Common Thread

I’ve been busy working on some projects. My newest is an installation with large modules. This structure is made out of wires, shredded oil and acrylic paintings on canvas and paper, manipulated fabric, yarn that I twisted and dyed, rope and felt fabric. These materials connect myself and the immigrant communities in Los Angeles.

Module 1 of 4

Module 1 of 4

 

The notion of specificity and intent has been on my mind a lot lately, which I hope to translate into my art. I’m interested in using materials for this specific project that have meaning to me. This is why I use elements that have personal history, discarded or hand me downs, fabric that I purchased from my neighborhood Thrift Shop in Glassell Park and the fabric district in Downtown Los Angeles called Santee Alley, both places are frequented by myself as well as many lower and middle income immigrant families.  The idea is to weave these materials into structures and sculptures. They are fragments of my life as an immigrant and as an American, living and working in Los Angeles.       

Diane Williams
Los Angeles Artist Collectives you should Check out!

My latest contribution on Art and Cake, an online contemporary art magazine based in Los Angeles, CA. 

Los Angeles Artist Collectives You Should Check Out

Los Angeles Artist Collectives You Should Check Out By Diane Williams Breaking through the art world has never been more challenging. Folding or merging art galleries and limited government funded art programs are making the competition extremely high along with the saturation of artists producing and showing artwork.

Diane Williams: My America | Lancaster Museum of Art and History - MOAH

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

5pm-9pm

Lancaster Museum of Art and History – MOAH

665 W Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster, CA 93534

Join the Lancaster Museum of Art and History and multidisciplinary artist Diane Williams at Celebrate America on The BLVD for the next installment of her site specific project, My America.

My America is William's recent body of work about finding common ground with the community at large. She will be engaging visitors to celebrate America on the intersection of Lancaster Blvd and Cedar Avenue.

Diane Williams is a multidisciplinary artist whose work stems from the political and social landscape that surrounds her. She uses art as a call to arms, creating works that explore issues about immigrants and gender to encourage cultural and social understanding.

Williams will be engaging the public with the 2nd installment of her participatory piece,  “My America”. She will ask viewers to write the first name of an immigrant they know and their relationship to that person on a piece of paper and then post it on a wall. Collectively illustrating the idea of an extended community.

https://www.facebook.com/events/142606743003726

For more information, visit Diane William's website at www.dianewilliamsartist.com/my-america

 

1st installment of My America at Shoebox Projects, an experimental project space in Los Angeles, Ca. Photo credit: Kristine Schomaker

1st installment of My America at Shoebox Projects, an experimental project space in Los Angeles, Ca. Photo credit: Kristine Schomaker

Today in the Studio

I have been getting up early every morning to work in the studio to beat the heat. So far I have managed to do some sketches on possible ideas, art projects and started on a new piece that is in a very awkward stage. Lately, my enthusiasm to want to create and look forward to being in the studio has been dwindling. Being in my tiny backyard studio has been quite a release and satisfying in the past but has been grueling and with much resistance on my part these days. Perhaps it's the summer heat + the climate change factor, the constant barrage of negative political rhetoric on social media and other news outlets, the current upheaval and discontent in my own community, the art proposal rejections one after another or maybe it’s the subject of my work that is weighing down on me. Nevertheless, I know this sentiment will pass and I will continue to persevere. I fervently believe in my own work as it offers something important and rewarding to me.

As a constant reminder from my past professor in art school –

Be bold!

No excuses!

 

Very early work in progress. Needs a lot of progress at this point!  

Very early work in progress. Needs a lot of progress at this point!  

My tiny backyard studio

My tiny backyard studio

Diane Williams
Closing Reception of "My America"

The residency at Shoebox Projects ended with a fun closing reception. I'm grateful to everyone who braved the unusually extreme hot weather that day to see the closing of my month long residency. The project was experimental and site specific. The installation, Common Thread was an ephemeral piece that took hours to put up and more hours to take down. The immigrant wall where viewers were asked to write down a name of an immigrant and their relation to the person was an enlightening project. Many conversations were sparked by all the pieces specially the #alien piece which illustrates the numbers of hate groups in America from the hate fighting and tenacious organization, Southen Poverty Law Center - SPLC. I'm thankful for this experience and grateful for the support of Shoebox Projects and Kristine Schomaker. 

