Baca is a painter and muralist, community arts pioneer, scholar and educator who has been teaching art in the UC system since 1984. She was the founder of the first City of Los Angeles Mural Program in 1974, which evolved into an arts organization known as the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC). She continues to serve as SPARC’S artistic director and focuses her creative energy in the UCLA@SPARC Digital/Mural Lab, employing digital technology to create social justice art.
Baca has stood for art in service of equity for all people. Her public arts initiatives reflect the lives and concerns of populations that have been historically disenfranchised, including women, the working poor, youth, the elderly and immigrant communities, throughout Los Angeles and increasingly in national and international venues.
Beginning with the awareness that the land has memory, she creates art that is shaped by an interactive relationship of history, people and place. Baca’s public artworks focus on revealing and reconciling diverse peoples’ struggles for their rights and affirm the connections of each community to place. She gives form to monuments that rise up out of neighborhoods. Together with the people who live there, they co-create monumental public art places that become “sites of public memory.”
Baca’s work channels the creative process of monument design to develop models for the transformation of both physical and social environments in public spaces. They are monumental, both in space and time: The Great Wall of Los Angeles is a “tattoo on the scar where the Los Angeles River once ran” in a concrete flood control channel. The Great Wall depicts a 1⁄2 mile long multi-cultural history of California from pre-history through the 1950’s. Plans are underway for its next four decades of evolution.
Cellist Maya Beiser defies categories; Passionately forging a career path through uncharted territories, she has captivated audiences worldwide with her virtuosity, eclectic repertoire, and relentless quest to redefine her instrument’s boundaries. The Boston Globe declares, “With virtuoso chops, rock-star charisma, and an appetite for pushing her instrument to the edge of avant-garde adventurousness, Maya Beiser is the post-modern diva of the cello.”
Raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, surrounded by the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, while studying classical cello repertoire, Maya has dedicated her work to reinventing solo cello performance in the mainstream classical arena. A featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, London’s South Bank Centre, Sydney Opera House, and the Beijing Festival, she has collaborated with a wide range of artists across many disciplines, including Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Shirin Neshat, Steve Reich, David Lang, Tan Dun, Robert Woodruff, Bill Morrison, Evan Ziporyn and Osvaldo Golijov, among many others. Maya’s 2012 production, Elsewhere: A CelloOpera, premiered at Carolina Performing Arts followed by a sold-out run at the BAM Next Wave Festival. Her latest project All Vows explores the dichotomy between the physical, external world and the inner landscape of our secret selves and premiered at the Yerba Buena Center in 2014. Beiser is currently touring All Vows worldwide. Upcoming performances include BAM 2015 Next Wave Festival, London’s Barbican Hall and the Ojai Music Festival.
Invited to present at the prestigious TED main stage in Long Beach CA, Maya’s 2011 TEDtalk has been watched by close to one million people and translated to 32 languages. In 2013, she was a featured guest alongside such luminaries as Yoko Ono, Marina Abramović, and Isabella Rossellini at ICASTICA, a festival celebrating women working in artistic fields in Arezzo, Italy.
Maya is a graduate of Yale University and a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Her vast discography includes eight solo albums and many studio recordings and film music collaborations. Her 2010 album Provenance topped the classical and world music charts on both Amazon and iTunes, and her album Time Loops was selected among NPR’s top 10 recordings of 2012. Her latest album Uncovered, a collection of re-imagined and re-contextualized classic rock masterpieces, was in the top 10 on the Billboard Classical Chart upon release in August 2014 and has been garnering rave reviews.
Dawoud Bey began his career in 1975 photographing in Harlem, New York. That work was later exhibited in his first one-person exhibition, “Harlem, USA” at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions at museums and galleries worldwide, Bey’s works are included in the permanent collections of numerous museums, both in the United States and abroad, including the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Guggenheim Museum, the High Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and other museums world wide.
His museum based projects have been concerned with using the museum as an active and collaborative space for producing work as well as enhancing the participation of often overlooked audiences and communities in the institutional space through their participation in his projects.
