… contrast, PSC is 79 percent African American and Latinx.) When Millennium was … has been vocal in protesting racism and encouraging the students to … to racism. The DOE itself should not be neutral about racism,… RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News
Bunny Gregory was the “weird” kid in her school. For one thing, it was the ’70s and ’80s and she was a black artist in Charlotte who liked poetry and listened to everything from country to R&B, jazz and even crooners like Frank Sinatra. It only made sense a couple of decades later that in Charlotte, where few music venues cater to black artists, particularly hip-hop artists, Gregory, 52, would start a basement venue on Monroe Road that catered specifically to artists who were shunned everywhere else — artists like Tizzy and Kizzy of Th3 Higher, who are not only rappers but also poets, visual artists, merchants of psychedelia, and (dare I say) philosophers.
Gregory’s venue was called the Underground, and after a few different location changes and an extended hiatus, it’s now back as a floating event, presenting shows at places like New Era Music House on Old Concord Road and Three Spirits Brewery on Old Pineville Road. We talked with Gregory — call her “Bunny,” please; only journalists use last names after first reference — about why she decided to launch her amazingly selfless showcase for young, talented “weird” artists.
Creative Loafing: So you told me earlier that you listened to everything from Loretta Lynn to Sergio Mendes growing up. When did rap grab you?
Bunny Gregory: I had listened to a lot of old-school R&B, and a lot of them were essentially rappers — they’d do some talking parts over the music and that was something that I really enjoyed. It was like poetry. And so when the Sugar Hill Gang hit, I loved them. That was one of first records I ever bought, but the very first album I bought was a Parliament-Funkadelic album.
What inspired you about hip-hop in Charlotte, decades later, to start a venue catering to hip-hop art in all its forms?
Being black here in Charlotte, there was nothing here for black artists. Knowing that and growing up with that, I felt something needed to be done about it. They always called me weird growing up. And when I started thinking about opening the Underground, I wanted a place where people could just do what they do, express who they are. We had people who would write poetry, do other kinds of art, and just hang out and be comfortable being who they are.
I’d had another place over in NoDa, but to make money we had to start doing rave-like parties and I didn’t like that. It wasn’t working out the way I had envisioned. But the good thing is that I met a lot of kids there who still come to the Underground. They were some of the more talented ones. And I still have great relationships with all of those kids.
I recently interviewed Tizzy and Kizzy of Th3 Higher, who consider you a sort of goddess of Charlotte music. Then I noticed that you wrote a comment on the story at CL’s Facebook page saying they were the ones who inspired you to do the Underground. It is that true?
I met Tizzy when I moved to Monroe Road, and he and Kizzy wanted to do something with me. From there it sort of snowballed. We started in 2014 in a little white house on Monroe Road next door to the Auto Bell, and were there for two years but ran into a lot of opposition — “code violations.” It would have been crazy expensive to do the necessary improvements, so we took it outside and started doing them as bonfires.
You’re very resourceful.
You gotta be.
Did you feel like you were being singled out because you had rappers?
Yes, the cops were coming by constantly. They’d say, “If you guys are just showing art, that’s fine.” But they wanted us to have dancehall permits. And they weren’t helpful when we needed them. They were always parked next door, but six or seven cars got broken into, and the cops never did anything about it.
If anybody, who would you say set the tone for the creativity that’s happened at the Underground?
Tizzy and Kizzy definitely set the tone of it. They had been working on the music they do for quite a while and were going to other venues and trying to do something like this.
Let me guess: They got, ‘We don’t do rap.’ Am I right?
[Laughs] Yes. Anybody who know doesn’t know anything about rap thinks it’s all the same — they think gansta or trap. But Tizzy and Kizzy are doing amazing things. And everybody else at the Underground was like that. Every time you came it would be a different genre. Leanna Eden would come in and do her folky stuff. It was one of the most diverse crowds you’d see. It could be very folky, lo-fo acoustic music, and I even had some guys playing heavy metal-type things there. And in all the years I had it, we never had any problems. Never. Everyone seemed comfortable in their surroundings there.
Kids even came on days we weren’t doing an event. They’d just come, hang out and talk about working with each other. I just let them have the basement. They painted it, they made the stage, and from there, I just met so many other young people in Charlotte who wanted to do things but couldn’t find a place.
You stopped at some point. When did you start back and why?
We started back in March of this year at my home. I started back because we’d been gone for about a year or so, and people were asking about it, and I was thinking, ‘You know what: I can start it back out here at the house.” Well, the first night so many people showed up that there weren’t places for them to park.
I had no idea how much these kids missed it. I can’t even tell you how quickly it kicked in. I didn’t realize to the great extent that they needed this space.
Would I be correct in assuming you’ve moved the Underground out of your house now?
Yes, we’re doing them now at the New Era Music House on Old Concord Road, and we have since talked to the owner of Three Spirits Brewery and have done a few shows there in the past month and a half.
How did the Underground inspire you as an artist?
I started painting again. A lot of my art is very Afrocentric, and I never felt like there was a place for me and now I do. It allowed me to think, “There is a place for me. There is a place for us.” I guess sometimes if you can’t find it, you gotta make it.
