October 24, 2016
As the middle of the semester approached, the MFA in Craft students at OCAC had a wonderful opportunity to travel to Los Angeles to visit galleries, speak with artists and gallery owners, and get a taste for how artists thrive in Los Angeles. Lindsay Preston Zappas, who is the current MFA Instructor in Residence here at OCAC, coordinated and led the students around her neighborhoods. As editor-in-chief for a contemporary art review magazine of Los Angeles (CARLA), as well as a working artist, Lindsay was able to put together an incredible itinerary that only a true Angeleno would know.
On Thursday, the day started early with an artist talk led by LA-based artist Ry Rocklen through his solo exhibition at Honor Fraser Gallery. Ry gave students a great insight on how each piece was inspired by found objects, how each piece was fabricated, and a great deal on his biography as an artist who has lived in LA for most of his life. The day progressed as we toured the Culver City galleries, such as Blum and Poe, Luis de Jesus, Cherry and Martin, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, and David Kordansky. Luis de Jesus gave us a great review of his current show, while explaining to us the positive aspect of welcoming lesser-known artists to his space. The day concluded with the Ariel Herwitz opening at Ochi Projects, where her latest work was being presented.
On Friday morning the MFA students, along with Lindsay and OCAC professor Emily Nachison, were greeting with donuts and coffee by local artist Dustin Metz. Dustin showed the class his co-operated artist-run gallery space, Ms. Barbers, located in Midcity, as well as his studio. He explained the many projects that he is involved in to be a successful artist, as well as how to run a gallery as a team and not a sole point person. In his studio, he discussed the time period in between graduate school and moving to LA, and how his work has been affected through this change. After that, we joined one of the directors at the Underground Museum to witness the emotionally immense exhibition Non-Fiction. After lunch, we traveled to Koreatown, where Commonwealth and Council's gallery owner talked about his current exhibition. We also saw Visitor Welcome Center, Ashes Ashes, and to see K8 Hardy's exhibition, Outfitumentary, at REENA/GAGA. We ended the great day by seeing apartment gallery Park View Gallery, where owner Paul Soto discussed how the apartment gallery works in Los Angeles.
On Saturday, our day started by visiting the MOCA Geffen and going through Doug Aitken's Electric Earth exhibition. It was incredible and the space extraordinary. We walked around the downtown art area to see Karon Davis's solo show at Wilding Cran before breaking for lunch at the Bread Lounge. After lunch, we met up with artist Devin Farrand in a new gallery within the Boyle Heights area to talk about his latest work and his attention to labor and material. We toured Ibid gallery before taking a walk to other Boyle Heights galleries. We ended the afternoon by a private walk through at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, where "Isa Genzken: I love Michael Asher" and Maria Lassning retrospective were showing.
As both our Saturday and the trip itself waned, we gathered one last time for Lindsay Zappas's CARLA edition 6 release party, held at BBQLA. Simultaneously, the show Touchdown was closing, and Lindsay's team planned a great casual affair, much like a football party. It was incredible to see many of the artists, gallery owners, and people that had impacted our trip together to support CARLA and Lindsay. As MFA students, we left Los Angeles realizing that the art community, no matter where at, depends upon support and community. It was a great trip where we got to know each other a little more and be completed immersed in incredible artwork, and cannot thank our professors enough for going above and beyond to give us this experience.
- Lindsay Martin, MFA student