles creative economy?”

For more information on Status Report: Creative Economy and the artists involved, visit: www.18thstreet.org

Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 11am-5pm. 18th Street Arts Center is located at 1639 18th Street, Santa Monica.

18th Street Arts Center programs are generously funded by the City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Arts Commission, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, California Community Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Irvine Foundation, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and the Getty Foundation.

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