September - October 2018
Gallery 6/67 is pleased to present CELEBRATE, a solo exhibition by LA-based artist Lorenzo Baker.
February is an alternative perspective on the constructions of black history month and promotes the notion that historical consciousness may be attained or experienced through atypical and unconventional modes of representation, or that it is best encountered and taken in outside of the typical confines of normality.
As a response to the notion that black history can only be discussed, celebrated, and analyzed within a 28-day period, February proposes the question, “What Happens if The Month of February Never Ends?” In his writings on history, Walter Benjamin reverses the commonly held belief that history is and remains located in the past, asserting rather that the vanishing point of history is always the present moment. Pushing back against the status quotes reliance on a fixed account of history, this exhibition offers its viewers an opportunity to celebrate blackness outside of its predetermined duration.
Lorenzo Baker’s February project started on February 1st, 2017 and is centered around a daily practice of creating and distributing reinterpretations of historical and contemporary images. These depictions showcase the nuanced and multiplicated definition of the black diasporic experience. The artworks are created by combining and collapsing an array of appropriated images from the everyday, lesser known historical incidents, pop culture iconography, and depictions of outer space.
As a body of work, February, consist of over 365 artworks, all made between February 2017 and the present. The artwork can be viewed on Instagram @bylorenzobaker & bylorenzobaker.com
SELECTED WORKS BY SERGIO DE LA TORRE
June - August 2018
Gallery 6/67 is pleased to present four works by artist Sergio De La Torre; I am an immigrant (2018), City (2011), NOVACANCIES (2010), DRIVERS (2009), Ciudad Santuario (2009). This exhibition is in conjunction with programming throughout Down Town Santa Ana and organized by Maurizzio Hector Pineda.
I Am An Immigrant is a series of 20 prints dealing with the ongoing and never-ending debate on immigration.
No Vacancies is a 60 feet long accordion-style book that portrays the general locations of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that have occurred in the Bay Area.
Drivers is a series of five photographs of limousine service drivers at different international airports.
Ciudad Santuario is a short animation that traces 2008-2009 Police checkpoints in the Mission District in San Francisco.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sergio De La Torre grew up in the border cities of Tijuana/San Diego and works as an educator, filmmaker, photographer, and activist. His practice explores immigration, labor, and transnational identities. He currently lives and works in the Bay Area Mission District and is an Associate Professor and Program Director of Fine Arts at the University of San Francisco. He has been honored with grants from the NEA, The Rockefeller Foundation, Creative Capital, the Potrero Nuevo Fund, and the Creative Work Fund. His work has been exhibited at major institutions, both nationally and internationally.
MCLA GALLERY 51 ANNOUNCES ‘GERALD SHEFFIELD: “pride”’ WILL OPEN MAY 24
May 14, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) Gallery 51 is pleased to announce that its next exhibition, “Gerald Sheffield: ‘pride,’” will open on Thursday, May 24. A collection of collages, drawings, and prints inspired by the artist’s service in the United States Army and deployment to Baghdad, Iraq, Sheffield’s work explores, provides commentary on, and questions multiple perspectives on race, power, culture, and human conflict in relationship to war.
The public is invited to attend a free opening reception and artist talk in MCLA Gallery 51 on Thursday, May 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. Sheffield’s talk will begin at 5 p.m.
According to Sheffield, “The politics of recognition stands at the intersection of race and empire. It requires the subordinate to acknowledge, learn, and demonstrate their assimilation to the standards of the more powerful, in order to gain certain ‘privileges’ and ‘inalienable rights’granted to those in charge. I draw propositional interventions between ancient and contemporary history as a tool to provoke skepticism of the hierarchal forms, shapes, and language embedded in western hegemony.
Sheffield explained that his artworks include official Army documents to represent the institutional language used to move human bodies in support of military operations: the prologue to training for war.
“Other mediums of language take the form of drawing and construction sourced from used and discarded materials in order to occupy visual and physical space to represent tensions between empirical influence and interpretation,” Sheffield added.
“At a time in our history when war images are omnipresent in our culture, many artists are using their work and artistic voice to bring new perspectives and attention to all aspects and issues of war,” said Arthur De Bow, curator of MCLA Gallery 51. “Sheffield’s work not only brings a new strong important voice to the discussion but is captivating, imposing and well crafted at the same time. With a masterful use of imagery and color Gerald leads the viewer through his first hand experiences with war.”
Sheffield’s work is shown courtesy of and in collaboration with Gallery 6/67 Santa Ana, Ca. and Erica Wall, the founder and co-director of Gallery 6/67 and 36 Chase and Barns Artist Residency.
