Art Workshop Collaborative (AWC) and Las Cienegas Projects are pleased to present the first exhibition of collaborative works by AWC students.
AWC is a joint venture between California Institute of the Arts and California African American Museum, and offers students from across Los Angeles-area high schools the opportunity to engage with established artists. The collaborative promotes an understanding of the conceptual art process and the major role art can play in students’ own lives and communities. Artist and educator Charles Gaines, who conceptualized the project program, was eager to create a curriculum offering younger art students both the opportunity to learn something beyond technical art skills and the chance to work with established artists – a valuable opportunity he was also given as a teenager.
The students were given the opportunity to work in either one of two classes: The Visual Arts Course or the Video and Photography Course. Initially students met with Los Angeles-based artists Rodney McMillian and Ruben Ochoa to receive a set of rules and project framework to guide their efforts. In each of their respective classes, students were then challenged to conceptualize and collaboratively produce a work within this framework.
Artists Nikki Pressley and Kenyatta Hinkle instructed the Visual Arts Course, working with students Luis Ayuso, James King, Gary Lim, Avery Ingram, Barbara Hernandez, Elmast Kozloyan, Danny Sanchez and Jesus Santacruzto produce a series of works engaging notions of identity and voice. The series consists of 20 painted panels, a lightbox and performative element.
Artist and Director of the AWC, Yanira Cartagena, instructed the Video and Photography Course, working with students Andrea Alcaraz, Victor Gutierrez, Bryan Lo, Andrew Martinez, Marcus Owens, Nancy Quintanilla, Ashley Ann Underwood, Janelly Velasquez, and Taylor Young to produce a series of photographs, a maquette and a billboard that would erase one of L.A.’s oldest monuments, the Los Angeles River, thereby calling attention to the potential erasure of this city’s history, life source, and physical connections. The billboard was recently installed at Figueroa and 39th Street. Its documentation is included in the exhibition.