 

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Diane Williams
Last week at Shoebox Projects

My experimental project ends this weekend. Closing reception is this Saturday, July 8th from 3-6pm. Shoebox Projects is at the Brewery artist lofts in Lincoln Heights. 660 S Ave 21 #3 Los Angeles, CA

 

The wall is filling up with names

The wall is filling up with names

Common Thread Installation is almost complete

Common Thread Installation is almost complete

Mujer Inmigrante  

Diane Williams
Working at Shoebox Projects Residency

Thanks to everyone who have participated in the "My America" wall and the visits are of course, always appreciated and much welcomed. The residency closes July 9th with a closing reception on July 8th from 3-6pm! Here is the work in progress in pictures. Stay tuned for more. 

 

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Diane Williams
Mid Residency at Shoebox Projects

Im making a lot of progress with my work at Shoebox Projects. I'm loving the experimental aspect of the residency and enjoying the conversations that stem from the work. Shoebox Projects is an experimental space by Kristine Schomaker, director of Shoebox PR and Art and Cake. The space gives artists the opportunity to work on new and site specific projects. 

Common Threads installation work in progress

Common Threads installation work in progress

Common Threads installation work in progress

Common Threads installation work in progress

Common Threads installation work in progress 

Common Threads installation work in progress 

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Common Thread--installation work in progress, Mujer Inmigrante video 

Common Thread--installation work in progress, Mujer Inmigrante video 

My America--interactive installation   

My America--interactive installation   

Alien installation  

Alien installation  

One of the many conversations from artists and friends who visit. Photo by Kristine Schomaker. In photo, left: Diane Williams Right: Pranay Reddy

One of the many conversations from artists and friends who visit. Photo by Kristine Schomaker. In photo, left: Diane Williams Right: Pranay Reddy

Diane Williams
We: Visual Reflections of the American Experiment

Exhibition dates: June 15 – 18, 2017
Reception: Thursday, June 15, 4-6 PM

“We” is an exhibition that re-affirms the root aspirations of the American experiment. As our public political discourse has become increasingly toxic and polarized, we return to the core unifying claims of the United States Constitution — that “we the people” have a collective vested interest in the pursuit of certain ideals expressed concisely in the Preamble: “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty”. These pursuits remain just as vital today as they were in 1787.

This group exhibition features invited artists to reconsider the immediacy of these core themes of Justice, Peace, Defense, Welfare, and Liberty; exploring the myriad ways these constitutional aspirations remain active challenges to our pursuit of unity as “we the people” in America today.

The suite of images is taken through each participating artist’s mobile device dating from the beginning through midway this year. Each photograph captures instantaneous, raw reflections of everyday life while evoking emotions, and insights into the human condition during the first half of 2017.

FEATURED ARTISTS
Kent Anderson Butler
Caesar Alzate Jr.
James Barsalou
Mark Batongmalaque
Mayte Escobar
Teresita de la Torre
Lauren Halsey
D. Hill
Eric L. Jones
Paul Kelley
Nery Gabriel Lemus
Nikolay Maslov
Amitis Motevalli
Douglas McCulloh
Cody Norris
Naida Osline
Juliana Rico
Steve Thomas
Diane Williams
Jake Williams
Samira Yamin

"We: Visual Reflections of the American Experiment" is organized by Alyssa Cordova, Assistant Curator, Orange County Museum of Art, Jennifer Frias, Associate Curator, Sweeney Art Gallery, UC Riverside, and Jeff Rau, Director and Curator, Earl and Virginia Green Art Gallery, Biola University.

Photo courtesy of Diane Williams.

https://www.facebook.com/events/834526670044797/

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Diane Williams
First week at Shoebox Projects, an experimental space.

Still a few more things to complete "My America". I'm enjoying the experimental aspect of the residency, working and re working to see what works and what doesn't work within the space and how each pieces responds to each other and make the whole project connect. 

 

 

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More work to do on this installation  

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Participatory piece needs more participants and soon will be a wall of immigrants

Diane Williams
Diane Williams | My America
Fractured but not Broken

“My America”

Artist residency and exhibition at Shoebox Projects

660 South Avenue 21 #3

Los Angeles, CA 90031

 

Residency from June 5 – July 9, 2017

Closing reception: Saturday, July 8th, 3pm - 6pm

www.dianewilliamsartist.com

 

Diane Williams is a multidisciplinary artist whose work stems from the political and social landscape that surrounds her—specifically the ethnically diverse neighborhoods of Los Angeles. She uses art as a call to arms, creating works that explore issues about immigrants and gender to encouraging cultural and social understanding.

