Find out about upcoming Oxy Arts visiting artists here.
Oxy Arts Speaker Series
This spring, Oxy Arts brings five multidisciplinary LA-based artists to campus to engage our community in conversation about their art, their inspirations, and why they do what they do in Los Angeles today. The lectures will be held on Tuesdays in Choi Auditorium from 4:30-6:00pm.
|Patrick Martinez (Visual Artist)||Tuesday, February 7|
|Clement Hanami (Visual Artist, Curator, Educator and Art Director)||Tuesday, February 21|
|Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle (Writer, Performer and Visual Artist)||Tuesday, March 14|
|Black Salt Collective (Interdisciplinary Arts Collective)||Tuesday, April 4|
|Elizabeth Cline (Librettist, Director, Curator & Producer)||Tuesday, April 25|
The Oxy Arts Speaker Series is made possible by the Arts and Urban Experience Initiative, which is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Space is limited to 20 students, so sign up now!
This March, Oxy Arts brings Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre to campus to lead students in an exploratory movement-based workshop. Students participating in the March workshop will have the opportunity to create and perform in an original collaborative work developed site-specifically in the AGC Rotunda.
Martin Mull once said “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture” –to suggest it’s a silly or frivolous activity. Local site-specific choreographer Heidi Duckler disagrees entirely and will share her place-making art skills with Occidental students this spring.
Who can/should participate? Anyone!
No dance training or background necessary.
Students of music, theater, dance, architecture, design, writing, media, visual arts, art history, and athletes may be particularly interested.
Participants are required to attend all rehearsals and the performance.
Workshop rehearsal dates:
Thursday, March 23 6-10pm
Saturday, March 25 10am-2pm
Sunday, March 26 4-8pm
Thursday, March 30 6-10pm
Performance: Friday, March 31 at 7pm
For more information about Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, visit HeidiDuckler.org.
Student Gallery Visit & Workshop with Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle
Kentifrica Is: Re-Imagining Collective Geographies at 18th Street Arts Center
Saturday, April 1st 2-4pm
Join us for a field trip to view Oxy Arts Speaker Series artist and Wanlass 2017/2018 Artist in Residence Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle's exhibition Kentifrica Is: Re-Imagining Collective Geographies at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica! Kenyatta will lead a hands-on workshop with Oxy students, and guide us through a special tour of the exhibit. Students are asked to bring a along personal object to “remix and reimagine” in the workshop. This should be an object you want to create a story for, or one that has a history or story you would like to enhance. These objects will act as a stand-in for people, places and experiences that have been erased.
Transportation will be provided to and from 18th Street Arts Center, with the bus leaving from Oxy at 12:30pm. The event is FREE, but RSVP is required. Email OxyArts@oxy.edu with subject line “Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle Field Trip” to reserve your spot! Visit the 18th Street Arts Center website for more information about the exhibition.
Speakers and Leaders
Synthia Saint James
March 30, 2017
On March 30th, LA-based visual artist Synthia Saint James will be visiting Oxy's campus for a meet and greet, lecture presentation and book signing.
4-5pm: Artist Meet and Greet
5-6pm: Lecture Presentation
6-7pm: Book Signing and Reception
About Synthia Saint James:
Synthia SAINT JAMES is a world renowned multicultural visual artist, an award winning author and/or illustrator of 17 children’s books, several poetry and affirmation books, a cookbook, a play, a monologue, and the autobiographical book titled Living My Dream: An Artistic Approach to Marketing (which was nominated for a NAACP Image Award in 2012).
She is also a popular guest speaker, educator and architectural designer who has garnered numerous awards, including the prestigious Trumpet Award, a Coretta Scott King Award, and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Saint Augustine’s University. Dr. SAINT JAMES also serves as a Global Ambassador for Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s “Circle of Promise”.
Synthia SAINT JAMES’ USPS stamp designs include the first Kwanzaa Commemorative Stamp in 1997 (a total of 318 million stamps were printed using her first design), and the new 2016 Forever Kwanzaa Stamp celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Kwanzaa holiday. Her paintings grace the covers of over 75 books including the cover art for Terry McMillan’s book Waiting to Exhale and Iyanla Vanzant’s Acts of Faith. But few know that her artwork has been internationally featured in several United States Embassies through the Art in Embassies Program since the 1990’s.
SAINT JAMES, a highly commissioned artist, continues to create paintings for private collectors, colleges, universities, corporations and for non-profit organizations. The House of Seagram, Coca Cola USA, Maybelline, Essence Communications, National Coalition of 100 Black Men, Glendale Memorial Hospital, YWCA of Greater Los Angeles, Barnes and Nobles and AARP represent a mere sampling of her clients.