“Gerald Sheffield: ‘pride,’” will be on exhibition in MCLA Gallery 51 through June 22. MCLA Gallery 51 is a program of MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center. The gallery is open Monday- Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 413-662-5320 or go to www.mcla.edu/gallery51.
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.
For more information, go to www.mcla.edu .
PTSD: PEOPLE’S TRAUMA SHOWINGS DAILY
February - June 2018
The work of Shasha Dothan, a second year MFA student at UCLA and Gerald Sheffield, recent 2017 graduate of the Yale MFA program, represent more than just an artistic interpretation of recurring military conflicts in the Middle East. They address their trauma, while in a state of confusion over what citizenship means in spite of military service to “their country.” Their heritage and their identities evoke varied responses to conventional representations of patriotism and home. The information Sheffield and Dothan provide in contrast to what information is public further clouds and deters “other people” from discussing their trauma and its origin.
The artists share great similarities, but also diverge profoundly due to context of place, race and ultimately self. To a certain extent, Shasha has the option of blending in or disclosing. Conversely, Gerald’s African-American heritage is unavoidably obvious to society. Regardless of their exteriors, both camouflage their deeper identities. Each day it is as though they apply camouflage face paint to infiltrate the “normal” world. They seek to reconcile how they behave in this new space as a citizen, while their identity, recalls a traumatic history and a tainted heritage that cannot be erased.
Sheffield and Dothan’s work posit the idea that all of us live with a trauma that is often not discussed or addressed. These works are symbolic of a PTSD experienced not only by veterans of war, as in the case of these two artists, or even terrorist attack survivors or victims of violent crimes. These works are intended to prompt viewers to reflect, question and discuss how we each live with a form of PTSD (People’s Trauma Showings Daily) imposed by the many layers of our own his/her-story.
Dothan moved to the United States less than two years ago. Born and raised in Israel, she was obligated to serve two years in the military. “Her story” recently compelled her to re-visit Germany to explore and confront a context which still contains relics of the Nazi regime that plagues her past. Residing now in Connecticut, Sheffield enlisted in the US Army directly out of high school. “His story” is one of a Black man living in an America which still does not provide the genuine equality sought by his ancestors. Their works reflect an exploration of process, in real-time, and a search for ways to reconcile with the past that takes place for these artists on a daily basis. There is a distinct contradiction of reconciling with an ambiguity that creates a constant discomfort, uncertainty and lawlessness in the context of citizenship, membership and ownership of identity.
Gerald Sheffield and Shasha Dothan have created works that seek to evoke candid discussion about what they continually struggle to reconcile; their history. This “his/her-story” refers to each one’s heritage; encompassing the history of those from whom they descended and their own individual history, made up of their actions and re-actions to the conditions of their lives and the many contexts in which they live. Though difficult and even traumatic for each to both convey and represent, they portray intimate and unique experiences of patriotism, sacrifice and military service.
NO WALK IN THE PARK
This exhibition explores the various manifestations of the female image in art and media and how these have shaped and influenced how women are perceived and navigate the social landscape. These artists provide a small but effective representation of the diverse ways the "female" is presented as well as motivations behind the portrayal of the female image. Consequently, with such a proliferation of female images reflecting numerous and accepted archetypes, with varied connotations, women are challenged and perhaps even invited or forced to choose an identity within the contexts of these created images.
The work of video artist, Shasha Dothan reflects the discomfort that comes with being a female, wanting to assert herself as strong and feminine yet often faced with the conundrum of doing so in a context that can force females to behave "like males." In this case, it's a Bachelorette party. An assumed enjoyable experience?
Kim West looks at the many images of the female and the ways in which a person and her body are held to standards of perfection to achieve the label of "beautiful" or "desirable." To what extent has the media played a role in creating and promoting these ideals? Looking at magazine illustrations, photo-shopped and air brushed images of women, West illuminates the process of achieving these ideal images and shows the hand of the "artist" as the conveyor and creator of these images. What seems perfect and even accurate in detail and/or realism, still reflects some flaws and distortion in features and proportions. West's work facilitates a questioning of what female images convey and influence as well as what these images manifest into with regard to thought, consumerism and behavior. Sheila Pree Bright's work is an example of this exploration when the images, ideals and products of beauty distort self-conception and affect self-worth.
Works by artist, Eddy Lee blur the lines between illustration, design and fine art. His works suggest an ambiguity in race, ethnicity and context in the prolific number of female images he generates. There is an adoration for his subjects that further draws the viewer in and generates a deeper appreciation for the process which Lee demonstrates in each of his works. His painterly strokes and process create aesthetically pleasing images that do not judge or distort the female. Lee creates imaginary ideals that pay homage. All these works are a diverse representation of the female image and what it evokes in women, conveys about women, promotes to and manifests into for women. As a result, for women today one could say, it's NO WALK IN THE PARK!