Hungry Ears: A Panel with Naomi Okuyama, April Banks, Sara Daleiden, and Elana Mann
April 8, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pmFree
Hungry Ears is a virtual panel that will examine ongoing art and equity issues in Santa Monica, a city rocked by recent protests. This conversation will consider a number of local projects including the Belmar History + Art public art project by April Banks, Lives that Bind, an exhibition at Santa Monica City Hall and the Art of Recovery initiatives, one of which will be taking place at 18th Street Art Center. This conversation considers how artists and arts administrators can be key community organizers in movements for social change.
This panel is part of Elana Mann‘s solo exhibition at 18th Street Arts Center’s Airport Gallery titled Year of Wonders, redux, on view from March 29 – July 2, 2021. This is an exhibition of sculptural folk instruments, video, and works on paper, all part of an ongoing series of sono-sculptures since 2014. As is common in Mann’s practice, and in the history of folk music, these works reflect the time period in which they are made. Year of Wonders, redux was born out of the nation’s unfolding political changes, passionate social movements, and the global coronavirus pandemic. They acknowledge the manifold obstacles to our ever-present desire as human beings to be together.
The sculpture works in the exhibition were first created and exhibited in the fall of 2020 at Artpace, San Antonio, TX. These pieces are intended for use in protest spaces, and although each instrument functions differently, they all prioritize a range of sounds and body types to amplify the human voice.
[image caption: Elana Mann, Our work is never done (unfinished business) (detail), 2020. Fiberglass, resin, enamel, and paint. Photo by Beth Devillier. Originally commissioned and produced by Artpace San Antonio. Courtesy of the artist.]
ABOUT THE PANELISTS
Naomi Okuyama is City of Santa Monica’s Public Art Cultural Affairs Supervisor.
April Banks is a Los Angeles based artist, educated as an architect. Her conceptual art sits between photography, installation, and collaborative experiments. Recent projects time travel through archives and memories, questioning what we think we know of the past and how it informs our cultural positioning systems. Her social practice co-creates with communities and seeks to amplify lesser known stories. In pursuit of joy, yet often incensed, her work usually begins with a question. Banks’ art has been shown in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Daytona Beach, New Hampshire, Maryland, New York, Switzerland, Colombia, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Senegal and Ethiopia. Her first permanent public art piece that commemorates an erased African American history in Santa Monica, CA will be installed in February 2021.
Sara Daleiden facilitates civic engagement within developing landscapes, exercising arts and cultural exchange strategies. With bases in Los Angeles and Milwaukee through her initiative MKE<->LAX, she encourages local cultures to value neighborhoods, public space, civic art, entrepreneurship and racial and gender equity. Sara has an expertise in working with artists and other cultural entrepreneurs for civic engagement, creative placemaking, network development and small business development.
Elana Mann explores practices of listening and amplifies voices that are yet unheard, with the goal of building equanimity in ourselves and increasing equity in our world. She creates artwork that brings a greater consciousness to the listening and speaking we practice in everyday life. Mann received her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis, and her MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA. Mann has had recent solo exhibitions at Lawndale Art Center, Artpace San Antonio, Pitzer College Art Galleries, Commonwealth & Council, and Otis College of Art and Design. Selected group exhibitions and screenings include The Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, The Hirshhorn Museum, the Orange County Museum of Art, and REDCAT. She has been commissioned to create socially engaged artworks by Montalvo Arts Center, the Getty Villa, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.