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
— Wisconsin Corporate Whistleblower Center
WASHINGTON , DC, USA, July 20, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Wisconsin Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “We are urging an insider with proof a Wisconsin based federal contractor is lying about being minority owned to gain an unfair advantage on federal bids for work to call us anytime at 866-714-6466. As we would like to discuss anytime the rewards for this type of information can be extremely significant.” http://Wisconsin.CorporateWhistleblower.Com
The Center believes that many companies misrepresent the nature of their ownership structure to gain an unfair advantage when bidding for lucrative federal contracts. As an example, the US Department of Transportation mandates that 10% of federal highway jobs go to a minority or woman owned business. These federal contracts can be worth tens of millions of dollars for even a subcontractor.
The Wisconsin Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “Most federal agencies put a premium of giving minority or women owned businesses preferential treatment when it comes to biding on federal contracts. The system designed to assist minority or women owned businesses obtain federal work contracts is very easy to manipulate. As an example, a Caucasian male could appoint his female wife president/CEO of a Wisconsin based food distribution company, and or a construction company that builds highways and only an insider or the employees of the company would know the husband ran the business. The company could be based anywhere in Wisconsin including Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, Racine, Appleton, or Oshkosh.
“If you work for a company that is falsely claiming to be a minority or woman owned to business in Wisconsin to get an unfair competitive advantage on federal jobs or federal contract bidding or as an insider you possess this type of proof-please call us anytime at 866-714-6466 and let’s explore the reward possibilities. Why sit on a potentially winning lotto ticket without ever knowing what it could have been worth.” http://Wisconsin.CorporateWhistleblower.Com
Simple rules for a whistleblower from the Wisconsin Corporate Whistleblower Center: Do not go to the government first if you are a potential whistleblower with substantial proof of wrongdoing. The Wisconsin Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “Major whistleblowers frequently go to the government thinking they will help. It’s a huge mistake. Do not go to the news media with your whistleblower information. Public revelation of a whistleblower’s information could destroy any prospect for a reward. Do not try to force a company/employer or individual to come clean about significant Medicare fraud, overbilling the federal government for services never rendered, multi-million dollar state or federal tax evasion, or an Wisconsin based company falsely claiming to be a minority owned business to get preferential treatment on federal or state projects. Come to us first, tell us what type of information you have, and if we think it’s sufficient, we will help you with a focus on you getting rewarded.
Unlike any group in the US the Corporate Whistleblower Center can assist a potential whistleblower with packaging or building out their information to potentially increase the reward potential. They will also provide the whistleblower with access to some of the most skilled whistleblower attorneys in the nation. For more information a possible whistleblower with substantial proof of wrongdoing in Wisconsin can contact the Whistleblower Center at 866-714-6466 or contact them via their website at http://Wisconsin.CorporateWhistleBlower.Com
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email us here
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
Kung Fu Kenny, the five-foot-five giant and hip-hop’s resident Vitruvian Man awoke from his sleep to deliver us his fourth studio album back in April—”DAMN.,” a proper follow-up to put detractors of 2015’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” back in their cocoons.
“DAMN.” is a 14-track, 55-minute cathartic therapy session with Kendrick Lamar wrestling with himself and traversing his religiosity with all the convictions of Chance The Rapper and the skeptical inquisition of a 2004 Jadakiss. He paints an all-encompassing self-portrait, a Compton-crafted version of Jan van Eyck’s 1433 “Portrait of A Man,” with great detail as rich colors project from darkness. It’s Kendrick’s self-administered 12-step intervention on wax, with the beloved rapper, who plays Washington D.C.’s Verizon Center on July 21, looking eye-to-eye with each rendition of himself.
STEP ONE: ACCEPTING THE LACK OF CONTROL
The session begins on ‘BLOOD.,’ with a question Kendrick intends to answer throughout the album—”Is it wickedness or weakness?”—followed by a spaced-out fictitious parable where Kendrick tries to help a blind woman, who ends up shooting him. It seems like something Kellyanne Conway, Ann Coulter, or anyone who has a penchant for making anything “great again” would do, as Lady Justice seems to punish black people trying to Do The Right Thing in spite of their personal circumstances. Maybe Kendrick was walking past Tommy Bahama during an end-of-season sale when this blind woman shot him. Wherever he was walking, he was better suited to get in his Curtis Mayfield bag and Keep On Pushing to conserve his life but he did not and “DAMN.” begins at his ending, with our protagonist lacking clarity, and being harmed for trying to help.The rest of “DAMN.” is Kendrick moving through these emotions—was it wickedness or weakness that moved her to kill Kendrick?
STEP TWO: TAPPING INTO SOMETHING GREATER THAN ONESELF
Kendr-Kendri-Kendric-Kendrick crane kicks us right in the forehead with ‘DNA.’ The Mike WiLL Made-It production establishes a motif throughout the album where Kendrick examines his character and offers up a series of supposed dichotomies (war-peace, power-poison, pain-joy). In search of a sense of balance and a peace of mind while being antagonized by pallid cornballs like Eric Bolling, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Geraldo Rivera, Kendrick acknowledges that he has been endowed with prodigious talent and that makes him a target. He also explores his purpose as Yeshua’s (Jesus) new weapon, prophesying to and advocating for the masses through reason and rhyme. By way of a riff on Juvenile’s accusatory use of anaphora from ‘Ha,’ an atypical style for a rapper who’s known for his intricate flows, he makes a case for this delivery as being just as poetic as any other type of rhyme scheme or concept.
