18th Street Arts Center is pleased to present the exhibition (Re)imagining Home: On Care for Our Common Home, curated by Emma Balda and Venus Tung-yan Lau, on view in the Kitchen Lab at 18th Street Arts Center’s Airport Campus (3026 Airport Ave. in Santa Monica) from August 22, 2022 – July 31, 2023.
What is home?
Over the last two years, our notions of home have been challenged, transformed, and clarified. The pandemic has simultaneously forced us to shrink our physical home, while also asking us to expand our sense of home to now include people, food, rituals, and ideas. We have also seen our relationship with and to the Earth change. We have seen that our sense of home must expand to include the Earth and the way we care for it.
As we attempt to create a shared home, the first step in that is defining what home means to us. This project asked the 18th Street community to examine the idea of home outside of the domestic sense. They were asked to identify people, memories, materials, places, movements, or concepts that resonate as home to them. These ideas, in combination with art that reflects on this concept, will then be displayed on the monitor in the Kitchen Lab at the Airport Campus. This project relied heavily on 18th Street’s theme “Our Shared Home,” while also deconstructing and defining what that sense of home means so that we can better understand what it means to share this space with one another.
This exhibition highlights the artworks of Alexandra Dillon, Christopher Tin, Dan Kwong, Dan S Wang, David McDonald, Deborah Lynn Irmas, Debra Disman, Edi Dai, Elham Sagharchi, Gwen Samuels, Jeff Beall, Julia Michelle Dawson, Lionel Popkin, Luciana Abait, M Susan Broussard, Melinda Smith Altshuler, Michael Masucci, Po-Hao Chi, Rebecca Youssef, and Yvette Gellis, all artists in residence at 18th Street Arts Center.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Alexandra Dillon is a Los Angeles-based surrealistic painter who creates art on found objects. Dillon employs European painting traditions, from Roman-Egyptian Mummy paintings to Baroque portraiture, to contemplate the crossroads of character, psychology, self-hood, and the feminine persona. Faces, or pieces of faces, painted onto old tools, such as axes, cleavers and locks create juxtapositions that illicit new readings of femaleness. With these characters, she hopes to display the inner realms of personal psychologies.
Dillon has exhibited in solo shows at the LAUNCH Gallery, Gryphon Lofts, Soapbox Gallery and Onyx Café in California since 1996. She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions at Oceanside Museum of Art, GR2 Art Gallery, FAB Gallery, Venice Art Walk, Robert Berman Gallery, Patricia Correia Gallery in California, Appleton Museum of Art in Florida and Duncan Fine Arts Atlanta in Georgia. Dillon received her BA in Motion Picture and Television from the University of California, Los Angeles (1984), and has studied at Studio Cecil Graves in Florence, Italy (1991) and also at New Orleans Academy of Fine Art (1994).
Los Angeles-based artist Melinda Smith Altshuler approaches her practice as a way of taking notes and communicating. She employs translucent materials such as stained tea bag papers and paint mediums, as well as appropriated objects, choreographed installations, and sculptural forms. The juxtaposition of materials and meaning echoes immigrant histories while calling into question our political and environmental climate.
Altshuler has had solo exhibitions internationally at Valerie Vorres Gallery in San Francisco; Bandini Gallery in Culver City, California; Palazzo Dei Consoli Gubbio in Italy; and has participated in the Jerusalem Biennale. Altshuler’s work can be found in museums and private collections. She attended Cal State University Northridge, UCLA, and Art Center, studying both art and anthropology; worked in advertising; and has taught studio arts at middle, high school, and university levels. She has served on the boards of arts organizations such as SITE, an artist-run non-profit organization; Jewish Artists Initiative (JAI); and is an associate at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry with founding director Lise Patt, PhD.