Bey received his MFA from Yale University School of Art and has been honored with numerous fellowships and honors over the course of his long career, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is professor of art and Distinguished College Artist at Columbia College Chicago and is represented by Mary Boone Gallery, Rena Bransten Gallery and Stephen Daiter Gallery.
I was born in 1953 in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, a small town nestled in the northwestern part of the state. I grew up on the farms of the Red River Valley and the woods of the White Earth Indian Reservation, the largest in the state, before moving to Minneapolis at age 15.
When I was very young, my grandparent Big Bears, who spoke Ojibwe, gave me pencil and paper to draw on so I would not miss my father while he was working. My grandparents praised my efforts and I realized I was no longer lonely if I was drawing. I never stopped.
High school in Minneapolis was a difficult time, but two art teachers changed my life. I got scholarships to study at Macalester College and the University of Minnesota. I stayed in college for only one year, mostly due to financial issues, but I had the great fortune to study with George Morrison (1919-2000), who became my mentor. Although college was over, my education did not stop.
I drove cab in Minneapolis and Saint Paul for 31 years to support my family, and my professional career as an artist. Now, my six children are independent as am I.
In October of 2010, I moved to Duluth, Minnesota along the shores of Lake Superior. I needed to be alone and work on my art without the distractions of the Twin Cities. It was hard at first but I fell in love with the area and climate.
Jonah Bokaer has cultivated a new form of choreography with a structure that relies on visual art and design. His aim is to transform notions of how the public views and understands dance. Bokaer has been active as a choreographer since 2002. He has created over 55 works in a wide range of mediums, such as film, opera, applications, and installation, in a variety of venues, ranging from stages, to museums and galleries. He works internationally, exhibiting and touring worldwide.
Bokaer has created works within museum spaces that live between choreography, visual art, and moving images. This approach to art making has been acknowledged by museums such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, PS1 MoMA, The New Museum, The Museum of Arts & Design, MASS MoCA, Miami MOCA, MAC Marseille, IVAM Valencia, Palazzo Delle Arti Napoli, Kunsthalle St. Gallen, SCAD Museum of Art, Ludwig Museum of Budapest, MUDAM Luxembourg, along with many others.
A few of Bokaer’s frequent collaborators are Daniel Arsham (2007-Present), Anne Carson, Richard Chai, Merce Cunningham, Anthony McCall, Abbott Miller, Tino Sehgal, Robert Wilson (2007-Present), along with other leading innovators in mediums such as performance, visual art, literature, and design.
Recent awards include the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in Choreography (USA 2015), the Prix Nouveau Talent Chorégraphie (Paris 2011), the Jerome Robbins Special Prize Fellowship in Choreography from the Bogliasco Foundation (Italy, 2011), and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011)
CAMILLE A. BROWN is recognized for her daring yet introspective approach to cultural themes through masterful storytelling and political dialogues. She is a 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award Recipient, 2015 TED Fellow, 2014 Bessie Award Winner for “Outstanding Production” (Mr. TOL E. RAncE), two-time Princess Grace Award Winner (Choreography & Works in Progress Residency), two-time recipient of NEFA’s National Dance Project: Production Grant, 2015 MAP Fund Grantee, 2015 Engaging Dance Audiences Grant Recipient, 2014 Joyce Award recipient with DANCECleveland, a Jerome Foundation 50th Anniversary Grantee, and a 2014 New York City Center Choreography Fellow.
Her theater credits include the Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire (2012), Fortress of Solitude (The Public Theater, Lucille Lortel Award Nominee for Choreography), Stagger Lee (DTC), BLOOD QUILT (Arena Stage), tick, tick…BOOM! (City Center’s Encores!), Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale (Regional), and The BOX: A Black Comedy. She has created works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco!, Complexions, Urban Bush Women, among others. Camille danced with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence and was a guest with Rennie Harris/ Puremovement.