If all that isn’t enough, Kendrick put all of this in yet another song that also appeals to the chart-topping, music festival bangers fans have grown accustomed to in recent memory, a skill he’s perfected.
STEP THREE: TURNING TO GOD
Kdot transitions into the meditative and melodic on ‘YAH.’ He wants to stick close to family and those dear to him, namely his mother, his fiancée Whitney Alford, and his niece as his life becomes more hectic and filled with those who may not have his best interests at heart. With the lines “interviewers wanna know my thoughts and opinions. . . . I’m not a politician, I’m not ’bout a religion,” Kendrick circles back to a theme from ‘Ab-Soul’s Outro’ on his 2011 project “Section.80” before crediting his cousin Carl for assisting with his spiritual growth. He repeats ‘YAH,’ throughout the song—it is a shortened version of the deity Yahweh. With all the pressure surrounding him, Kendrick calls on God (or Yah) and refuses to be everything for everybody: “I’m not the next pop star, I’m not the next socially aware rapper. I am a human motherfuckin’ being over dope-ass instrumentation.”
Often times black artists with generational talent are manipulated by the immense pressure to become the moral authority on every DAMN topic. When people look to you as the healer, it’s a heavy cross to bear. It’s enough to go off the radar, inducing a rehabilitative self-care sabbatical to try and live as normal a life as possible for a while to recover and maintain a sense of sanity. Such was the case for Lauryn Hill and Dave Chappelle. Kendrick is starting to feel These Walls closing in on him as he’s “in the dead fucking center, looking around.”
STEP FOUR: A FEARLESS VALIDATION OF SELF
“I’ont give a fuck.” Kendrick doubles right back with another brooding banger, ‘ELEMENT.,’ acknowledging coercive influences over his life while maintaining an internal locus of control. He recounts the deep love he’s developed for making music and growing over the years: “I’m willin’ to die for this shit, I done cried for this shit, might take a life for this shit.” While the feds monitor his bank statements, while his aunt wants him to slow down a bit, Kendrick emphasizes the importance of staying focused on the work and being not just one of the best rappers right now, but being Mister One-Through-Five when talking about the top rappers of all-time, a la Dave Chappelle’s “Dylan-Dylan-Dylan-Dylan-Dylan” skit, all the while, making it look sexy.
STEP FIVE: AN ADMITTANCE OF ONE’S DEEPEST CONCERNS
Kendrick’s emotions swing like a pendulum and we’re quickly thrust from the glorious vindication of bossing up and celebrating to staring in the mirror for an hour at three in the morning, succumbing to the very emotions we’ve been trying so hard to suppress. The people in his inner circle are changing. Other rappers are still throwing dirt on his name. He has his own personal struggles to deal with. Kendrick feels like it’s “Me Against The World.” Had he been a jazz musician in the ’60s, ‘FEEL.’ would definitely be his hip-hop “Kendrick’s Mood” manifesto. The line “I feel like this gotta be the feeling where Pac was” is redolent of 2Pac’s “Sometimes I Cry” poem from his book of poetry “The Rose That Grew From The Concrete”: “Sometimes when I’m alone/ I cry because I’m on my own/ The tears I cry R bitter and warm/ They flow with life but take no form/ I cry because my heart is torn/ And I find it difficult 2 carry on/ If I had an ear 2 confide in/ I would cry among my treasured friends/ But who do u know that stops that long/ To help another carry on/ The world moves fast and it would rather pass u by than 2 stop and c what makes u cry/ It’s painful and sad and sometimes I cry/ and no one cares about why.”
STEP SIX: VICES & DEFECTS
Much like Pac, we get multiple sides of Kendrick through a trio of California love songs, escaping the emotional trappings of despair to find refuge in his greatest musings while pledging his devotion to music and the woman he loves on ‘LOYALTY.’ We’re blessed with Rihanna flaunting her rap skills, sparking off a call-and-response duet. Kendrick acknowledges that he’s flawed, but he is at peace with it, focusing on what he desires in spite of his shortcomings “I’m a savage, I’m an asshole, I’m a king. . . . I done been down so long lost hope/ I done came down so hard I slowed/ I don’t sleep forever, all a real nigga want.” He continues with this motif on ‘PRIDE.,’ where he accepts that he’ll never be perfect. The world is a hellish place and will never be ideal, but Kendrick envisions his utopia characterized by absolving himself of his vices, working on music, divesting from the prison-industrial complex, reallocating those funds to improve schools, and having the biggest religious gathering for everyone to understand and seek salvation in the highest deity whether it be God, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, or any other name.
‘LUST.’ is a cautionary tale of the dangers of wasting too much time and what happens when the mind is idle. Kendrick runs through a slew of unproductive and sometimes damaging actions that seem to be the makings of an ideal “lazy day” glorified in popular culture. At times Kendrick succumbs to his superficial desires, begging for sex “as blood rush my favorite vein . . . let me put the head in” in a chorus that might recall to some the unsubtle sexual imagery of Next’s ‘Too Close.’
Then he talks about the consequences of his lustful and inessential desires, waking up and regretting hasty decisions as reality checks back in. This reality check segues into ‘LOVE.,’ where Kendrick appraises his relationship, reminiscing over past experiences with his and mulls over the particulars of the ideal relationship characterized by unwavering trust and dedication no matter the circumstance—accompanied by a light and pleasant feature from frequent TDE collaborator Zacari, who is building his following through a series of one-off singles on Soundcloud.