Elham is a Los Angeles based artist. Her work is intimate and at the same time explores greater feminine issues. She examines the interactions and conflicts between a woman and her surroundings. Her mixed media pieces make use of material from the domestic sphere such as cloth. She often juxtaposes these elements with material from work and industry such as rebar. These elements are then woven together through the traditional medium of oil on canvas. She makes great use of texture and surface.
Elham has been painting for more than 25 years. She studied painting at Tehran Azad university. Her work has been shown in several shows in Los Angeles and Tehran, including The Arena 1 Gallery, BG Gallery, Tag Gallery, Golestan Gallery, the British Embassy, Azad Gallery, etc. She worked as a graphic artist in various magazines and newspapers.
Gwen Samuels is an installation artist based in Los Angeles with a studio in Santa Monica. Inspired by close observations of nature, she has sculpted the reformatted shape of animals, insects and plants with delicate hand-stitching and free hanging strings. She also expresses her imagery in textile, cultures, travel and architecture often with repeated patterns and irregular shapes. These inspirations are interwoven throughout his installations, sometimes in the form of a dress shape with repetition of digital image of architectural parts, and sometimes in the form of an Asian building with selected fabrics and coloured strings. Beside nine solo exhibitions across California and New Jersey, Gwen has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions both locally and internationally. Her works were shown in Second Nature, Pitzhanger Manor at Walpole Park, London (2014), Network-C.A.R. contemporary art ruhr, in Zaha Museum in Seoul (2013) “C.A.R.” Contemporary Art Ruhr in Zollverein World Heritage Site, Essen, Germany (2013). She has been selected to be a two-year artist in Embassies placement at the American Embassy in Greece for 2017-2019. Her works and art inspirations have been covered by various media and publications including Artweek.LA, Textielplus Magazine, Artistry in Fiber – Volume 1: Wall Art and Artistry in Fiber – Volume 2: Sculpture in Schiffer Publishing’s series. Gwen is originally from New York and completed a BFA in textile design at Syracuse University.
Rebecca Youssef is a mixed media artist with a special focus on eco-art. Raised on the north shore of O’ahu, Hawaii, she currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Galvanized by the global movement towards sustainability, her work aims to give new life to discarded materials by immortalizing them in art. Using sustainable art practices, Rebecca’s work honors the natural world while simultaneously contemplating her role in its evolving state.A cultivator of native California oak trees, her family’s acorn project has seen over 20,000 acorns planted in the Santa Monica Mountains over the past eight years. Her love of trees and nature is reflected in her work as she strives to bring awareness to the importance of sustainable art.Rebecca received her BFA from the University of Arizona in Tucson before moving to Los Angeles to pursue her MA in Art Education at Loyola Marymount University. Following her graduation, Rebecca taught art at various schools across Los Angeles. She is currently an artist-in-residence at the 18th Street @ The Airport art complex in Santa Monica, California.
Born in New Orleans, M Susan Broussard has lived most of her life in California – San Francisco and Santa Monica. The artist completed a postgraduate studies program in painting at SF Art Academy, Today her home and studio are in Santa Monica, CA.
Edi Dai is an artist living and working in Los Angeles and the Bay Area in California. They received an M.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from the Yale School of Art in 2019 and a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine in 2010. They’re the recipient of the Martha Trevor Award from the American Institute of Graphic Arts as well as the Helen Watson Winternitz Award and the Post-Graduate Research Fellowship from the Yale School of Art. Group exhibitions of their work have been included at the Beall Art and Technology Center, Brainworks Gallery, 41 Cooper Gallery, Culver Center of the Arts, and New Release Gallery. In 2018, they were part of the inaugural Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative Fellowship at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Most recently, they received the Mearl K. Gable II Memorial Grant from the Handweavers Guild of America.
Luciana Abait was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is currently based in Los Angeles where she is a resident artist of 18 TH Street Arts Center in Santa Monica. Her multimedia works deal with climate change and environmental fragility, and their impacts on immigration in particular.
