In partnership with Torrance Art Museum (TAM), Discover Torrance is featuring rotating exhibits in our office window, located in Del Amo Fashion Center.
You can learn more about our TAM here.
https://www.deitracharles.com | @deitrac
Art should be thought provoking, expressive, and enchanting. It should gather people together and yet allow for solitude and quiet contemplation. It should mean something to those who acquire it and even more to those who create it. Art should come from a place of passion and longing. Subtlety is a method that I take to deliver messages in my art so as not to dictate what the viewer sees, but offer a slight nudge so that they might look at objects in life with a new-found affinity. I hope that they will appreciate the beauty around us and see beyond what is in their peripheral vision. Identity and culture are just a couple of common themes in my work. Searching ancestry and elevating the unsung, everyday heroes are some of my goals as an artist. An installation that I created of what appears to be dreamcatchers is an ode to my ancestry. While I am an African American woman, my great grandmother was African American and Choctaw. Sadly, I do not know much of my history as it relates to Choctaw. As a child I attended predominately white schools that taught European history. When presenting my family tree, the expectation was to discuss African tribes and plantations. To embrace another culture was not taken seriously. As recent as 2017, I was questioned about cultural appropriation during an artist talk about my dreamcatcher installation. The assumption was that I did not have any ties to Native Americans. Having suppressed this part of my history for so long for fear of skepticism, I find it necessary to elevate and showcase the dreamcatcher-like installations in an open space, slowly turning and casting shadows on walls and floors that are as elusive as the truth in history. Above all, calm and peace resonate from my pieces. It is important for me to share my experiences, break down stereotypes, and provide a comfortable place to slow down for a moment and absorb the peace around. I want to provide a calming oasis within the art world and steer viewers toward a welcoming environment.
www.ginaherrera.com | @gina.herrera1
I have always felt a strong affinity for nature. Growing up in Chicago, I found the most beauty in the trees, the singing birds, the sky above. As a visual learner with a multicultural heritage, I have been influenced by my father’s Tesuque culture and my mother’s Costa Rican heritage. While cultural art fascinates me, experiencing beauty of great European art collections while stationed in Germany early in my military career inspired my professional pursuit of art.
While serving in Iraq, amid the devastation of combat, I was moved by seeing miles of mountainous trash heaps. I viscerally experienced the global extent of the systematic destruction of the planet, exploitative, unsustainable, and perhaps worst, careless, unconscious, accidental. This led me to question my own practices, hoping to lessen my environmental impact. I began to build three-dimensional forms out of discarded and natural objects. I am engaged in an aesthetic and spiritual ritual to channel and honor Mother Earth, to seek connection and communion with a power greater than myself.
Everywhere I go, I gather materials, finding inspiration in my surroundings. Like a scavenger, I play an interventional role in removing garbage from the landscape, preventing it from doing further damage. I am also drawn to natural materials and organic forms — branches, rocks, cocoons, nests. My process is meditative and intuitive – each step revealing a new aspect. Figures emerge, in gravity defying postures on the brink of movement, alive with possibility. Their haunting spiritual presence reminds us they have not gone back to the earth, but asks us to question our connection with our world and the choices we make in our daily existence.
My greatest objective is to awaken individual and societal consciousness; to examine and heal our relationship with Mother Earth.
https://shuquem.com/ | @karim.shuquem
Using the historic phenomenon of kunstkammers – also known as wunderkammers, the so-called cabinets of curiosities – in which European collectors would display acquired objects, this installation serves as a vehicle for examining how metaphysical frameworks determine our personal immersion and interaction with our environment and each other. These randomly curated objects, many of non-European origins collected during colonial campaigns, were presented as decontextualized curiosities.
Die Kunstkammer is an ongoing and evolving sculptural installation made up of individually painted, carved, and stacked wine crates interspersed with various found objects. My contention is that a metaphysics that defines the physicality of objects as made up of dead matter alone, enables the type of collection, hierarchical categorization, and exploitation of resources that occurs within an imperialistic framework. Never fixed or finished, the overall project is inspired by the process-based metaphysics of thinkers such as Deleuze, Alfred North Whitehead, and Heraclitus.. A process-oriented world-view leads to a more relational understanding, in which the things and beings of this world are seen as co-constituent and interdependent.
In a manner of poking fun, the black boxes literalize the idea of static building blocks of matter and have the macabre appearance of a memorial to the dead. Die Kunstkammer is in fact not a static sculpture and very much undead.
I emphasize the inherent relationality of a process-based metaphysics by letting the site of the sculpture influence the form. The arrangement changes with every showing; it is a shape-shifting sculpture that is never stuck in the same position. Through my immersion in assembling Die Kunstkammer, I underline an internal animation that comes with the act of stacking. Objects and engravings are hidden from sight while others are revealed. Electronic candles and figurines are interspersed throughout. Light emanates from cracks and gaps within the boxes. As the facilitator of this eternal becoming, I frequently pull prints from the carved boxes to further expand the form, expand the possibilities of transformation within matter, and to document the process itself.