In 2014, Camille founded two initiatives: The Gathering, an annual open forum for intergenerational Black female artists to advocate for greater cultural equity and acknowledgement in thedance world; and BLACK GIRL SPECTRUM, a community engagement initiative that seeks to amplify the cultural and creative empowerment of Black girls and women through dance, dialogue, and popular education tools. In 2015, Camille co-directed The School of Jacob’s Pillow’s new program, Social Dances: Jazz to Hip Hop, with Moncell Durden and was featured on the cover of the 2015 August edition of Dance Teacher Magazine.
TEJU COLE was born in the US in 1975 and raised in Nigeria. He is the author of two works of fiction: a novella, Every Day is for the Thief and a novel, Open City. He has received numerous recognitions for his work, including the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Internationaler Literaturpreis, the New York City Book Award, and the Windham Campbell Prize. He is Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College, where he teaches art history and literature, and Photography Critic of the New York Times Magazine. He was a guest of the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2012, gave the Kenan Distinguished Lecture in Ethics at Duke University in 2014, and delivered the inaugural Susan D. Gubar Lecture at Indiana University in 2015. In addition to his writing for the New York Times, he has written for a broad range of publications, including the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Granta, and the Paris Review. In 2016, he will publish a collection of essays, titled Known and Strange Things, as well as a book of his photographs.
Cristina Córdova received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez and continued to earn a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Upon graduation in 2002 she entered a three year artists residency program at Penland School of Crafts where she later served in the board of trustees from 2006 to 2010. Some recognitions include an American Crafts Council Emerging Artist Grant,a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship ,a Virginia Groot Foundation Recognition Grant and several International Association of Art Critics Awards. Cristina has taught at Penland School of Crafts (NC), Haystack Mountain School (ME), Santa Fe Clay (NM), Mudfire (GA) ,Odyssey Center for Ceramics (NC) and Anderson Ranch (CO) ,among others. In 2011 she founded TravelArte (travel-arte.com), an ongoing platform that provides educational experiences within the ceramics medium while immersing students in the creative culture of a particular geographical setting. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington , D.C.), the Fuller Craft Museum, (MA), the Mint Museum of Craft and Design (NC), the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico( PR), the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico (PR), and the Joseph-Schein Museum in NY. She currently lives and works in Penland, NC.
I was born in Tanana, Alaska and spent my early years living in the Yukon River. My parents, Bill and Poldine Carlo, moved our family from the villages to Fairbanks in order to keep my eight siblings together rather than to send the older ones away to boarding school. While growing up, our family mined for gold and fished in the summers.
In the late 1970’s I joined the Native Art Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where I studied under Ron Senungetuk, a revered Alaska Native carver. My first show was of carved masks made during my BFA program. After graduation I focused on panels and larger sculptures which provided greater opportunities to explore abstract forms in wood in combination with metal, paint and found objects. I have supported myself through commissions, major museum purchases, and from teaching traditional mask making in Alaska’s villages. Rural teaching has been most gratifying because I find inspiration in the students and their pride in their artwork.
Eastern Band Cherokee Shan Goshorn is a multi-media artist proficient in multiple genres but she deliberately strives to choose the medium that best expresses a statement. A long time human rights activist, her recent work consists of traditionally inspired, political baskets that tie historical events to contemporary issues unique to native people.
As a self-taught weaver, she credits the many generations of basket makers before her for inspiring and informing her work. Additionally, she recognizes her 2013 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship as dramatically influencing her exploration into basketry/conceptual sculpture. Motivated by the objects and paper documents found there, she weaves images and words into her baskets that represent how historical decisions are still impacting native people today.
Shan is an active member of the inter-tribal community in Oklahoma where she has lived since 1981 but maintains a strong relationship with her tribe in North Carolina, returning several times throughout the year. She is the recipient of a 2013 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, 2013 SARF, 2013 SWAIA Discovery Fellowship and a 2014 Native Arts and Culture fellowship. Her work is in prestigious collections including (selected): the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC), Denver Art Museum (CO), Nordamerika Native Museum (Switzerland), The Surgut Museum of Art (Russia), Gilcrease Museum (OK), Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art (IN), Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (NM), Heard Museum (AZ), Montclair Art Museum (NJ) and Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MN).