ART WORKS CONTINUUM serves homeless, formerly homeless, and other marginalized persons with a master of fine arts model (1) Studio Program and an equally important (2) Archiving Function.
While the roots of the project go back to its design and initiation of a University of California Extension art class taught in a women's maximum security prison, in the mid 1970s and also include work done in East Hollywood, Los Angeles, and today's central location in San Pedro, Los Angeles, CA., nevertheless, it's identity and history were most highly shaped by its 10 years (1998-2008) in the tenderloin of Skid Row, Los Angeles, the highest concentration of homeless in America. The program's central location today is in San Pedro, California, and yet most of its artist-members still originate from their Skid Row involvement.
Studio Program: This provides art supplies, full instruction, or specific tutoring, or support of fully independent work to its artist-members, according to their individual goals. It supports both contemporary non-orthodox, and multiple orthodox traditions, in thematic and stylistic studies, dynamics and output, and furthermore offers strong foundational to advanced teaching and support in drawing and oil painting. Its largest output over the years has been oil painting. It stresses non-toxic and green practices in oil painting. No petroleum based solvents, nor turpentine, are used in the studio, itself.
The founder, Rory White, has created numerous art projects over the years, including founding and running the afore-referenced first decade the original Lamp Art Project in Skid Row 1998-2008, Art Works Project in E. Hollywood, 2011-2014, and again has its origins in projects he designed and ran in the mid 1970's through the Santa Cruz Women's Prison Project teaching high level and University of California accredited classes in the maximum security unit of California Institution for Women, founded by Dr. Karlene Faith Ph.D.
Some project members have continued for over 17 years and continuing to this date from their involvement in Skid Row. It is notable that our current hub is San Pedro, CA, the extreme southernmost tip of the City of Los Angeles, with San Pedro having similar dynamics to Downtown Los Angeles: Beautiful Cities and yet with both the poverty of the street people and yet the parallel extreme cultural richness and diversity of the inner city domain. It likewise faces the oncoming effects of gentrification.
The project focuses on quality, and a high one to one mentoring relationship, not quantity of members, and yet uses oil painting, photograph, printmaking, and then WEBSITE AND FILMS to broadcast its efficacy and replicable nature nationally and internationally. The projects have, in fact, become nationally replicated models.
The work has been featured in the many award winning documentary "Humble Beauty: Skid Row Artists", the in post-production "Ashes & Roses", and is currently the focus of the recently completed "Passing Through".
"Passing Through" is a sophisticated and seriously funded hour long documentary film, directed by Leslie Dektor who is now set to begin filming on the 7 years in the making theatrical motion picture, "Lange", on the depression era great photographer Dorothea Lange. The "Lange" film is done in conjunction with David Fincher as Executive Producer, and "Passing Through" is exclusively directed and produced by Dektor Film Group.
A major exhibition is being planned, and fundraiser, in conjunction with a premier of "Passing Through". It is important that Art Works Continuum has Fiscal Sponsorship in advance of this event.
The parallel between the huge body of photographic work done on Skid Row over the last 19 years by Rory White, project founder, and the work of Dorothea Lange, is what led to Rory White and the project artist-member becoming the focus of "Passing Through".
This "subject-of-films" dynamic exemplifies how the purposely small one-on-one qualitative project which has a core group of artist-members of 6 to 12, and serving an additional 12 to 50 visiting artists per year, can nevertheless have national impact though web, film, and printmaking.
The project has never had its own 501c3 status but instead has worked with and under the umbrella of other large nonprofits like Lamp Community in Skid Row. However, this has caused us to have to change our name over the years according to each nonprofit and hence the desire to seek Fiscal Sponsorship from Fractured Atlas so that we can continue our work as ART WORKS CONTINUUM.
Also this exemplifies the major parallel dynamic of the project to raise funds for the printing and publication of the 100,000 image archive Rory White has made photographically of the streets and amazing people of the intense Skid Row and related areas.
In parallel, yet again, to this is to further perfect and stabilize an archiving function for the work produced by all the artist-participants of the project. The works, already produced, including those in the possession of the project itself, and then those in the collections of the individual artists, as well as collectors, represents hundreds of significant oil paintings and other works of art. It contains one of the most important visual depictions of the streets and people of Los Angeles' Skid Row, in existence, and represents, without argument, a critically valuable part of the history of the country in relation to the ironic, but powerful, intersections of the spheres of homelessness and alienation, and that of creative genius, and the radical perseverance in the most fiery crucibles of society, of the human's need and manifestation of their humanity and high levels of creativity in Community.