Active Voice Part 3: Home Studio, Teaching Art, and Learning During the Pandemic
RSVPs Required, Free
John Ziqiang Wu’s exhibition Art Making opened at the Armory on February 9, 2020, just a few weeks before LA County’s stay at home order went into effect, triggering the closure of all indoor cultural venues. While initially thought of as a temporary closure, the lockdown orders ended up cutting the run of the exhibition (which was originally intended to go through August, 2020) down to one month.
Join artist John Ziqiang Wu and the Armory’s Heber Rodriguez, who organized Wu’s exhibition, as they discuss the artist’s practice and reflect on the collapsing of domestic, artistic, and educational space, a theme explored in the exhibition that became ever more relevant after the COVID quarantine.
About the Artist
John Ziqiang Wu (b. 1983, Tangshan, China) is an artist and educator who lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his BFA in Fine Art from Art Center College of Design in 2013 and his MFA in Photo/Media from the California Institute of the Arts in 2017. Wu is the co-founder of Learning Art & Art Learning Studio, an art tutoring workshop he has run with his wife, Yinan, in Chino, California since 2014. Wu’s solo exhibition The Third Thing was on view at Todd Madigan Gallery, California State University, Bakersfield in 2019. Wu’s work has been included in group exhibitions at SALT, Istanbul (2018); Night Gallery, Los Angeles (2017); and Pasadena Museum of California Art (2010). He also performed alongside Asher Hartman in ANNIE OKAY at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2010). Wu has published several artist books, including One Day Intern (2020); The Place and The People; The Lamps’ Story; and Dad’s Hands Are Smaller (all 2018); and Learning Art and Art Learning Society (2017). He was an Artist in Residence at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
About the Program
Active Voice: Conversations at the Intersection of Art, Community, and Social Justice is a monthly conversation series hosted by the Armory Center for the Arts inspired by the conversations and reflections in the year under lockdown orders.
The past year presented many unique challenges. The arts community, locally and around the world, struggles to find its footing amid a global pandemic that has made the dangers of the politicization of science evident. An outpouring of demonstrations defending the value of Black lives were met with military opposition. And the recent, very real threats to American democracy made one thing abundantly clear: there will be no return to a post-pandemic “normal.”
In response to this moment, the Armory is pleased to present Active Voice: Conversations at the Intersection of Art, Community, and Social Justice.
Active Voice is a platform for the generation of ideas, conversation, and action.
This series of programs brings artists, activists, community organizers, and other change agents together for thematic discussions that challenge audiences to imagine a “new normal” that:
1. advances our thinking around the function of the arts in our communities
2. allows for greater inclusivity within the arts and works against the inequitable practices ingrained in the arts infrastructure
3. increases our ability to deploy the arts to advance social causes
These conversations will not only look forward to a post-pandemic (lockdown?) future, but will also include calls to action based on the ideas put forth by participants. The conversations and audience responses to the calls to action will be archived on the web and compiled into an Art Action Log that can serve as a springboard for further activities.
As difficult as the challenges of the past year have been, they have also offered some opportunity for the arts community to reset, root out inequities, look beyond business-as-usual, and imagine different models built through collaboration. Now it's up to us to take action. It is not a time for passivity or complacency.
Upcoming Programs in the Series
July 8 - Art and Abolition in Los Angeles