STEP SEVEN: HUMILITY
With ‘HUMBLE.,’ Kendrick deviates from the seriousness of the album, abandoning humility for three minutes. Can you blame Cornrow Kenny for having some fun with it? What’s life without a little bit of satirical gusto? He juxtaposes struggle meals as a child with the type of lifestyle his lyrics have afforded him in present day and hints again at possibly bowing out of the limelight for a minute. “If I quit this season, I’ll still be the greatest” he says, eliciting the same look from rappers trying to take his spot that he has on his own face on the album’s cover.
Upon its release as the album’s lead single, Kendrick came under fire for the lines “I’m so fuckin’ sick and tired of the Photoshop/ Show me something natural like afro on Richard Pryor/ Show me something natural like ass with some stretch marks/ Still I take you down right on your momma couch in Polo sock.” Kendrick takes an issue with the phenomenon of ass shots, and taking extreme measures to “look perfect.” The criticism he got was legit: It is seen as a policing of the decisions women make for themselves compounded by the visuals in the music video that seem to contradict the message he wanted to convey. Though it did induce a much needed discourse on the politics of the male gaze and Euro-centric beauty standards, that is a conversation better suited for black women to champion as they have a breadth of knowledge on the topic as well as lived experience. But “DAMN.” can withstand rhetorical failings such as this: it is an album about Kendrick’s imperfections.
He gets to flexing on the second verse though, taking shots at rappers who think they can keep up with him, reverting back to a simple rap style, incorporating the use of anaphora again by capping a succession of bars with “aye”; it’s a style that is dominating rap music these days, so Kendrick is stunting on his competition here. And there is that chorus, sure to rock arenas and stadiums in the near future: “Bitch, be humble, sit down.”
STEPS EIGHT & NINE: ACKNOWLEDGING WHO YOU MAY HAVE WRONGED & TRYING TO MAKE AMENDS
Getting back to much of the album’s theme, ‘XXX.’ considers violence and retaliation. In the opening lines, Kendrick highlights the injustices perpetuated against black people throughout American history and the ingenuity and resilience black people exhibit in spite of being dealt a bad hand. And then he receives a sudden call from his friend, who asks Kdot for guidance and to keep him in his prayers as his son has been murdered. Kendrick knows damn well that if someone were to harm anyone close to him, he’d get to wrecking shit. “I’ll chip a nigga then throw the blower in his lap/ Walk myself to the court like, ‘bitch I did that,'” he raps, noting how unity and love go out of the window when your loved one is harmed.
He hangs up on his mans and notes that he has to speak to the kids about gun violence, a nod to the double bind role models find themselves in where they have to hide behind the human guile of propriety and for black role models, respectability. Kdot ponders the social engineering of black people characterized by a series of restrictive laws and scarce resources compounded by flooding the hood with guns and drugs. The result of these conditions looks like people doing what they need to do to survive, not acting like “thugs” as 45, Barack Obama, and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake would say. Kendrick realizes that he and all the other people politicians call “thugs” are just mirroring America’s founding values, ya bish.
STEP TEN: TAKING PERSONAL INVENTORY
Cousin Carl leaves a voicemail reciting Deuteronomy 28:28 at the beginning of ‘FEAR.,’ telling Kendrick that he’s in a rut because people of color are cursed. The bridge serves as the inner voice ruminating about constant grief. In the first verse, Kendrick replays childhood memories of his mother’s threats in his mind, the phrase “I beat yo ass” etched in his conscious as a teen; his actions are guided by the consequence of getting his ass whipped. He then thinks about how he’s going to die, be it through irrational decisions, police violence, or gang violence. If ridding himself of anxiety was as simple as sparking up a loud pack he would, but life isn’t that simple.
As an adult, Kendrick tries to stick to modesty, fearing that God may test his faith and take it all away like He did Job in the old testament. Kendrick likens the fear of a teen of his mother’s wrath to his fear of God as an adult. Kendrick’s biggest risk these days is losing his fortune, doing a cost-benefit analysis of hiring a financial advisor who may be sheisty. He reads the canonical Gospel of Rihanna, namely the verses where her accountant lost millions of dollars, prompting the psalm entitled ‘Bitch Better Have My Money.’
STEP ELEVEN: CONSCIOUS CONTACT WITH GOD
Kendrick has his revelatory moment with ‘GOD.’ He realizes that all the pain, the suffering, the rhymes, the hate coming from his peers, the family issues, the relationships he’s cultivated, the success he’s enjoyed, the dark thoughts are all a part of God’s plan for his life. With this realization, Kendrick seeks to live unapologetically as he continues to pursue his purpose.
STEP TWELVE: REVELATIONS
The inner voice at the beginning of the 9th Wonder-produced ‘DUCKWORTH.,’ tells Kendrick that he has to get out of his own way sometimes and that he has come control of his mindset. “It was always me versus the world, until I found it’s me versus me.” He then tells the backstories of Anthony Tiffith, the founder of Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), and Kendrick’s father, Kenneth Duckworth.
