Growing up in an era of nightly helicopter malathion spraying, police street sweeps, punk rock and oldies, Dewey Tafoya is a visual artist and screen printer. Growing up in Boyle Heights, Deweyʼs work is heavily influenced by the urban landscapes, cultures and communities of inner city Los Angeles. Often using satirical humor, much of Deweyʼs work tends to deconstruct historical contexts and then reconstruct them from the view point of the oppressed and/or the under represented. As a teaching artist, Dewey has been a part of the Self Help Graphics & Art’s Día de los Muertos Community Art Workshops for the past decade. As an artist in residence, Dewey currently teaches a monthly DIY screen printing workshop, as well as providing mobile art workshops for the organization as part of the Barrio Mobile Arts Studio (BMAS). Dewey has also been a part of the City of Los Angelesʼs Summer Night Lights program for the past several years providing screen printing workshops for the youth in the communities of Watts and South Los Angeles, and is also currently working with teens in continuation high schools throughout Los Angeles teaching screen printing and graphic design. Deweyʼs recent exhibitions include, Rise, Love, Revolution: The Black Panther Party at Artshare LA and at LACMAʼs, Futbol: The Beautiful Game as well as Self Help Graphics, Día de los Muertos exhibition
Bestselling author of Soul Between The Lines (Avon/HarperCollins), Dorothy is a renowned teacher, prize winning artist and global activist. She has been featured on radio and television, at conferences, juvenile detention facilities, cultural centers and educational institutions throughout the world. A former Poet-in-Residence at Hunter College, National Public Radio commentator, and NYU faculty member, she has served as a literary consultant to the United Nations and as a special delegate to UNESCO.
Dorothy is the author of Muse Blues, The Passion Collection, Woman, Family, A Taste of Tamarinda, Sharing The Same Sky, and editor of the anthology, MuseMatrix. Her writings have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including San Gabriel Quarterly Review, Drum Voices, the New York Times, Best Black Women's Erotica, SisterFire and Personal Journaling.
Creative writing workshops, empowerment and healing seminars facilitated by Dorothy have been commissioned by the National Writers Union, PEN America, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon Institute, the International Women's Writing Guild, Open Center and many other organizations. Highlights of her life include sharing the dais with the Dalai Lama, dancing with tribal boys in the hills of Kerala, India, and boogying with James Baldwin.
Felix Francisco Quintana (b. 1991) is a visual artist best known for his dynamic photographic light paintings. In 2014, Quintana obtained his B.A. in Studio Art from Humboldt State University in Northern California. He has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally, including the Morris Graves Art Museum in Eureka; 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco; LAXART in West Hollywood; Vox Populi in Philadelphia; Vincent Price Art Museum in East Los Angeles; and The Dot Project in London, England, among others. Awards and recognitions for his work include the Tom Knight Photography Award, individual Artistic Achievement in Visual Art, and the Presidents Purchase Prize from Humboldt State University. Since 2015, Quintana has actively taught visual art and photography to inner-city youth in artist-run spaces and non-profit organizations including Las Fotos Project, Slanguage Studio, Self Help Graphics & Art, and currently artworxLA. In 2017, Quintana helped found the Lynwood Union Art & History Gallery at the historic Pacific Electric Depot, and currently, serves as the Vice President of the organization. Quintana currently lives, works, and teaches in Los Angeles, California.
Gregory Grano is a filmmaker and educator, new to Los Angeles in 2017. Greg's documentary and narrative work explores themes of human interaction and travel across hierarchical social divides. In 2015, he toured the US with his first feature documentary, and in 2016 Greg traveled in Asia, Africa, and Europe, developing a multimedia project on global connections and colonial legacies. He received his BFA in Film and Television from NYU and his MS in Cultural Foundations of Education from Syracuse University.
Jesse Bliss is an international playwright, director, producer, actress, poet and veteran arts educator specializing in both teaching and writing curriculum. Her works Roots and Wings, Diamonds (in collaboration with dance legend Rennie Harris), Between Fingertips, a Record of Light and Tree of Fire, among others, have been widely produced at world-class venues including the United Nations, Edinburgh, S.P.A.R.C. at the Old Jail in Venice, Lincoln Heights Jail, The Last Bookstore, The Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts, UCLA, Occidental College, California Institute of Integral Studies, UC Santa Cruz as well as countless others. Ms. Bliss is featured in the documentaries L.A. Women by Kate Crash, Yahoo Shine about her work with the incarcerated and Julie Hebert's Look What She Did!! She is the author of the chapbook I Love Myself Golden, written for incarcerated women and supported by Poets and Writers. She is the producer of KPFK 90.7 FM's Think Outside the Cage Founder/Director of The Roots and Wings Project.