In 2014 she began creating commissioned signature paintings for the inaugurations of college and university presidents, which includes paintings for Bennett College, Alabama State University, Florida Memorial Hospital, Stillman College and Harris-Stowe State University. In addition, Kentucky State University commissioned her to create a painting celebrating their 130th Anniversary, which was unveiled on May 18, 2016.
Her most celebrated collectors include Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., Alice Walker, Glynn Turman, Brenda Russell, Regina Taylor, Charles Fuller and Jenifer Lewis.
Awards created by Synthia SAINT JAMES include the “We See You Award”, the
“Mosaic Woman Award”, and “The Lifetime Achievement Award” especially created for His Excellency Nelson Mandela from Africare in 2010.
Dr. Synthia SAINT JAMES is currently booking her 2017-2018 College/University
Tour, which includes lectures, master classes, workshops, art exhibitions, fine art commissions, artist-in-residencies, and commencement speeches.
This event is free and open to the public.
February 15-16, 2017
"They Don't Even Know": Black American Abundance in the Age of Trump, Bush, Reagan, Obama, and You...
Wednesday, February 15 | 7:00pm | Mosher 1
The public is invited to a keynote speech by Kiese Laymon entitled "They Don't Even Know": Black American Abundance in the Age of Trump and Bush and Reagan and Bush and Obama and You on Wednesday, February 15, at 7pm in Mosher 1. Laymon's keynote contests the current arguments for scarcity, lack, pathology, and loss saturating the airwaves, in order to think about the "abundance" within the black cultural tradition.
"Black Abundance - Black Survival"
Thursday, February 16 | 7pm | Mosher 1
The public is invited to an artist panel entitled "Black Abundance - Black Survival" with Kiese Laymon, playwright Sigrid Gilmer, writer Ashon Crawley, and writer/journalist Erin Aubry Kaplan, moderated by James Ford on Thursday, February 16, at 7pm in Mosher 1.
Laymon's keynote contests the current arguments for scarcity, lack, pathology, and loss saturating the airwaves, in order to think about the "abundance" within the black cultural tradition. This panel wonders how thinking of this abundance also alters the perennial conversation about the "survival" in black culture. Quite often, survival suggests a life frequently reminded of its limits-- a life shorn off from abundance. In this conventional narrative, the need to survive makes thinking of abundance a moot point. In turn, having abundance means being oblivious to the fundamental needs of communal life. Today's cultural and political climate calls on us to redefine abundance and survival so they can count as complements, not separate concerns. What innovations has black life produced in the seemingly straightforward need to survive? How does the abundance in black life point us back to our shared needs and goals?
Panelists are invited to find a passage of some sort--from fiction, nonfiction, poetry, oratory, whatever genre they choose--that points to a new or unconventional link between abundance and survival. Grounding the conversation in such a "thought experiment" does not deflect from the challenges ahead. Rather, it reiterates that black life is grounded in the courage to experiment, trusting that this courage will serve us well in the upcoming years.
Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA in Fiction from Indiana University and is currently a Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi and an Associate Professor of English at Vassar College. Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Laymon has written essays, stories and reviews for numerous publications including Esquire, ESPN the Magazine, Colorlines, NPR, LitHub, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, PEN Journal, Oxford American, The Best American Series, Ebony and Guernica. Kiese Laymon has two books forthcoming, including a memoir called Heavy and the novel called And So On which can be expected in 2017, both from Scribner.
This event was made possible by generous support from the Stafford Ellison Wright Endowed Black Alumni Fund and the Occidental College English department.
Camille Dungy - The 23rd Robinson Jeffers Association Annual Conference
February 24-26, 2017
Occidental College is thrilled to host this year’s RJA Conference: Robinson Jeffers and the Modern Metropolis: Los Angeles and Beyond.
Poetry of Place: Camille Dungy Poetry Workshop
Friday, February 24 | 1:00 - 2:30pm | Jeffers Room - Library
This will be a generative workshop with a focus on Los Angeles/metropolis and will last about 90 minutes. You'll leave with several ideas about new ways you might write about L. A. This workshop is open to current students in any department, however there are a limited amount of spots available. To be considered for participation in this workshop, please submit a brief letter of interest describing why you wish to participate, and a creative writing sample (poetry encouraged), no longer than one page, to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, February 6. Please submit as a single document in PDF format. Submissions will be reviewed by Oxy Arts, Special Collections and the English Department on a rolling basis, and selection notification will be sent out by February 10.
