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.
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.
Kent Anderson Butler
Caesar Alzate Jr.
Teresita de la Torre
Eric L. Jones
Nery Gabriel Lemus
"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.
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.
More work to do on this installation
Participatory piece needs more participants and soon will be a wall of immigrants
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
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.
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.
36" x 60"
Charcoal and conte crayon on paper
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.
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!
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.
Diane Williams | Beautiful Creatures
Saturday, February 11, 2017
7-10 pm During Nela Art Night
The show runs through March 9th
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.
The group show I'm currently in is on Huffington Post! Co curator Monica Lundy's vision to feature hundreds of immigrant faces on an 8" x 8" substrate is drawing much attention and discussion in this contentious and uncertain political climate we're living in. Currently on view at Walter Maciel until March, 4th, a contemporary gallery located in Culver City, CA.
Looking forward to my residency at Shoebox Projects, an experimental art space located at the Brewery in Los Angeles, Ca. The residency begins in August of this year with a closing reception in mid September. http://diversionsla.com/?p=5682
I have been working on an installation and a large wall sculpture (no pics to share for the sculpture yet).
Today's work is more about experimentation/trial and error. How to make the images come out of the wall.
Los Angeles Art Association is pleased to present Countenance Divine, all-media exploration of contemporary portraiture opening on Saturday, October 15 at Gallery 825.
Countenance Divine was juried by Rick Royale, owner of Royale Projects Contemporary Art and features artists Robin Adsit, Robyn Alatorre, Susan Arena, Donna Bates, Maria Bjorkdahl, Ivan Bridges, Annie Clavel, Allan Denolo, Tina Frugoli, Rob Grad, Vicky Hoffman, Brittany Hutchinson, Lynda Keeler, Colleen M. Kelly, Gershon Kreimer, Campbell Laird, Jung jii Lee, Theodosia Marchant, Lena Moross, Malka Nedivi, Julio Panisello, Justin Robinson, Ann Marie Rousseau, Sheli Silverio, Howard Steenwyk, Susan Swihart, Jane Szabo, Devin Thor, Ariel Vargassal, Iben G. Vestergaard, Peter Walker and Diane Williams.
Angel City Brewery
216 S Alameda St, Los Angeles, California 90012
Thursday, October 13th, 6-9pm (during artwalk)
Join us for the opening reception of systems + process in conjunction with Downtown LA's popular artwalk at Angel City Brewery in the Art District of DTLA.
Systems + Process is a group show of contemporary Los Angeles artists who examine the physical and tactile approaches to their work. Using various media and technique, these artists interact and explore the contemporary and cultural notion in the 21st century. We want to show the results from systematic, working/reworking through examinations that become parts of the process.
The show runs from October 7th thru November 3rd.
Linda Sue Price
Mardi de Veuve Alexis
With live pyrography performance by Los Angeles artist, Zachary Aronson.
Curated by Diane Williams and Sheli Silverio via Artshare LA
I’ve been working on a new series called Monsters + Aliens. The idea evolved from my previous work of integrating animals and obscuring images of women in my compositions. Weaving strings of materials, mostly from old paintings and some new into made up creatures, sculpted from wire frames come to play. I’m excited and looking forward to working on this new series--- when old work informs the new until it comes to fruition.