As part of the “Monumental Tour,” Kindred Arts and the 10th Council District will present acclaimed African American artists Arthur Jafa, Coby Kennedy, Christopher Myers, and Hank Willis Thomas in a group showing of large-scale sculptures across L.A. These titans of contemporary art appear as part of a traveling outdoor art exhibit, designed to empower social change through the arts. The works will open during Black History Month and remain on display through May at four locations in South Los Angeles.
“As Kindred Arts tours these monumental symbols across America, we are inviting municipalities and gatekeepers of space to fundamentally rethink how we might program outdoor public space to reflect and honor all human identities and experiences,” Executive Director of Kindred Arts Marsha Reid said.
Situated on carefully considered publicly-accessible sites, the works call attention to each artist’s distinct visual voice and engage with one another in a curated discourse. Collectively, the works honor and examine aspects of the African American experience, from the first slaves brought over in the 16th century, to the present-day prison pipeline, and the struggle for liberation in between.
“As part of our work to celebrate Black History Month, we’re proud to welcome these incredible works of public art to Council District 10,” Senior Deputy for Strategic Initiatives, 10th Council District Ibert Schultz said. “It’s been our priority to promote a bold, diverse and energetic cultural agenda because the arts not only contribute to the vitality of a community, they’re representative of a living history that informs so much of our world today — especially here in Leimert Park Village”
Individually, the sculptures invite the viewer to consider themes such as colonization, oppression, privilege, Black middle-class labor, the decline of industry, Black pride, Black power, Black joy and subjugation. Each work is an invitation to viewers to learn about and connect with a narrative or era that continues to impact the African American experience.
The L.A. iteration of the tour presents a unique opportunity to support the work of South Los Angeles Building Healthy Communities, a coalition of organizations focused on changing the narrative to address the drivers of disparity and promote equity in South LA. They work in neighborhoods throughout L.A. facilitating artistic processes, open to all, that result in highly visible public art projects that tell dynamic neighborhood stories.
“During Black History Month 2022, Monumental Los Angeles gives us the timely opportunity to shine the light on the ongoing inequities experienced daily by South LA residents, exacerbated in this pandemic time. These incredible works speak eloquently about the key drivers of disparity and provide inspiration for a robust dialogue about how to address them in anticipation of the 30th Anniversary of the L.A. Rebellion,” Executive Director of L.A. Commons Karen Mack said.
The sculptures are located throughout Central and South L.A. For information, visit monumentaltour.org.
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