Jill Newman is an artist working in Los Angeles. She has shown at venues such as Dumbo Art Center in New York, the Banff Centre in Canada, and Machine Project in LA and her work has been written about in publications such as the LA Weekly, Notes on Looking, L Magazine, and Arthur Magazine. She has lectured at institutions including CalArts, University of California – Riverside, Woodbury University, and Moorpark College and moderated the panel discussion Painters Beyond Painting at the Mandrake. She has received awards including a Pasadena Department of Cultural Affairs grant and the Curators Lab Award from the Fellows of Contemporary Art in LA. She received her MFA from CalArts, and her BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Lauren Scanlon is a studio artist currently working in Los Angeles, CA. She earned a BA in Anthropology from the University of Memphis, and an MFA in Drawing, Painting and Printmaking from the Ohio State University. Her work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally and she has been a past artist-in-residence at Penland School of Crafts, The Millay Colony, Ora Lehrman Trust at Soaring Gardens, and Prairie Center for the Arts.
Lilia Ramirez p.k.a Liliflor is a cultural art educator championing youth in the arts, using art as a tool for healing and transformation. Since 1994 Lilia has been at the forefront of the Los Angeles youth movement; as co-founder of the Peace and Justice Center (PJC) in 1995, an innovative youth run center in Los Angeles. A decade later she received her B.A from UCLA’s World Arts and Cultural Studies. Lilia co-founded First Street Studios, soon after she served as Director of Annual Exhibitions for Mujeres de Maiz (International Women of Color Artist Collective & Zine), and curator at The Jean Deleage Gallery. Her current and past Artist Residencies include: LA Works, L.A.’s Best A.S.A.P, Casa 0101, L.A. Commons, City of Los Angeles Summer Night Lights, Arts 4 City Youth – Art As Resistance, African American Museum, Casa Coyo, Watts Labor Community Action Center, Theatre of Hearts, and Highways Art Gallery.
Lluvia Higuera currently lives in Los Angeles, where she graduated from the photography program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. She has been published in Celeste, Latina Bride, Model Ephemeris, and CMYK. Her photography has a subtle point of view – not contrived but pointedly aware – that comes about from getting to know the people she captures, not as subjects, but as portions of the world itself.
Gloria Westcott is an artist, educator, curator, and producer who has been based in Los Angeles for over twenty years. She has collaborated with many artists in performances, video productions, and wearable art events and exhibitions including Diane Gamboa, Coco Fusco, Gronk, and Guillermo Gomez Peña. Bilingual and dedicated to the diverse communities of Los Angeles, she has facilitated studio art workshops and museum exhibition tours to audiences of all ages at several cultural institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Watts Towers Art Center, Santa Monica Museum of Art, and the Junior Art Center at Barnsdale Art Center. Gloria received a BFA in Communication Arts from San Francisco State University in 1982.
Michael Carter (b. 1975, Cambridge, Massachusetts) lives and works in Los Angeles. He was awarded an M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate University in 2010. His work is an investigation into the possibility of universals and the history of science, philosophy, and religion. Recent solo exhibitions include Machine Project (Los Angeles, CA) and Open House (Los Angeles, CA). He has participated in group exhibitions at Nicodim Gallery (Los Angeles, CA and Bucharest, Romania), Laband Gallery at the Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, CA), Steve Turner (Los Angeles, CA), and Roberts & Tilton (Culver City, CA).
Peter Wu (b. 1976, Windsor, Ontario) lives and works in Los Angeles. In 2013, he was the recipient of the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists and the YoYoYo Grant, a part of the Los Angeles Initiative of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation. Solo exhibitions include Greene Exhibitions (Los Angeles, CA), Patrick Painter Inc (Santa Monica, CA), Power Galerie (Berlin, Germany), and Tomio Koyama Gallery (Tokyo, Japan). He has participated in group exhibitions at Parkhaus im Malkastenpark (Dusseldorf, Germany), Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University (Orange, CA), Fellows of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA), and the Glendale College Art Gallery (Glendale, CA). Wu will open a solo exhibition at the Vincent Price Art Museum (Monterey Park, CA) in November 2016.
Philip Graulty is a guitarist, educator, and producer who specializes in contemporary and cross-cultural music. He was a featured soloist at the 2016 Solo International Performing Arts Festival in Surakarta, Indonesia and as a chamber musician has performed at LA Phil’s Minimalist Jukebox Festival, the Strathmore Guitar Festival, Feria Internacional del Libro, the World Festival of Sacred Music, REDCAT’s Summer Studio, and MicroFest among others.Graulty's works as a performer, teacher, and entrepreneur have earned him several honors including the National Arts Strategies CreativeCommunity Fellowship, a teaching artist residency at Saga Fest Iceland, and the Sphinx Connect Fellowship in Detroit, MI. Graulty received his M.M. in Guitar Performance from UCLA and is on the faculty of music at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Lopez is a prominent painter and muralist based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in many books and publications, and can be found in permanent museum collections as well as widely collected for private collection. She maintains an open working studio/exhibit space, known as 2 Tracks Studio in Highland Park, CA.