Tiffith lived a life of crime in his youth in Los Angeles as Kenneth Duckworth and Paula Oliver moved from Chicago to Los Angeles. The young family barely made ends meet as Kenneth worked at a chicken shack. Years before TDE, Anthony and Kenneth had a chance encounter while Anthony was surviving off capers, adapting to his social environment. Anthony planned to rob the chicken joint Kenny worked at. Here, Kendrick thinks about fate, karma, and the power of choice. What if that robbery had harmed or taken Kendrick’s father’s life? What if Anthony was caught and charged for the robbery? Who would Kendrick Lamar Duckworth be had Kenneth Duckworth and Paula Oliver stayed in Chicago? What would his fate had been? Had Anthony murdered Kenny Duckworth, TDE probably wouldn’t exist. He may not have been able to meet who we know now as Kendrick Lamar.
And so, “DAMN.,” ends at the beginning: With Kendrick, mindful of the influences of those who have gotten him to this point, still wondering after all of this time, still asking the question—”WHY.?”
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
Tracing family history isn’t an impossible feat, but it can be difficult for African American families. It’s why the International African American Museum’s first program launch is related to family heritage. The Center for Family History is a gallery and research center, the online version launched Tuesday.
“Most African Americans can only trace their personal family history back a couple of generations, maybe a great-grandparent,” said Michael B Moore, president and CEO of IAAM. “It’s difficult for most to go beyond that.”
Moore said African Americans were not included in the U.S. census until 1870 and records before then are either non-existent, destroyed, or lost.
The center is spearheaded by Toni Carrier, founder of Lowcountry Africana and a recognized genealogist. The center will also be staffed by a team of experienced genealogists and historians to digitize records, present online research tutorials, and produce scholarly articles. Additionally, Carrier’s team will be fully equipped to assist visitors with selecting and ordering a DNA test, interpreting the results, and using online DNA matching resources to help visitors get the most from DNA testing.
“(They’ll get) an ethnic breakdown, a world region breakdown of your regional origins and then also a list of people’s whose DNA you match,” said Carrier. “Then, you can begin to explore with those people and compare your family research with their family research and see if you can’t spot that common ancestor.”
“To only be able to trace their lineage back to a time when slaves were property, that’s not something that engenders a whole lot of good feelings and pride,” Moore said. “And to be able to trace their family history and use DNA to be able to point to a specific place in Africa, it just helps to fill out the broader picture of someone’s identity.”
The IAAM is scheduled to open in late 2019 or early 2020. It will be located in downtown Charleston on the former Gadsden’s Wharf, which is the site where almost half of all enslaved Africans first arrived in America during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Moore said they’ve secured half of the funding for the $75 million project.
Army surgeon general shares her path to success with US soldiers in Italy
VICENZA, Italy — She’s the first African-American surgeon general in Army history, the first black female Army officer to earn three stars and the highest-ranking woman ever to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy.
For Lt. Gen. Nadja West, it’s almost too embarrassing to talk about.
“The first this and that — it just sounds so self-serving,” she said.
After being appointed last year, the service’s second female surgeon general and commander of the Army Medical Command declined an interview to talk about herself. She preferred, an aide explained, “talking about readiness, military medicine and health and medical issues concerning our soldiers and beneficiaries.”
This week at a town hall meeting, West discussed all of the above.
Navy medical workers asked her advice on addressing a nursing shortage, how to best deliver behavioral health care and about an expected change next year that transfers responsibility for Army-managed hospitals and clinics to the Defense Health Agency.
However, many of the questions were about her career. West spoke candidly about her path to the pinnacle of Army medicine.
Which assignments enabled her rise through the ranks? one asked. How did she choose mentors?
“If you’d asked me [those questions] as a plebe at West Point I would have laughed,” West replied.
In the third academy class to admit women, she was an average cadet, she said. She almost didn’t go to medical school because she lacked confidence and doubted she’d be accepted.
She was encouraged by a doctor she met while visiting her father in the hospital. “What do you have to lose?” he said. “The worst that can happen is that they say no.”
A board-certified family practitioner and dermatologist, West is youngest of a dozen children adopted by a couple who, both reared in the Jim Crow South, surmounted racism to achieve their goals.
Her father, who instructed his children to always maintain a “sense of decorum,” enlisted into a segregated Army, served for decades and retired as a chief warrant officer 4.
Her mother was a civil rights activist who corresponded with Eleanor Roosevelt, West said. While stationed with West’s father in postwar Germany, in tandem with a Catholic orphanage, she spearheaded hundreds of adoptions of biracial children by African-American couples.
Those were her first mentors, West said, along with older siblings, most of whom also joined the military.
Trying to advance one’s career by assignment choice might be counterproductive, she said. If officers treat a position as a mere stepping stone to something better, she said, “People will know that.”
West leads 140,000 doctors, nurses and technicians worldwide and is responsible for 52 medical facilities. She talks frequently about the importance of empathy, saying that the best leaders try to understand and connect with those under their command and treat them with respect.
In an interview after the meeting, West recalled a pair of privates-first class she encountered years ago who wanted her autograph. As the then-colonel talked with the two young African-American women, one confided that she’d like to become an Army officer but knew it wasn’t possible.
“I said, ‘Why do you think you can’t do that?’ West said. “I challenged her.”
What did she have to lose?
West recently went to the captain’s promotion ceremony.
Lt. Gen. Nadja West, Army surgeon general and the commander of the Army Medical Command, visited Vicenza, Italy, July 18, 2017, during a check of the command’s capabilities, facilities and personnel in Europe. West, the first African-American surgeon general in Army history and the second woman to hold the position, told medical officers at a town hall meeting that to succeed they needed empathy as well as professional competence.
