by Margaret Lazzari
The Inglewood Open Studios (IOS) Art Walk features over 75 artists working in all media and will tour artists’ studios as well as host film screenings and gallery exhibitions. The event will kick off with an opening reception featuring all participating artists at Residency Art Gallery in Downtown Inglewood on Friday, November 11th from 4-7 PM, followed by the self-guided art walk tour on Saturday, November 12th and Sunday, November 13th from 12-5 PM (both days).
The following is a conversation with artist and IOS Board Vice President Holly Tempo:
MARGARET LAZZARI: Tell us what is distinct about the Inglewood Art Walk.
HOLLY TEMPO: The range of artists, it runs the gamut from local legends like Ulysseus Jenkins, who recently had a retrospective at the Hammer Museum and will be showing at the video program at the Miracle Theater, to unknown artists who may have no studio and make work on their kitchen table while also managing a family and a job.
The Art Walk has a distinct purpose. It is meant to build and preserve the unique Inglewood art community and its public.
LAZZARI: Why Inglewood?
TEMPO: Inglewood is in transition. Some residents are excited about all the development and the new football stadium. But there’s a fear of losing one’s community. People are worried about over-commercialization and gentrification. One of the cool things about Inglewood is that there are funky little entrepreneurial ventures, like the young woman in a small space making the most amazing cupcakes or the best vegan soul food restaurant. And there are many artists living in this city, way more than most people know about. Inglewood is different from Los Angeles, where it is easy to find artists at open studio events, galleries, and art walks.
One of the artists living longest in Inglewood is Michael Massenburg, who is professionally very active and successful. There are a number of well-known artists living or working here, but then there are a lot of people who are quietly making art, maybe in a corner of their home, but they’re serious about what they’re doing.
Many of these artists didn’t know each other, and the public didn’t know they were here.
LAZZARI: All Art Walks give the public a chance to meet many artists and glimpse into their studios. But in addition to what it gives its audience, I understand that the Inglewood Art Walk gives a lot to the participating artists.
TEMPO: We all need to be part of a community.
The idea here is to connect artists at all different levels.
Being an artist is hard work especially if you are isolated and no one else around you is an artist or understands what you’re doing. We are creating opportunities for like-minded people to have a conversation with each other.
For some Inglewood artists, the challenge is trying to figure out how to pay bills, feed their families, be a parent and make work. We’re hoping that we can connect them with other Inglewood artists who could be mentors and role models and help them think about what their lives as artists can look like, and with many more options than gallery representation and being in big art fairs.
And also, all of us can benefit from each other by sharing information, learning from each other, and supporting each other. We started an artist opportunity page on our website that lists grants, residencies and so on. We hold meetings on zoom so artists can meet one another and get information about the organization and events.
We also want a larger identity as Inglewood artists. Right now, on our website, we are promoting all the participating artists, showing images of their work and discussing what they do. We’ve asked them to support one another on social media.
LAZZARI: The Inglewood Art Walk is an in-person and virtual event, isn’t it?
TEMPO: There are many in-person events. We will have a group show of all the artists at Residency Art Gallery in downtown Inglewood, curated by Carmen Acosta, a creative director at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. This overview of all artists is the starting point of the tour, so people can pick and choose and say, “Oh I like this and I want to see more.”
There is a second exhibition in an annex of the Miracle Theater, which is for the 15 participating artists who do not have a studio or a place they can open up, so they have a place to show and meet people and maybe sell some work. This show will be curated by artist and IOS Advisory Board member Minna Philips.
There is a program of artist videos that will be screened at the Miracle Theater itself, which is housed in a cool Art Deco building.
This year we’re adding an animated video promoting the event that will appear on digital billboards throughout the city, sponsored by Wow Media.
And of course, there are all the artists who are opening their studios to visitors, and giving people an inside look into their creative process.
And some things will be virtual. One thing that we all experienced during the pandemic is crushing isolation. But the virtual meetings and events that grew out of that are the new normal and have a lot of advantages. Some artists are choosing to show only virtually, including myself and Lisa Diane Wedgeworth, who will be exhibiting work at O museo pequeno in Spain. We’re working now very hard on creating online presentations of every participating artist and this will continue to live on our website until the next art walk in 2023.
LAZZARI: Anything else?
TEMPO: I just want to give a shout out to Renée Fox, the President of the Board and one of the co-founders of the original Inglewood Art Walk. She works tirelessly and has such great creative ideas and is so committed to the community. What a great role model! The other Board Members have worked very hard to create this event as well. We’ve had many local sponsors, including the City of Inglewood, who supports us by providing light pole banners and shuttle buses for the event.
More information at InglewoodOpenStudios.org
Featured Image courtesy of Thomas Bunn/City of Inglewood
Margaret Lazzari is an Artist, Writer, and Professor Emerita at USC Roski School of Art and Design. margaretlazzari.net