Aboriginal Screen Printed Textiles at Fowler Museum/UCLA

Textiles at Fowler

  • By Cynthia Lum

The exhibition of Aboriginal Screen-Printed Textiles from Australia’s Top End at the Fowler Museum, takes viewers on a journey to Australia’s Northern Territories where visitors are invited to explore more than seventy distinctive, screen-printed textiles made by contemporary artists at five Aboriginal owned art centers. 

These textiles have become a vibrant medium for Indigenous artists to tell their stories, convey knowledge of the land and beliefs of the Aboriginal people. Today these fabrics both serve the needs of their communities and circulate as prized collectibles, interior furnishings, and fashion apparel.

The installation, organized around the individual art centers, reveals the creativity and innovation of Aboriginal artists and their sources of inspiration. Accompanying videos offer glimpses of the process of screen-printing textiles and the ways artists have translated ancient painting techniques into new media. They also introduce local environments, flood plains, waterholes, rivers, and seas that shelter the local flora and fauna seen on fabrics in bold colors and striking patterns. 

These screen-printed textiles enable Indigenous artists to share their cultures and identities, while providing them with a sustainable livelihood. The textiles also demonstrate the resilience of Aboriginal Australian culture and the perseverance of Indigenous artists as they create extraordinary textile art in often harsh and remote environments using the simplest of facilities. The exhibition pays tribute to the resilience and beauty of Aboriginal Australia and reminds us of the enduring connections between peoples and their lands.

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Herstory: Through the Feminine Lens (Curated by Marisa Cachiolo) on view at Building Bridges Art Exchange through February 12, 2022 (Photo Brandy Trigueros/Boudoir)

Building Bridges Art Exchange

  • By Cynthia Lum

The third edition of the thought provoking exhibition featuring Los Angeles based female artists, HERSTORY: THROUGH THE FEMININE LENS at Building Bridges Art Exchange will be on view until February 12, 2022.This edition features thirteen outstanding artists exploring a range of topics, including some of today’s most pressing and urgent issues affecting women’s rights, and female led movements around the world that have triggered much-needed social and cultural changes across different countries and communities.

This exhibition empowers both the visual voices of the artists, as well as the visitors, providing real-life examples and all the more reason to believe that they too can follow their dreams, regardless of how they identify, their body types, decision to procreate, and other societal pressures. Topics concerning gender roles, identity, finding a sense of self and place within nature, performance, tableaus, and transformation are considered within their oeuvres. Some of the featured artists seek to employ a conceptual or experimental approach, including performance and video, while others have opted for a more traditional photographic approach.

For centuries, androcentrism dominated American history, written by and for able-bodied white men. Women were mostly excluded from history except as subservient subjects. The term “herstory” emerged in the 1970s with the second wave of feminism as a way to share and amplify her story, along with the lesser known stories of women that have helped shape new pathways advancing women’s liberation.

For more details, click here.

Marilyn Monroe, 1961 (Photo Douglas Kirkland/Mouche Gallery)

Mouche Gallery

  • By Cynthia Lum
  • Photo By Douglas Kirkland

Mouche Gallery in Beverly Hills. The gallery boasts a collection of curated contemporary art and fine art photography.  Among the artists represented, the gallery has an outstanding collection of work by famed Hollywood photographer, Douglas Kirkland and art by Sir Paul McCartney of the Beatles and Jerry Garcia lead guitar of the Grateful Dead band. 

Over the course of Kirkland ’s six-decade long career, the legendary photographer has taken some of the most recognizable photos of many of the most iconic celebrities of all time including the famed photos of Marilyn Monroe wrapped in white silk sheets.

Jerry Garcia is best known for his work with the Grateful Dead band, however, Garcia always thought of himself as an artist who played music. From early childhood he enjoyed making comics and sketches, and he went on to attend San Francisco Art institute. 

For more than seventeen years Paul McCartney has been a committed painter, finding in his work on canvas both a respite from the world and another outlet for his drive to create. His paintings have been a very private endeavor until recently and now he has decided to share his work through the release of these lithographs.

Full of intense color and life, these paintings reveal Paul McCartney’s tremendous positive spirit as well as a visual sophistication. Faces abound in his paintings and humor plays against a more somber imagery, while his landscapes radiate a sense of place.

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  • By Debbie Emery

Outdoor light festivals have increasingly become a holiday season staple in Los Angeles, especially as the ongoing pandemic makes many of us feel more comfortable outdoors. There is none better than Lightscape at the Arboretum, where the historical architectural landmark and botanical gardens are taken over by a glittering interactive art show. 

Originating from London and making its west coast debut, Lightscape is a magical illuminated walking experience, combined with a dazzling art exhibition and a dash of electronic music festival. Guests of all ages are invited to walk through the one-mile path that weaves through the Arboretum gardens as individual works of art glitter around you and related music fills the air (some of the trees and cactuses literally are singing!). The awe-inspiring displays include the Winter Cathedral, the mystical Fire Garden, and the mesmerizing Sea of Light. Each display has a barcode that you can scan to get more information on that specific piece and artist. Scattered around the route are miniature cafes where you can buy hot treats like the “Skrewged” cocktail (made with Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, hot chocolate and whipped cream) that is guaranteed to warm you on the coldest night, or s’mores kits to cook over an open fire. 

“Lightscape” is on display at Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia until January 16. For more, click here.