 

In her series Monsters & Aliens, Williams created masks woven from shredded paintings and discarded materials and wore these masks in performances where the masks clearly signed for “other.” She wanted viewers to question what they feared from strangers and to begin to examine their own prejudices with respect to race and gender. In a mixed media work entitled Fractured but not Broken, she also displayed the masked and fragmented female body-- depicting the disparate body parts in photographs and drawings, overlaid with Plexiglas and blue and yellow duralar. This human scaled work confronted viewers declaring, “see me for who I am -- not as a cultural stereotype.”

 

During her residency at Shoebox Projects, Williams will create a site-specific installation that further explores ideas of marginalization by physically dividing the space. In addition, she will embark on a new series of works that track the surges in hate crimes since the inauguration of President Trump. In her work, Williams seeks to find a common ground between the works she makes and the community at large. For example in the participatory piece, This in my America, she asks viewers to write the first name of an immigrant they know and their relationship to that person on a piece of paper and then post it on a wall. Collectively illustrating the idea of an extended community.

 

About the artist:

Diane Williams is a multi disciplinary artist and an emerging curator living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her BFA degree from California State University, Long Beach in 2013. Her work has been featured in select publications and exhibited in solo shows and several group exhibitions including Personal Narrative at the Annenberg Beach House Gallery, Santa Monica, With Liberty and Justice for Some at Walter Maciel, Culver City (2017), Countenance Divine, at Gallery 825, Los Angeles, and Defend & Advance, National Immigration Law Center, Los Angeles (2016).

 

About Shoebox Projects:

Shoebox Projects is a new experimental art space in DTLA, where emerging and mid-career artists are given an opportunity to freely experiment with new ideas and directions for their practice. Founded by Kristine Schomaker, multimedia artist and director of Shoebox PR and Art and Cake, Shoebox Projects intends to give artists a chance to recharge and renew their relationship with their work.

 

Diane Williams
Exotic

I have not done a drawing piece in a long time and how I miss it! Check out the progress shots from start to finish.  

Exotic

36" x 60"

Charcoal and conte crayon on paper

2 hrs

2 hrs

4 hrs

4 hrs

6 hrs

6 hrs

10 hrs. Finished drawing!

10 hrs. Finished drawing!

Diane Williams
Art as Subject of Protest

By Diane Williams

The Whitney biennale’s controversy with artist, Dana Schutz’ painting depicting a mutilated face of Emmett Till, a 14-year old African American boy who was tortured and lynched by two white men in 1955 has been a contentious subject on my social media feed. After reading both sides of the story, still some ambivalence as to which side to take or if there is even a side to affirm as things are never black and white (no pun intended. Really.). In all seriousness, the issues surrounding this incident is not surprising as civil unrest and vitriol is deeply felt by most Americans today. The 2016 election triggered and aggravated a multitude of problems we are facing and the presidential outcome undoubtedly divided many Americans.  Race relations problem is among the many complex hurdles we are facing still to this day.

This subject prompted me to art critic and writer, Hal Foster’s “Art as Ethnographer?” written in 1995 which some argue to be outdated but undeniably offers some insights to contemporary art making.  In this essay, Foster questions the effectiveness of the role the artist plays as an ethnographer. Ethnography is the systematic study of people and cultures. It is designed to explore cultural phenomena where the researcher observes society from the point of view of the subject of the study.

Foster sites assumptions that lead to the dangers of ideological patronage. The assumption that if the artist is not socially or culturally other, then he or she has limited access to this transformative alterity (otherness) however, if the artist is perceived as other, then he or she has automatic access to it. Many contemporary artists are well aware of the accusations as contributors of pseudo-ethnography but the subject of culture is immensely complex and given today’s political culture, the subject of the “exotic other” as coined by Edward Said in his book “Orientalism” is more relevant now than ever.