NANCY MONTGOMERY/STARS AND STRIPES
A new spate of shows at the California African American Museum. A gallery exchange in Culver City. And early works by an important L.A. sculptor. Here are 10 exhibitions and events to check out in the coming week:
“Gary Simmons: Fade to Black,” at the California African American Museum. In a new lobby installation — one that takes full advantage of the size and scale — Simmons pays tribute to forgotten African American actors and films. On a black background, the L.A. artist features the titles and names of films and individuals important to the early days of Hollywood history but, over time, have been forgotten. (Times reporter Deborah Vankin wrote about it.) The installation offers a good point of connection with the new exhibition “Center Stage: African American Women in Silent Race Films,” which features posters and screenings of pioneering films. Also on view is a pretty terrific exhibition of portraiture called “Face to Face,” featuring standout works by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Titus Kaphar and Mequitta Ahuja. The Simmons installation is on view through July 2018; “Face to Face” is up through Oct. 8 and “Center Stage” through Oct. 15. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Mutual Admiration Society,” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. The Culver City gallery is doing an exchange with Corbett vs. Dempsey, a Chicago-based gallery, that will bring the Chicago gallery’s artists to L.A. and send the L.A. gallery’s artists to Chicago. On view at Vielmetter will be works by a trio of artists: Chicago-based painter Margot Berman, who will be showing a series of head shot-style paintings of women that combine expressive brushstrokes with fine detail; New York sculptor Arlene Schechet, whose objects features a mix of ceramic with wood, painted metal and found bits; and the Chicago-based John Sparagana, whose work explores the ways in which images are employed in contemporary media. Opens Thursday and runs through Aug. 19. 6006 Washington Blvd., Culver City, vielmetter.com.
“Summery Appeal,” at the Good Luck Gallery. Curator Doug Harvey has organized a group exhibition that brings together pieces from several Southern California Progressive Art Studios, nonprofit programs geared to artists with developmental disabilities. Taking the theme of summer — and ideas of warmth and leisure — the show features 50 artists, including figures such as Dru McKenzie, Jackie Marsh and Lupe Carbajal. Opens Saturday at 7 p.m. and runs through Aug. 27. 945 Chung King Rd., Chinatown, Los Angeles, thegoodluckgallery.com.
John Mason, “Sculpture: 1958-1969,” at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. An exhibition of key works by the Los Angeles sculptor (who showed at Ferus Gallery back in the day) gathers works from 1958 to 1969 — monumental pieces that often explored the limits of his materials. Included in the show, organized by former L.A. gallerist Frank Lloyd, will be a pair of early vertical sculptures that bear totemic qualities. Opens Saturday at 5 p.m. and runs through Aug. 26. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, kaynegriffincorcoran.com.
“Impermanence,” with Barbara T. Smith, John Coplans & Hannah Wilke, at Cirrus Gallery. The trio of artists in this show will probe issues of change and transformation as reflected by the human body. Smith presents her aged hands in images inspired by her Xerox portraits, Coplans captures the evolution of his own body as it ages in photographs captured over a 20-year time span, and Wilke’s full-color images record the changes her body underwent during cancer treatment. Through Aug. 19. 2011 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, cirrusgallery.com.
Molly Surno, featuring Brian Chase, “Me of We,” at the Getty Center. As part of Friday Flights, the interdisciplinary performance series held at the Getty every summer, the museum is putting on a trio of performances. “We of Me” is a collaboration between artist Molly Surno and musician Brian Chase (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), featuring 20 men in a choreographed soundscape. Plus, there will be shows by the L.A. artist collective Institute for a New Feeling and Sun Araw, the psychedelic musical project by L.A.-based artist Cameron Stallone. Friday at 6 p.m. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Sam Durant and Timothy Phillips, at Art Catalogues at LACMA. The L.A. artist, whose work often takes on complex issues of history and race, will be in conversation with Timothy Phillips, the founder of the nonprofit Beyond Conflict, about the role of art in addressing social conflict. 4 p.m. Sunday, Ahmanson Building, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“The Fabulous Six,” at Feral Projects. The debut show at this new project space devoted to exhibiting women of color will feature work by April Bey, Audry Chan, Farrah Karapetian, Holly Tempo, Mary Anna Pomonis/Allison Stewart and Sandy Rodriguez. Opens Saturday at 2 p.m.; at all other times by appointment only (email email@example.com). Runs through July 29. 4107 S. Hobart Blvd., Vermont Square, Los Angeles, facebook.com.
Marcos Rios, “My mind is alive with thoughts of my sadness,” at Mandujano Cell. Rios creates theatrical installations — out of photography, sculpture and painting — that employ slapstick to explore heavy topics such as failure, death and despair. Opens 9 p.m. Saturday and runs through Aug. 26. 171 N. La Brea Ave., No. 204, Inglewood, mandujano-cell.com.
“Pow! Wow!” in Long Beach. The public mural series held in Long Beach every year is back with a series of nearly two dozen new murals in locations around the city, including parking garages and underpasses. Artists begin producing murals on Sunday through July 22. Murals will be on view indefinitely in locations around Long Beach, powwowlongbeach.com.
