Saturday evening was the California Open Juried Exhibition opening reception at TAG Gallery in Los Angeles. The venue is located within a mile of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and contemporary galleries. TAG Gallery is a vast and generous space highlighting thoughtful curations. The night was packed with visitors, collectors, and artists. Support for the arts was on full display!
Juror Kim Abeles selected 108 artworks from over 1500 submissions for the exhibit. TAG Gallery statement: “Kim Abeles is an artist whose community-based projects explore biography, geography and environment. She has created projects with the California Science Center, air pollution control agencies, health clinics and mental health departments, and natural history museums in California, Colorado and Florida. Abeles received the 2013 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, and has received fellowships from J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts, California Community Foundation and Pollack-Krasner Foundation.”
My video art installation titled TRUTH was part of the exhibition. Description: “Alternative realities bypass the principles of American democracy. The word TRUTH is transformed representing that its definition can take many forms- from supporting facts based on evidence to speaking against hate. The Georgia font is the same used by The New York Times. Citizens must continue to support the freedom of the press over the rejection of logic.”
Highlights included Epiphany by Karena Massengill and KKKEEP AMERICA GREAT by L. Aviva Diamond. Each work contorted language to powerfully address universal truths within the human experience. According to Karena Massengill’s statement: “This work represents gestures of thoughtful expressions, lines frozen in steel. The lyrical lineage dances like calligraphy incongruously with the toughness of the cold material, creating a kind of dichotomy reminiscent of life’s many benchmarks and quandaries..”
The artworks of Tomb of The Unknown Soldier From Rearranging My Furniture by Farnaz Shadravan, My Paddle by Vivienne Varay, and Their Conversation 2 by Sung-Jae Lee reconstructed and questioned the formal qualities of positive and negative space in social spheres. Shadravan’s website states: “Few years ago a relationship that consumed ten years of my life ended. We sold our house and I ended up with all of our furniture. I did not realize at the time that the house and the furniture that seemed to be the backbone of our life together were actually the cross we were nailed to. After five years of keeping all the furniture in the basement of my new place I finally found the courage to unwrap them. Now I am taking the saw and the hammer to objects that held me captive for years. Now I am rearranging my furniture.”
The intriguing artworks of Saticoy (Shelter from the Wind) by Kellen King and Plastic Ocean by Tia Magallon elegantly respond to discarded histories and environmental responsibilities. Artist Kellen King: “Saticoy Blvd. runs through the San Fernando Valley. It gets its name from Chumash village named Sa’aqtik’oy, meaning shelter from the wind. Put underground and paved-over, its namesake tributary once fed native communities and orange groves alike. This piece examines its history and geography.”
Overall, the California Open Juried Show showcased meaningful artworks diverse in backgrounds, concepts, and mediums. The selections reflected the incredible practice of juror Kim Abeles while addressing social issues. Openness means supporting and securing creative opportunities. Bravo to TAG Gallery for the uncompromising vision!
California Open Juried Show. TAG Gallery. Los Angeles, CA. August 8-25, 2018.