Lionel Popkin is a choreographer/performer/art-maker who creates kinetic scenarios, intertwining the cultural multiplicity between the imagery and iconography of the Indian subcontinent that surrounded his youth and his post-modern Western training. His mixed-race and malleable identity markers place him in a questionable position within the racial and social discourse created from the twin sins of genocide and slavery that formed the dominant power structures in America. His work questions how bodies, objects, and media are allowed to exist in time and space.
From Taipei, Taiwan, Po-Hao Chi creates interactive and generative systems that integrate sounds and everyday technologies. The artist’s practice stems from the fascination with boundaries and guidelines, usually implemented by associating relevance from observing the diversities. The artist’s recent projects include “3000 Years Among Microbes” and “Plastic Soup- Invisible Matters.”
Christopher Tin is a two-time Grammy-winning composer of concert and media music. Time Magazine calls his music ‘rousing’ and ‘anthemic’, while The Guardian calls it ‘joyful’ and ‘an intelligent meeting of melody and theme’. His music has been performed and premiered in many of the world’s most prestigious venues: Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Hollywood Bowl, the United Nations, and Carnegie Hall, where he had an entire concert devoted to his music. He has also been performed by ensembles diverse as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Metropole Orkest, and US Air Force Band.
Deborah Lynn Irmas’ work expresses a narrative through material choices. Each piece combines materials from varied sources. Sometimes blending digital imagery with yarn, grommets, twine, metallic paper, tape, and sometimes narrowing down the materials to a minimalistic vision, the often repetitive and layered compositions mimic her own upbringing and many of the materials she grew up with. The textile artist Annie Albers wrote in 1938…”we must come down to earth from the clouds where we live in vagueness, and experience the most real thing there is: material.” Being open to possibility and teasing relationships among materials allows her to take their original purpose and transform them into new opportunities.
Debra Disman is a Los Angeles-based artist working in forms evoked and inspired by the book, both as a solo practitioner and in the public sphere of community engagement. As a maker and teaching artist, she creates work and projects which push the boundaries and body of the book into new forms and materials, inviting altered ways of viewing the world and how we inhabit it.
David McDonald is an artist who works in both sculpture and painting. The visual qualities of his work vary, but they are connected through a belief in process and intuition as a way of developing work. He believes all things in the natural world are interdependent, and creates situations within his work where this is true. He is also a student of Zen Buddhism with 18 years of practice experience and is Abbot of the Dharma Zen Center in Los Angeles.
Dan Kwong is an award-winning solo performance artist, playwright, director, and visual artist who has toured his ground-breaking work internationally since 1989. Over his career, Kwong has played a key role in the development of the Asian-American solo performance community. He has worked on numerous collaborative performance projects in Southeast and East Asia, where he continues to teach and lecture. The significance of his body of work is acknowledged in A History of Asian American Theater (ed. by Esther Kim Lee). His first book, FROM INNER WORLDS TO OUTER SPACE: The Multimedia Performances of Dan Kwong, was published by the University of Michigan Press.
Michael Masucci is an artist, musician, curator and producer. Works for which he is a principle collaborator have screened in venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; the American Film Insitute, as well as on Bravo and the BBC. EZTV’s first employee, Masucci served as co-director since 1986 and as its director since 1993. An acknowledged pioneer in the digital video movement, his writings have appeared in books such as CyberArts-Exploring Art & Technology and Going Digital. He is the co-creator of CyberSpace Gallery, one of the world’s first art galleries dedicated to digital art.
Jeff Beall is an artist whose work has taken a variety of forms over the years. His work has been exhibited in an irregularly regular fashion since 1987. While formally varied, Beall’s conceptually driven work consistently uses techniques of veiling/revealing to heighten the experience of looking. The subject matter of his work in recent years has included a memorial to lives lost in the 1992 Los Angeles Uprising, watercolor flowers, and encryption technology. This Suspended Moment (These Are the Good Old Days) was exhibited in the Los Angeles edition of Warren Neidich’s Drive-By Art exhibition at 18th Street Arts Center in May 2020. The work commented upon the tenuousness of aesthetic experience in these uncertain, socially distanced times.
