Director’s Welcome

This new exhibition season is all about communities, communal experiences, and connecting. In 1750, the preacher George Whitefield said, “After all, those who will live in peace must agree to disagree in many things with their fellow-labourers, and not let little things part or disunite them.”

The Birth Project was a collaboration between Judy Chicago and 150 needleworkers across the country. Even birth itself is about connecting; what it takes to create life and to be born into this world, relying on others, physically and emotionally. With other women artists, she built the feminist arts community in Los Angeles in the 1970s.

Brody Albert’s contemporary work, more conceptual in nature, explores the connections forged between individuals and also their environments, recording the traces left behind from our social interactions: a fire escape shaped by years of crashes, a reconstruction of rubbings made by pedestrians, a wasps nest built by colonies working together for their queen.

Grafton Tyler Brown’s journey to the West began alone, but his achievements–as an African American in the 1850’s when slavery was still legal in the U.S.–were made possible by his great talents, supported by important mentors, bosses and clients, as he artistically documented towns and cities that were just beginning to emerge.

We all live in communities–physical, virtual, work, family, etc.–and we are all connected by common threads. Museums are communal spaces where we peek into the souls of artists to share in their ideas, experiences, and emotions. Talk with others, whether you agree or not, or just take a moment to quietly contemplate our connections through time and space.

Susana Smith Bautista, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Susana Smith Bautista, Ph.D.
Executive Director