John Baldessari, “Eight Colorful Inside Jobs,” at Mixografia. This exhibition features works from the more than two-decade-long collaboration between the California conceptualist and the innovative printers at Mixografia, known for creating paper works with deep texture (or illusions of texture). The series on view presents shapes in simple forms in solid basic colors. Through Saturday. 1419 E. Adams Blvd., Central-Alameda, Los Angeles, mixografia.com.
An Te Liu, “Transmission,” at Anat Ebgi. Liu is a Toronto-based artist whose bronze and ceramic works are carved and cast from mundane materials such as plastic foam. His first solo show at Anat Ebgi gathers a number of his trophy-like works. Through Saturday. 2660 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, anatebgi.com.
“Vernacular Environments, Part 1,” at Edward Cella Art & Architecture. A group show brings together works from the 1960s to the present in ways that explore issues of environment and the ways in which humans shape it. Serving as a cornerstone to the exhibition is Robert Smithson’s film “Spiral Jetty,” about his renowned piece of land art of the same name. Other artists in the show include sculptor Dan Graham, composer and video artist Christian Marclay, photographer Stephen Berens and conceptualist Clarissa Tossin, who created a floating sculpture based on Brazil’s presidential palace out of empty cement bags, a nod to the Brazilian capital’s informal settlements. Through Saturday. 2754 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, edwardcella.com.
Hammer Projects: Andrea Bowers, at the Hammer Museum. Bowers, an artist known for her activism, regularly broaches the subject in her work. This new installation was inspired by the artist’s involvement in the protests at Standing Rock — charting the connections between the international banking system and the construction of oil pipelines. She ties these to food and water issues at the Los Angeles level. Through Saturday. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
“When L.A. Grew Up: Galka Scheyer’s Hollywood on the Eve of World War,” at the Norton Simon Museum. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Maven of Modernism: Galka Scheyer in California,” this Friday film series, organized by critic David Kipen, is screening pictures from the ’30s that examine Hollywood’s embrace of European exiles. The series continues this week with a presentation of Joris Ivens “The Spanish Earth.” Also on the line-up for the rest of the month: screenings of “Ninotchka” and Fritz Lang’s “Man Hunt.” Screenings take place on Fridays at 5:15 p.m. through July 21. 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, nortonsimon.org.
“Chinese Ceramics From the Los Angeles County Museum of Art,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum.” Part of a new series of partnerships that will take LACMA works to other organizations around L.A., this show represents an overview of Chinese ceramics from the museum’s permanent collection that take the viewer from circa 2500 BC to the 19th century — as well as the museum’s own long history as a collector of Chinese ceramics. Through July 22. East Los Angeles College, 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org and lacma.org.
“A Decolonial Atlas: Strategies in Contemporary Art of the Americas,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. A group exhibition looks at the legacy of colonialism in everything from historical narratives to the struggle over human resources. The show is broken up into four sections that provide a distinctly indigenous view of identity, notions of time, relationship to the landscape (and the resources they hold) and how history is told and archived. Sounds like a show for our time. Through July 22. East Los Angeles College, 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpricemuseum.org.
Star Montana, “I Dream of Los Angeles,” at the Main Museum. Montana is an artist known for her stark, formally posed photographic portraits — a style she employs on the everyday denizens of Los Angeles, including people she meets on the streets in her native Boyle Heights as well as others that she has met through open calls. This show gathers various new works. The museum will also have an exhibition devoted to Alice Könitz’s prototypes for new types of museum seating. Through July 23. 114 W. 4th St., downtown Los Angeles, themainmuseum.org.
Carl Andre, “Sculpture as Place: 1958-2010,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. This retrospective, which was first shown at Dia:Beacon in 2014, surveys the work of a sculptor known for creating minimalist installations out of raw building materials such as bricks, metal squares and wood blocks. The retrospective brings together pieces from throughout the artist’s five-decade career, including sculpture, photography, ephemera and his rare “Dada Forgeries,” a series of ready-made pieces that he has produced sporadically over the course of his life. Also opening at MOCA Geffen is a new film installation by award-winning filmmaker and artist Arthur Jafa, which traces questions of black identity employing found footage. Through July 24. 152 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.org.
“Spiral Play: Loving in the ’80s,” at Art + Practice. Al Loving was an artist who drew on sources as varied as free jazz, his family’s quilting traditions and the history of Modern painting when creating abstracted works that riffed on color, form and flatness. But later in life, he turned his attention to depth, using heavy rag paper and other elements to create multidimensional collages infused with bold lines and bright color. This show, organized by Christopher Bedford, the new director of the Baltimore Museum of Art (formerly of LACMA), features 12 of these late monumental collages. Through July 29. 3401 W. 43rd Place, Leimert Park, Los Angeles, artandpractice.org.
“Concrete Poetry: Words and Sounds in Graphic Space,” at the Getty Research Institute. This is an exhibition where words are about words, but also form. Starting in the mid-1950s, the movement known as concrete poetry sought to explore the space between poetry and visual art, creating works that were visual (words in shapes and 3-D form) but also played with the sound and cadence of language. This show features more than 100 works from the lead poets of the era, including Scotsman Ian Hamilton Finlay, the Brazilian Augusto de Campos and U.S. poets Mary Ellen Solt and Emmett Williams. Through July 30. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“From the Desert to the Sea: The Desolation Center Experience,” at Cornelius Projects. Today, we have Coachella. In the early ’80s, there was Desolation Center, a series of site-specific concerts held in the desert that were a little bit DIY and a lot of punk. (Audiences would arrive by rented school bus. No one Instagrammed.) Key musicians included Sonic Youth, Meat Puppets and Einstürzende Neubauten, and on-site art was provided by the likes of Survival Research Laboratories. This exhibition at Cornelius Projects features painting, photography, sculpture and other ephemera related to the shows. Through July 30. 1417 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro, corneliusprojects.com.
