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Love in a Cemetery

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 23- March 26, 2010

Opening Reception: January 23, 2009 7:00-10:00 pm

18th Street Art Center opens its 2010 Gallery Season with: Love in a Cemetery

Santa Monica, Ca- On Saturday, January 23, 18th Street Arts Center kicks-off its 2010 season with Love in a Cemetery. Robert Sain, LACMAlab founding director, and LA based visual artist Andrea Bowers, were commissioned to organize this unique visual arts laboratory with young artists from the Otis MFA Public Practice program, involving projects reaching out into the greater Los Angeles community.

This expansive collaboration between artist, curator, graduate students, and community organizations will transform 18th Street’s gallery into a participatory ‘laboratory’ that sponsors community dialogues, public presentations and interventions, exhibits of artworks and project data to explore the social and political dimension of art organizations. Guest artist, Olga Koumoundouros, will create a special sculptural installation. By transforming its exhibition space into a laboratory and classroom, 18th Street Arts Center’s main gallery becomes a space for civic engagement, experimentation, presentation and discourse.

Referencing Allan Kaprow’s quote: “Life in the museum is like making love in a cemetery,” Robert Sain investigates the opportunity and obligation for arts organizations to be socially responsible and responsive in an age of diminished resources and uncertainty. To do this, he is provoking a community-wide dialogue about the role, function, and fundamental purpose of LA’s arts organizations. He has invited over 100 artists and arts leaders to answer four basic questions; 1) Do cultural organizations have responsibilities to address social issues such as class, ethnicity, gender, and politics? 2) Can a cultural organization impact the life of the community in a meaningful way? 3) What are the roles for artists within cultural organizations? 4) What should cultural institutions look like today and in the future? These four questions will be answered and explored during the three-month period as Sain’s and Bowers project evolve.

As an integral part of the project, Bowers is working with Pauline Kanako Kamiyama and the Otis program to organize numerous discussions between cultural and community organizations. This collaborative team is testing Sain’s premise with projects and interactions involving the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic, Surfrider Foundation, the Pico Youth and Family Center, My Friend’s Place, (a center for homeless youth), Homies Unidos, Berda Paradise Thrift Store, and Norco Rehabilitation/Medium Security Correctional Facility.

Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 11am-6pm. 18th Street Arts Center is located at 1639 18th Street, Santa Monica. For further information and images please visit our website at www.18thstreet.org

About 18th Street Arts Center

18th Street annually sets a theme for its gallery program, which acts as a unifying principle for the curators and artists working with the center. The theme for 2010 is Status Report: The Creative Economy. 18th Street Artistic Director Clayton Campbell says, “The economy was selected as a theme prior to the worldwide banking contraction, and therefore becomes even more relevant as artists proactively develop new strategies to address a host of issues. In the past decade theorists such as Richard Florida have championed the rise of a creative class. Persons such as Florida have had a major impact on some sectors of the arts and culture field. In his view, a creative economy is characterized by the key economic factors of talent, innovation and creativity. As the notion of a creative class is widely discussed, promoted and debated, it is apparent that recent research demonstrates these factors are not distributed evenly across the economy, but instead seem concentrated in specific locations characterized by environment, class and ethnicity. Our artist fellows will be examining this dislocation of resources and entitlement by responding to a market system that privileges some while discarding others.

The artists selected have been commissioned to make new works as part of the 18th Street Gallery’s focus on process and public interaction. For more information on Status Report: the Creative Economy” and the artists involved, go to: www.18thstreet.org

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, Public Allies and the Getty Foundation.

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