Evolve, an exhibit curated by activist Kengi Carr opens a pre-show exhibit in the Hall Gallery at Art Share LA, the sanctuary for arts in Downtown Los Angeles. In my humble opinion, Art Share LA is the premier location for grass roots as well as established arts and culture in Southern California. Offering an outstanding array of community based programs and features a impressive main gallery, hall gallery, theater, classroom space, ceramic studio as well as artists space and affordable artists housing in its 28,800 square foot, 2-story building uniquely situated in the beautiful and vibrant Art District of Downtown Los Angeles.
Against the backdrop of the amazing Los Angeles skyline and adjacent to Little Tokyo, Art Share LA was founded in 1997 in what was once a single family home in 1912. According to their website "During the mid-80’s the area surrounding this warehouse, now called the Arts District, experienced a major influx of artists who sought the large, open, industrial spaces for creative purposes. This trend continued throughout the 90’s and with the increasing interest in loft-living came a drastic increase in property value. In 1997, the building was purchased and Art Share L.A. was born. The top floor was converted into 30 affordable micro-loft live/work spaces with a large common room. Part of the roof was removed to allow for natural light, and to create an outdoor patio area—complete with koi pond. The bottom floor was compartmentalized into a theater, gallery, painting studio and office with 3 additional multi-purpose classrooms. Remnants of the industrial era are still present at Art Share—brick walls, wooden support beams, sliding freight doors and old train tracks in our alley…"
"I couldn't have picked a more fitting place for the Evolve show" says the shows creator and curator. "Art Share is just a perfect fit and its in line with the mission and vision of Project KengiKat and Do Something Saturday."
Project KengiKat and Do Something Saturday, now celebrating over 7 years of old school grass roots service to the homeless, low income families, seniors, children as well as people living with HIV or AIDS here in Los Angeles and beyond, the Evolve exhibit is a celebration of the work created by Kengi back in 2007 while he was homeless.
"As humans we are constantly evolving as the world evolves around us. The Evolve show will feature emerging and established artists tackling every day issues around the environment, homelessness, poverty, sexuality, equality, gay marriage, HIV, and many different issues in a show filled with amazing photography and art." Kengi says
"Photography and art have a way of telling stories, creating positive change and fostering intelligent conversations on issues we deal with every day. Conversations we are sometimes too afraid or even too angry to talk about. Photography and art has a way of holding up a mirror that is not confrontational, but challenging. Encouraging, but not preachy. Correct without making something or someone wrong."
When asked what inspires them as, photographers and artists Ed Wadell said "LA is like a treasure pot and I'm always on the hunt for spray painted gems." and artist/photographer Denny Howard says "As an artist both in Photography and my paintings, my goal is to capture a moment in time that strikes an emotion in the viewer. I seek to create depth, detail and shadows of light in my work." Photographer Tony Paul Adams says he's inspired by "the freedom of being creative and being able to shoot a photograph that has character which can can literally speak to you." Proud mother (Shellye) of the only child (9 years old) featured in the Evolve exhibit says "We're so excited to show how our son has been evolving and honored that he's been chosen to be in the Evolve exhibit"
The Evolve pre-show will open to the public in the hall gallery on June 12 and run through July 12. It will feature photography and art work from Kengi Carr, Don Heffern, Teresa Plaza, Ed Wadell, YoShawn Smith, Denny Howard, Tammy Miller-Holmgren, Allegra Newman, Tony Paul Adams, Rose Thompson, Andy Bauch, Joshua Ian Robles, Nicole Palmquist, Carlos Nieto III, & Lyle E. Rushing. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday 1pm-6pm or by appointment.
The full Evolve exhibit featuring over 25 photographers and artists representing Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Florida will open July 10th in the main gallery with a red carpet reception. Both shows are free and open to the public. All photography and artwork are available for purchase. Art Share LA is located at 801 E. 4th Place, Los Angeles, CA. 90013. For more information on the Evolve exhibit please visit the Facebook page
To learn more about programs at Art Share LA, please visit their website. The Made in California exhibit is currently on display in the main gallery.