Julia Michelle Dawson is an artist based in California, whose practice includes painting and writing. She uses strong brush strokes and vivid colors. Painterly exuberance flows throughout her works to bring bold and vibrant energy to the viewer.
Exuberance for life is also found in her literary achievements. She is the author of GENEVA – A Novel of International Intrigue, which can be found in print, digital, and audio versions. For three years, Dawson wrote a weekly column for the Sports Section of the Santa Barbara News Press called the “The Polo Set.” NAIROBI – A Novel of International Intrigue is soon to be published. Julia studied fine art at The University of California, Los Angeles with Manny Cosentino and Suzanne Bothwell.
American artist Yvette Gellis lives and works in Los Angeles, California. After attending UCLA and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena CA, she received her M.F.A. in 2008 from Claremont Graduate University. Born and raised in the Chicago area, the vast open terrain in contrast to the urban sprawl set up structures for her painting that echo or reiterate the impermanent and mutable states depicted in her work. Or put another way, her painting is not simply static, an illusion or picture of an event, but allows for participation in the event itself. While ever conscious of historical precedents, she strives to expand upon the boundaries of painting.
Los Angeles-based artist Dan S. Wang makes drawings, sculptures, photographs, prints, and other kinds of art. Typography, histories of technology, the political aesthetics of ethno-liberation, the geographies of everyday life, the French Revolution, and Chinese Korean cuisine are the stuff of his obsessions.
His works have been shown in more than fifty exhibitions, in spaces ranging from museums to restrooms. He has often worked in artist-run and collaborative situations, both as a founding keyholder of Mess Hall, an experimental cultural space in Chicago, and as an exhibiting artist with solo shows at Woodland Pattern (Milwaukee) and Compound Yellow (Oak Park). Recent projects include commissioned work for Station Museum (Houston) and a 2020 exhibition of A Ragbox of Overstood Grammars, a retrospective of eighty-plus letterpress prints, at Fonderie Darling (Montreal).
His writings have been published internationally in book collections, museum catalogues, and in dozens of artists publications. He is currently co-editing Lastgaspism, a collection of essays, interviews, and portfolios about art and survival in the post-pandemic era, which will be published by Soberscove Press.
ABOUT THE CURATORS
Programs and Exhibitions Internship
Venus Lau is an independent writer, curator, and project facilitator from Hong Kong. As an advocate for arts appreciation and critique, Lau has written for the arts and cultural departments of multiple print newspapers and magazines, as well as the personal Instagram account: siutungcreates. With dialogues and text based materials being the core of inspirations, she is passionate to explore multi-disciplinary expressions. In 2021, she curated and performed at the multi-disciplinary performance Hong Kong Literature / Sound, staging inside a moving-image and installations arts exhibition. For the duration of her internship, Lau will also be in residence at 18th Street Arts Center. This internship and residency is supported by The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Getty Marrow Curatorial Programs Internship
Emma Balda is a recent graduate of Loyola Marymount University, graduating with a degree in Sociology and History with a concentration in Public History. She is passionate about telling historically marginalized narratives and making art and history more accessible, equitable, and collective. During her time at LMU, Emma was able to help curate three exhibits in conjunction with the university’s Special Collections and Archives, the most recent of which focused on the complicated history of the Jesuits and their legacy. She focuses her research and work on the ways that museums and other public spaces shape our perception of national identity and “desired” histories. Emma hopes to pursue museum curation and exhibition design, as they allow past dialogues to enter the present and create new discussions and collective change. This internship is supported by the Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship program.
This exhibition was inspired by a series of studio visits between the curators and participating artists. This project was truly artist-driven and would not be possible without them and their willingness to engage with the concept, as we learn what it means as a community to share space– physically, emotionally, and creatively. The curators would like to thank the artists and staff of 18th Street for this opportunity, guidance, and support.