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18th Street Arts Center is pleased to present the exhibition Imaginary Dwellings curated by Marvella Muro and Natalie Godinez, and featuring the work of Ameeta Nanji, Dewey Tafoya, Jackie Amézquita, Lorain Khalil Rihan, Luciana Abait, Marianne Sadowski, Mustafa Ali Clayton, Naguals Press, Nansi Guevara, and Sovanchan Sorn. The exhibition also highlights works from the Self Help Graphics and Art archives, featuring Alvaro Marquez, Irwin Sanchez, Jesus Barraza, Karen Fiorito, Raoul De La Sota, Sandow Birk, Sandra Fernandez, Votan Henriquez, and Zeke Peña. In addition, the 7 Print Project on Housing, produced by Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE), Self Help Graphics and Art, and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, is on view, highlighting the work of David John Attyah, Favianna Rodriguez, Garland Kirkpatrick/Helvetica Jones, Jerolyne Crute, Mark Young, Ricardo Mendoza, S.A. Bachman, and Weston Takeshi Teruya. This exhibition is on view in the Slipstream Galleries at 18th Street Arts Center’s Airport Campus (3026 Airport Ave. in Santa Monica) from July 25 – December 3, 2022. 

Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday 12-5pm. Masks are required at all times. Walk ins are welcome, or you can make an appointment here.  

Imaginary Dwellings includes works that address land rights, settler colonialism, forced displacement, and migration. The exhibition also demonstrates humanity’s adaptability, resistance, and perseverance through banners, posters, and ephemera created by community organizations and activists fighting for housing rights, which is a human right.

This exhibition addresses the systemic inequities that perpetuate housing insecurity for oppressed peoples. The concept of home is historically threatened by colonization, land rights, ethnic and racial displacement, and gentrification. Because of displacement, from country to country and even within the same city, many people search for a place to sow new roots. Moreover, communities with established roots are threatened and forcibly displaced due to racial or religious discrimination, land development, and gentrification, all of which keep the idea of home ephemeral for many.


Marvella Muro (she/her) is the Director of Artistic Programs and Education at Self Help Graphics and Art. Since joining in 2019, she has spearheaded the long-standing Professional Print Program, exhibitions and art initiatives, and SHG’s multifaceted art and education programs, including the Barrio Mobile Art Studio (BMAS). Marvella restructured its Artist in Residence program for LA-based multidisciplinary artists now called Beyond the Press. As the head of education, she launched a Youth Committee and the Creative Lab partnership with the neighboring high school. 

She was formerly the Community Engagement Manager at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), developing and executing art programs and art projects with community partners in collaboration with various artists in Compton, North Hollywood, and East Los Angeles. Before joining the Education team, she had different curatorial roles at LACMA. She has a B.A. in Art History from Cal State University, Fullerton, and an M.A. in Arts Management from Goucher College in Maryland. 

Natalie Godinez (she/her) is a mother, educator, artist, and community advocate raised in Tijuana, México. Natalie currently works doing advocacy, education, and cultural organization at Self Help Graphics and Art. Her artwork focuses on collaboration, textile work, and printmaking with themes of memory and its relationship to objects, place, and language. Her experience as an educator ranges from working with elementary-aged youth in public schools in Oakland, CA to working as a Teaching Artist for various organizations; including The New Children’s Museum (San Diego), First Five California (Bay Area), the Hammer Museum (LA), and the Mingei Museum (San Diego).

Previous to her current position, Godinez was the Community Outreach Manager for AMBOS Project (Art Made Between Opposite Sides), where she built relationships with artists, activists, and organizations focused on the US-México border. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Design from San Diego State University.

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