Rachel Curry is a letterpress printer, book binder, and teaching artist from Los Angeles, California. She has worked with letterpress and books arts studios such as Purgatory Pie Press, The Center for Book Arts, Classic Letterpress, The Church of Type, Pie in the Sky Press, and Book Arts LA. Her bookbinding and printmaking workshops have run at The Craft and Folk Art Museum, Book Arts LA, the Women's Center for Creative Work, Book Show, and many more. She currently works at Otis College of Art and Design in the letterpress lab and with artworxLA as a teaching artist.
Roderick Smith is a BFA graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology. He has studied at the Art Students League and National Academy of Design in New York and at the Instituto Allende in Mexico. He and his wife Linda Miller are the creators of the nationally known and award-winning fabric sculpture known as “The Cadena Dolls.” Smith has had numerous one-man painting exhibitions in the Northwest. He is currently represented by the Broderick Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Catalina Artists Market in Avalon, and the Villa and Veranda Gallery in San Juan Capistrano. Smith developed his love of art from his grandmother in Pennsylvania who produced and directed fourteen years of outdoor theater in her community. She retired and took up painting in the 1950’s. Smith slept in her studio on childhood vacations. Here he was introduced to the sights and smells of a real working studio.
Simone Tetrault is a multidisciplinary teaching artist, the co-founder and artistic director of Centrifuge Artistic Collaborative, and a SciArt Center of New York grantee. Tetrault earned a BFA in drama from NYU and has since written, directed, and choreographed various original productions in NYC and New England including Symphony of the Fourth Dimension (2015) and Through the Looking Glass (2016). From 2014-2016, Tetrault was a selected participant for Carnegie Hall’s Music Educator’s Workshop. After moving to Los Angeles in early 2017, Tetrault directed Buena Park Youth Theater’s spring production of Seussical. Tetrault is currently a faculty member at TIOH Day School in Hollywood where she teaches performing arts.
Theresa Sterner is a sculptor and teaching artist living in Los Angeles. Her work has been included in exhibitions at A.I.R. Gallery and Present Company, both in New York, GAIT in Los Angeles, Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, SOMA in Mexico City, and various venues in New York, Philadelphia, and Portland, Oregon. She has also participated in residencies at Ox-Bow in Michigan, Coast Time in Lincoln City, Oregon, and at the Stripa Historic Iron Ore Mine in Bergslagen, Sweden. She received her MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and her BFA from the University of Oregon, and she has taught at Tyler and Virginia Commonwealth University.
"Valerie Hager is a “not to be missed” (NoHo LA) actor, award-winning solo show writer-performer, teacher, and movement artist. She has performed on stages throughout NYC including but not limited to Off-Broadway 59E59, The Barrow Group, as well as having written six solo shows that have traveled throughout the US, UK, and Europe. Her solo show, Naked In Alaska, has performed over 60 times to over 5,000 audience members around the world—including Off-Broadway, Edinburgh Fringe, Rome’s GendErotica Festival, and the Last Frontier Theatre Festival founded by Edward Albee in Alaska itself. This fall Naked In Alaska will make its Los Angeles debut at The Bootleg Theatre. Valerie appeared in Warner Brothers' The Invention of Lying, Comedy Central's Mind of Mencia, Discovery Channel's Guilty or Innocent, and the award-winning short film The Harshest Place. She is currently in training at The Actor’s Gang and developing Naked In Alaska her one woman show into a series. Lastly, Valerie’s writing and movement workshop SOLOfire has been featured at The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, awarded numerous New York City grants and has been brought to New Mexico; Rhode Island, and the prestigious Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska. Her earliest training came from her father, mime artist Jerry Hager, as his silent sidekick Punky the Clown. Later, she continued to train in mime and movement under Rick Wamer at The School for Mime at Kenyon College.
Walter Vargas is a filmmaker born and living in South Los Angeles. Dedicated to the transgressive nature of the moving image since shooting Super 8mm film at 16, teaching visual and media literacy is his principle belief in empowering youth from commercial representation of communities, Self, and the other. Graduate from the California Institute of the Arts’ Film program, with a minor in Pedagogy. Past teaching experience includes; LACMA9’s Art+Film Lab, Echo Park Film Center, CalArts’ Community Arts Program, and Northwest High School in Indianapolis. Currently in post-production of a feature film spotlighting Ingenious Siberia’s encroachment from neoliberalist globalism.