New Exhibition Explores ‘The Art of Protest’

By Gloria Alvarez EGP Managing Editor

Epiphany: A word that for many conjures up religious associations, such as the appearance God or a Christian festival celebrating God’s divinity.

It can also mean “realization,” coming to an understanding about something not previously understood.

A new exhibition opening this weekend in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Lincoln Heights celebrates the intersection of the two meanings in the context of five decades of the Chicano Movement.

On the left, Rosalio Muñoz, Chicano Power March, 1968; right, Camilo Ontiveros, Deportables, colchon and rope. 2008.

The Art of Protest: Epiphany and the Culture of Empowerment opens Jan. 6 at the Church of the Epiphany in Lincoln Heights, and runs through March. 29.

The opening comes just days before the country marks the one year anniversary of the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, and the historic Women’s March which drew hundreds of thousands of women to protest marches and rallies across the U.S., including here in Los Angeles.

Heading into the one-year anniversary of those two phenomenal events — one that sought to empower women and the other that resulted in disenfranchising immigrants and poor people — it’s hard not to be reminded of the vast disparity that still exists when it comes to civil rights and economic justice in this country.

Epiphany, the realization that despite decades of protests and civil action, many injustices remain.

The Church of the Epiphany, with its own roots in the civil rights movement, is going through a “reawakening” of sorts. Community activists, most of them Chicano, have worked with church officials and parishioners to once again make the church a center for progressive political action and cultural awareness.

The Art of Protest is a step in that direction, focusing attention on the parish’s involvement in social justice issues since the late 1960s to present day.

The exhibition is co-curated by LACMA educator Sofia Gutierrez, artist Ricardo Reyes, who says he was “nurtured” in the Chicano Movement at Epiphany as a young man, historian Rosalío Muñoz (co-chair of the Chicano Moratorium), and Ravi GuneWardena (principal at Escher GuneWardena, preservation architects for Epiphany).

The Art of the Protest brings together works by more than 50 artists involved in the Chicano Movement during the 1960s and 1970s, and more contemporary pieces by both longtime Chicano artists and younger artists breaking new ground.

One of the more interesting features of the exhibition is sure to be the collection of historic photos documenting the role of the Lincoln Heights community in affirming the rights of native and immigrant Latin Americans in the Los Angeles region over the past 50 years.

From immigration to workers’ rights to education and cultural expression, The Art of the Protest is an epiphany, the realization that while much has changed, there is much that remains to be done in the fight for empowerment.

The exhibition will include pieces by both well-recognized, locally known Chicano artists, including Carlos Almaraz, Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin, Raúl Arreola, Charles “Chaz” Bojórquez, David Botello, Adolfo Ceballo, Yreina Cervantez, Mita Cuaron, Alfredo de Batuc, Beto de la Rocha, Andres Duran, Margaret Garcia, Roberto Gil de Montes, Henry Glovinsky, Michael Gomes, Wayne Healy, Gilbert Lujan “Magu”, Ava Aparicio-Chamberlin, Frank Romero and others, as well as Guadalupe Rodriguez, Victor Rosas, Rudy Salas, Victor Solis, Sheryl Spangler, John Valadez, Sergio Verdin. by a selection of contemporary artists who sympathize with current Latino social justice issues and the legacy of the Movement, including: Myisha Arrelano, Guillermo Bert, Dolores Carlo, Carolyn Castaño, Ismael de Anda III, Isaias Delgado, Alex Donis, Shepard Fairey, Alexis Garcia, Gustavo Alberto Garcia Vaca, Ken Gonzales-Day, Juan Manuel Ildefonso, Bonnie Lambert, Tish Lampert, John C. Lewis, Arlene Mejorado, Camilo Ontiveros, Jennifer Reid, Bruce Richards, Sandy Rodriguez, Marianne Sadowski, Alicia Sterling Beach, Albert Valdez, J. Michael Walker, Gloria Westcott, and other artist members of Epiphany Church.

The exhibition opens Jan. 6 at 4 p.m. with a celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany, followed by the official opening and blessing by Gloria Arellanes, Tongva Spiritual Leader from 5-8 p.m.

Exhibition hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The Church of the Epiphany/La Iglesia de la Epifanía, is located at 2808 Altura St., Los Angeles, CA 90031. For more information, call (323) 227-9931. The exhibition is supported by the Epiphany Conservation Trust.


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January 5, 2018  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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