As she paints the piece, Dana Schutz admits that her painting of Emmett Till will be problematic. It is certainly igniting dialogue that both artists and viewers alike must think critically before taking a “side”. Perhaps it’s a question of misrepresentation by the artist? We know that the artist is a white woman who used ‘alterity’ as a primary point of subversion of dominant culture. If the artist weren’t known for depicting subjects in her paintings as humorous points of departure, would the painting receive protests? Does our present political culture that promotes systematic racism stemming from the 45th President down to our local law enforcement contribute to this heightened critique of this piece? There are various reasons for this important debate but both sides should be considered before making statements, as they should be thought of with respect and contemplation if our intention is to recognize one another and coexist.

The Personal is Political at the Annenberg Beach House Gallery

We celebrated the opening of Personal Narrative on Tuesday, Feb. 28th and got a warm reception from artists and the Santa Monica community. Thank you to Sheli Silverio and the staff at Annenberg who helped coordinate the show. I wrote the proposal to showcase the identity and the individual context of the artists included in the show with works ranging from stories about their Jewish diaspora, gender disparities, body image issues, environmental concerns and immigrant background. Keeping in mind that our Personal Narrative shapes and molds who we are as artists and makers in the 21st century. 

The show runs through June 4th! 

The sunset at the beach

The sunset at the beach

From left: Dwora Fried and Bibi Davidson

From left: Dwora Fried and Bibi Davidson

From right: Tom Lasley, Randi Matushevitz, Terry Arena, Sheli Silverio

From right: Tom Lasley, Randi Matushevitz, Terry Arena, Sheli Silverio

From left: JJ L'heuxreux, Robert Nelson, Mardi DeVeuve Alexis

From left: JJ L'heuxreux, Robert Nelson, Mardi DeVeuve Alexis

From left: Malka Nedivi, Robert Soffian

From left: Malka Nedivi, Robert Soffian

From right: Erika Lizée, Diane Williams, Rick Dallago

From right: Erika Lizée, Diane Williams, Rick Dallago

From left: Linda Sue Price, Chenhung Chen, Kristine Schomaker, Susan Amorde

From left: Linda Sue Price, Chenhung Chen, Kristine Schomaker, Susan Amorde

Diane Williams
Beautiful Creatures in NELA

I have an installation on view at Social Study's store front display in Highland Park. It will be up until March 9th. Stop by and take a peek if you're in the area and stroll down York Blvd. Here are some photos from Saturday night's reception and art walk. 

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Diane Williams
This is what America looks like in Los Angeles

Diane Williams | Beautiful Creatures

Opening reception

Saturday, February 11, 2017

7-10 pm During Nela Art Night

The show runs through March 9th

www.dianewilliamsartist.com

 

Social Study

5028 York Boulevard

Highland Park CA 90042

Los Angeles, Ca. - Diane Williams is showing her new installation, "Beautiful Creatures" during the popular North East Los Angeles (NELA) art night on York Blvd in Highland Park. Beginning February 11th, the installation will be featured as a storefront display at Social Study.

The installation is part of Williams’ new series called "Monsters and Aliens" about her immigrant background. The work emphasizes how the marginalized are often seen as the monsters and aliens, the other and the outsiders. Their contributions and positive impact in this country are obscured and have become scapegoats, exploited into the frustrations of others. "Beautiful Creatures" reflects the immigrant communities of NELA and strives to continue a much needed dialogue in today's contentious political culture.

The artist’s work parallels her background as an Asian American female as she examines culture through her personal experiences, combining neo-surrealism with a narrative as the other. Growing up in Los Angeles, a city that is ethnically diverse and a community with disparate backgrounds and diaspora, Williams explores identity that profoundly shapes and molds our sense of individuality. Using a variety of media, Diane’s compositions are diverse, mixing cultures and appearances that are pleasantly chaotic and strangely familiar.

About Diane Williams

Diane Williams is a multi disciplinary artist and an emerging curator living and working in Los Angeles, Ca. Her work has been featured in select publications and exhibited in a solo show and several group shows in Los Angeles, with works in both private and public collections including the National Immigration Law Center. Williams earned her BFA degree from California State University, Long Beach.

New installation in progress

I have been working on an installation and a large wall sculpture (no pics to share for the sculpture yet). 

Putting the pieces together

Putting the pieces together

Today's work is more about experimentation/trial and error. How to make the images come out of the wall.

Detail

Detail

Diane Williams