Summer 2016 Resident: Lisa Diane Wedgeworth
Summer 2016 Resident: Lisa Diane Wedgeworth, a native Angeleno, earned both her MFA and BA degrees in Studio Art from California State University, Los Angeles. Her work has been shown in one-person and group exhibitions at the Nan Rae Gallery (Burbank), 18th Street Arts Complex (Santa Monica) and in Los Angeles at Autonomie Projects, Papillion Art, the Luckman Fine Art Gallery, L.A. Freewaves, and most recently in Hard Edged: Geometric Abstraction and Beyond at the California African American Museum.
She is a 2016 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant nominee. Wedgeworth is the founder of Project Space 2920, an artist-run exhibition space in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. PS 2920 is committed to exhibiting emerging artist and experimental works. Wedgeworth’s studio practice is rooted in storytelling. Her work is informed by both private and public, personal and collective memories. She makes paintings that become abstract metaphors for human experiences and employs video as meditations on memory, identity, and relationships.
Wedgeworth's proposed project, The Necessity of French Cafes, acknowledges and celebrates the lives and creative contributions of African-American expatriates in Paris who fled racism in the United States from 1900–1970s. She is interested in how the personal and historical narratives of African-American soldiers, poets, writers, and jazz musicians along with the romanticized myths of Paris have informed post-civil rights African-Americans to live as expatriates in Paris today. Wedgeworth interprets the French cafe as a metaphor for the luxury, leisure, privilege, and freedom unavailable to the 1900–1970 era African-American in their own country. She is curious and interested in how these early personal narratives confirm or contradict the realities of black Americans living in Paris. During her stay in Paris, Wedgeworth collected and transcribed narratives from African-American expats and created an archive of images that includes photographs of expats and project artifacts (expat belongings, found objects, food, along with items from her daily excursions and experiences) as well as drawings. Wedgeworth's residency culminated in an exhibition of new conceptual work at Galerie Couteron as part of her residency project, The Necessity of French Cafés.