Year 2013 at a Glance

Thank you all for the support you showed me in 2013.  I am most grateful to all of you and pray that 2014 will be a year full of love, joy, peace and success for you. Below are some photos of 2013 career highlights.

January 6, 2013 was the closing reception-artist discussions for BAILA con Duende which I curated for the Watts Towers Arts Center, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. The show ran for four months and featured the works of 75 Black Artists in Los Angeles. It was reviewed extensively on Fox News Good Day LA, Artvoices Magazine and Tikkun Magazine. Pictured to the right is artist Toni Scott at the mic, discussing her work in the show.

January 14, 2013 – At the Hammer Museum UCLA, we had a BAILA (Black Artists in Los Angeles) roundtable with the Hammer Museum curators which I organized. Ninety (90) people, including some legendary artists like Samella Lewis (sitting next to me on my left) were in attendance to partake in a critical and educational discussion.

February 9, 2013 was the opening reception of The Love Show at Avenue 50 Studio in Los Angeles, in which my painting, Dragon Rendezvous, Courtship of My Great Grandparents Mis Lou and Chung Fatt, was exhibited. You can see some of the painting in this picture behind artist Mark Steven Greenfield (right). Artist Zeal Harris, who also had work in the show, is between us.

February 10-17, 2013 – Producer & director Stephanie and Steve James of Shakti Productions in Guadeloupe filmed me as the subject of an episode in their TV documentary series Women of the West Indian Diaspora, which has been airing for more than 12 years . My episode aired twice in December 2013 in the Caribbean. It is also an official selection in the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, screening in February 2014.

February 17, 2013 – I met Angela Davis at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, during the screening of the new documentary Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners.

March 18, 2013 – Thirty-one (31) people were in attendance for the Karen Atkinson GYST (Getting Your Sh*t Together) workshop which I arranged for BAILA – Black Artists in Los Angeles. As well as being the founder and director of GYST, Karen is also an artist and full-time professor at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

April 18, 2013 – Tikkun Magazine published the 5000-word academic essay by UCLA professor Paul Von Blum, entitled A Visual Critique of Racism: African American Art from Southern California on the BAILA con Duende show I curated for the Watts Towers, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. The essay also includes an in depth critical commentary on my Antebellum Appropriation paintings.

April 20, 2013 was the reception for the group art show, Salon Style Saturday, curated by Mat Gleason (red hair) at his Coagula Curatorial art gallery in Chinatown, Los Angeles. I had some paintings in this show.

April 22, 2013 – My article BAILA, Henry Taylor! was published in the Huffington Post. I interviewed Henry during his solo art exhibition at Blum & Poe in Culver City, CA.

April 25, 2013 – Almost through my first year in graduate art school at Otis! Pictured here with my cohorts Katie Loughmiller, Tracee Johnson, Daniel French, my department head-advising professor Suzanne Lacy, department manager-professor Consuelo Velasco Montoya, my independent studies professors Ulysses Jenkins and Willie Herron, guest artists Diane Gamboa and May Sun, and chair of Otis Liberal Arts & Sciences Dept., Debra Ballard.

April 27, 2013 was the opening reception of ArtVoices Magazine 5th Annual Group Art Exhibition in which my Caroline painting (in the background) was exhibited. Pictured here is ArtVoices Magazine editor-founder, Terrence Sanders.

May 1st, 2013 was my final crit for my first year in graduate art school at Otis. The feedback from the the professors (not pictured here) was so painful to bear that immediately after my presentation, I quietly hung my installation upside down in silent protest (see yellow table in the background) and left it up for the following class (this one pictured here).

May 10, 2013 – My independent study professor Willie Herron gave me great tips on creating depth and perspective through angular lines in my 4th Antebellum Appropriation painting which I began sketching that month. Willie is a well-known Chicano muralist and one of the four founding artists of ASCO, a legendary Chicano art-collective.

May 21, 2013 – The Huffington Post published my article Influential Magazine, Coagula Art Journal, Celebrates 21 Years, on Coagula founder and editor-art critic-gallery owner Mat Gleason, El Changó of the LA Art Scene!

May 22, 2013 – My AT&T TV commercial contract was renewed for another year, thank the Lord, and my scene was used in the making of an another AT&T commercial. To God be the glory! This Chinese Hairless pooch is my co-star in the commercials!

June 2, 2013 – I performed Donning and Dismissal of the Conqueror’s Coiffure: Oshun with my children at Avenue 50 Studio in Los Angeles for the closing reception of the Seven Beauties exhibit, curated by artist José Lozano, in which my work was included.

June 15, 2013 – At the California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles, I presented Orishas Through the Crossroads and the Gate, an installation and public engagement performance game and art workshop which I created.

June 2, 2013 – The art workshop portion at CAAM of my Orishas Through the Crossroads and the Gate presentation involved my teaching about the Orishas and instructing the participants on how to make their own Orisha mini foursquares.

June 22, 2013 was the opening reception of Glued to the Seat: Revealing Hidden Realities exhibition curated by Jesica Dawson (far right) at Otis’ Ben Maltz Gallery in Los Angeles. My Sale of Venus painting was part of the exhibit. These are the artists in the show.

July 29, 2013 – Fifty (50) people were in attendance at the roundtable between BAILA (Black Artists in Los Angeles) and Otis College of Art & Design which I organized. We had a critical discussion on the role of academia in the mainstream art world as it pertains to Black artists.

August 10, 2013 – With my brother-from-another-mother Roger Guenveur Smith and my fellow Cubano Rico Jones at the opening reception of Summer Group Show at the Red Pipe Gallery in Chinatown, Los Angeles, curated by Mat Gleason, in which a new paining of mine was exhibited.

August 10, 2013 – To the right is my new painting, Abuela’s Laundry, Oil on Canvas, 2013, in the Red Pip Gallery Summer Group Show.

September 7, 2013 – Forest Lawn Museum for the opening reception of LA Woman: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in which my Carlota Leading the People painting was exhibited. The show ran for four months through January 5, 2014. “An exhibition of 24 women artists who have made a significant and lasting impact on the art, history, and culture of Los Angeles.”

September 9, 2013 – Thirty six (36) people were in attendance at the BAILA (Black Artists in Los Angeles) roundtable with art critic-gallery owner Mat Gleason who is the founder and editor of Coagula Art Journal.

September 13, 2013 – At the opening reception of the Pussy Cat Challenge Juried Art exhibition at ArtShare LA, which featured the works of more than 50 artists. My artwork won 3rd place in the show. Pictured are two of the judges, Carol Jordan-Harris MD and Allé McGrew.

October 25, 2013 – Avant garde performance and video artist Ulysses Jenkins, picture here, was my independent study professor this semester at Otis. On this day, Ulysses took me on a field trip to the Fowler Museum UCLA where his friend, Mac Arthur Genius Amalia Mesa-Baines, had a solo art exhibit.

October 26, 2013 – at the Torrance Art Museum reception for the group show Mas Attack 2, I performed Donning and Dismissal of the Conqueror’s Coiffure: Oshun with my kids. My son, dowsing my hair, played the Orisha Elegua.

October 26, 2013 – My daughter performing with me in Donning and Dismissal of the Conqueror’s Coiffure: Oshun at the Torrance Art Museum reception for the group show .

November 21, 2013 – On the set of America Now nationally syndicated TV show, host Leeza Gibbons. I’m appearing in several segments in discussions on motherhood with Mommy Strategist Mia Redrick, which will air on Fox TV in 2014.