Blackness and Nature: Artists in Conversation
Friday, February 24 | 3:30-4:30pm | JSC Morrison
This conversation, between Camille Dungy and special guest poets Douglas Kearney and Zinzi Clemmons, treats Blackness as an entry-way to rethinking nature and its relationship to poetry.
Keynote: Camille Dungy
Saturday, February 25 | 11am-12:15pm | Choi Auditorium
“The View From Hawk Tower Today: A Contemporary Environmental Poet Reflects on What Robinson Jeffers Has Meant to Her”
Camille T. Dungy is the author of four collections of poetry: Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017), Smith Blue (Southern Illinois UP, 2011), Suck on the Marrow (Red Hen Press, 2010), and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (Red Hen Press, 2006). Her debut collection of personal essays is Guidebook to Relative Strangers (W. W. Norton, 2017). Dungy edited Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (UGA, 2009), and co-edited the From the Fishouse poetry anthology (Persea, 2009). Her honors include an American Book Award, two Northern California Book Awards, a California Book Award silver medal, two NAACP Image Award nominations, and a fellowship from the NEA. Dungy is currently a Professor in the English Department at Colorado State University. www.camilledungy.com.
Sponsored by Special Collections, Oxy Arts, English, Writing and Rhetoric Department including Interdisciplinary Writing, and Library Special Collections & College Archives with support of the Remsen Bird Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Arts & Urban Experience Grant.
Mobilizing Our Art
November 20, 2016
As a follow up to our Performing Racial Justice: Panel Discussion in October, and in response to the shifting dynamics of our country, Oxy Arts is organizing Mobilizing Our Art, a performance/panel/dialogue/
Performing Racial Justice panelists Faith Santilla, traci kato-kiriyama, Maya Jupiter and others will return to campus to facilitate the event, which will begin with a performance and healing ritual. We will then form small break-out groups during which attendees will have the opportunity for intimate discussion and brainstorming with the artists about how to creatively and passionately move forward with utilizing our artistic practices for social change.
It is in moments like these that our art becomes more vital than ever, and we hope you join us in mobilizing our art for social justice.
Following Beatrix: A Performance by Flora Wiegmann
November 2, 2016
Dancer/choreographer Flora Wiegmann will be organizing a durational performance that will inhabit numerous outdoor spaces on the Occidental College campus. Stemming from her interest in landscape and architecture, and inspired by Beatrix Ferrand's role in shaping the landscape at Occidental during the 1930s, the piece will examine how these influences may affect our movement through campus today. The qualities of the various settings (such as a thoroughfare, amphitheater, archway, or fountain) will shape and reshape the way in which the score unfolds, often defining the amount of space in which the bodies have to dance. The work is designed to be both something that may be "happened upon" while students and faculty go about their day, and as a formal performance that can be viewed for long periods of time and followed to its various locations.
The event, which will take place on November 2, 2016 from 11am – 2pm, will be livestreamed onto the Johnson Hall monitor display, as well as onto the Oxy Arts Facebook page. The performance begins in the Quad and then travels to the Olive Grove, Amphitheater, the steps between Johnson and Fowler, and culminates at Gilman Fountain. Approximate times for each location will be available on the Oxy Arts webpage, Facebook page, and via a limited edition of maps given out on-site.
This collaboration is made possible by generous support from the Pasadena Art Alliance.
Performing Racial Justice Panel
October 18, 2016
How can our creative practice actively impact the fabric of society? Why is art integral to social justice movements? Performing Racial Justice brings together six LA-based arts professionals whose work is actively rooted in racial justice to discuss their practices, and to participate in a moderated panel about creating performance-based work with social impact.
This panel included dynamic LA artists such as playwright/spoken word artist Aleshea Harris ("What To Send Up When It Goes Down"), librettist/poet Douglas Kearney (The Black Automaton), Artistic Director Bruce Lemon, Jr. (Watts Village Theatre Company), hip hop artivist Maya Jupiter (Artivist Entertainment), theater devisor Traci Kato-Kiriyama (Tuesday Nights at the Cafe), and Oxy Alum Faith Santilla ("Beats, Rhymes and Resistance").
What To Send Up When It Goes Down
September 8, 2016
A Ritual in honor
of the inherent value of black life.
Written and directed by Aleshea Harris.
What To Send Up When It Goes Down is a play-pageant-ritual-homegoing celebration meant to disrupt, honor, and reclaim. An attempt to honor those lost to racist violence in America, the piece uses language, song and movement as a means of reflecting in order to cleanse and uplift. The goal is cleansing/catharsis through the exercise of viewing and participating in the piece, while also making space for collective emotions following tragedy.