“Eyewitness News: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe,” at the Getty Museum. In the days before smartphones and cameras and even the daguerreotype, important public events were recorded through painting. This newly-opened show at the Getty has gathered works by the likes of Antonio Canaletto, Bernardo Bellotto, Giovanni Paolo Panini and others that record the important events of the era: a state visit between a king and a pope, the first hot air balloon flight ever recorded in Venice, Italy, and the damage suffered by the German city of Dresden after the Seven Years’ War of the 18th century. A new — or perhaps old? — way of looking at the news. Through July 30. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“Black Velvet Punks: Pistols to Plasmatics,” at Velveteria. The esteemed velvet painting museum has a new show up dedicated to the pioneers of punk. Rendered on seductive black velvet are important musicians such as Johnny Rotten, Henry Rollins, Wendy O. Williams and GG Allin. Plus, a special new portrait honors Rodney Bingenheimer, a.k.a. “Rodney on the ROQ,” the influential DJ who left KROQ after 40 years of giving key acts their radio breaks. Through July. 711 New High St., Chinatown, Los Angeles, velveteria.com.
“Nut Art,” at Parker Gallery. This group show harks back to a movement called Nut Art that was founded in the late ’60s by a group of Northern California artists that included painter Roy De Forest, writer David Zack and ceramicist and printmaker David Gilhooly. (The concept took off at Gilhooly’s house in Port Costa as the group was drinking beer.) A number of exhibitions brought together by these artists, whose bright, multihued pieces riffed on the humorous and the slightly surreal. The show at this new apartment gallery brings together exhibitions from a 1972 show, as well as related works by those artists. Through Aug. 5. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for location and hours, Los Feliz, parkergallery.com.
Joe Ray, “Complexion Constellation,” at Diane Rosenstein Gallery. An exhibition by the L.A.-based artist brings together works from throughout his five-decade career exploring “inner and outer space.” This includes works made from resin and plastic about issues of depth and perception (he was connected to important light and space figures such as Larry Bell), as well as canvases that depict aspects of outer space and, with wryly written words, connect with issues of race. Other ephemera — such as photographs from early performances — are included. Through Aug. 5. 831 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, dianerosenstein.com.
“Flaming June VII (Flaming Creatures),” at Gavlak Gallery. Part of a series of shows that Sarah Gavlak has organized since 1997, this group exhibition, featuring work by Lisa Anne Auerbach, Marnie Weber, Betty Tompkins and Lecia Dole-Recio, takes its inspiration from the 19th century English painter Frederic Leighton’s “Flaming June,” an 1895 canvas of a sleeping woman in a brilliant orange gown. Through Aug. 5. 1034 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, gavlakgallery.com.
“Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories,” at the Huntington. Butler, the pioneering Los Angeles science fiction writer (the first to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called genius grant) and a writer whose narratives seamlessly blended issues of race and gender with elements of the magical, is the subject of a new exhibition on her life and work. This show at the Huntington (where her archive is kept) gathers roughly 100 items, including notebooks, photographs, journals and first editions of some of her novels, including “Kindred,” one of her best, most riveting works. Through Aug. 7. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, huntington.org.
Razvan Boar, EZ Valley, at Nicodim. Sketchy paintings by the Romanian artist riff on pop, landscape and the human figure with splotches of color or layers of transparent paper that produce a collage-like effect. The subjects — cute animals, lounging women — bear a sweet innocence, but a certain knowing quality, too. Through Aug. 12. 571 S. Anderson St., Ste. 2, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, nicodimgallery.com.
Andrea Zittel, at Regen Projects. Zittel is perhaps best known for creating the High Desert Sites in Joshua Tree, an arts compound that is as much a gathering space as it is an ever-evolving work of art that she also inhabits. This show continues her investigations into the ways in which environment can be shaped and molded in ways that are both industrial and domestic. It also marks the inauguration of a new sculptural work in the desert. Through Aug. 12. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, regenprojects.com.
“Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066,” at the Japanese American National Museum. At a time when executive orders are transforming U.S. society, it’s a good moment in which to study one of the most notorious ones: President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Order 9066, which allowed for the incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans living along the West Coast during World War II. This exhibition brings together historical ephemera from this dark period in U.S. history, as well as works of art and performance that reflect on the issue of internment. Along with this, the museum is presenting “Moving Day,” a nightly public art piece in which exclusion orders are projected on the side of the building. Through Aug. 13. 100 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, janm.org.
Jimena Sarno, “home away from,” at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. Employing a series of Hollywood flats — the flat wooden architectural backdrops used on film and television sets — Sarno has constructed an installation that riffs on issues of borders and displacement. Throughout the exhibition, the space will host a series of artist collaborations, including performances and workshops. Through Aug. 13. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.
“Now Then: Chris Killip and the Making of In Flagrante,” at the Getty Museum. This exhibition features work from Killip’s groundbreaking book, “In Flagrante,” which documented the impact of deindustrialization on working-class communities in northern England in the 1970s and ’80s. The show includes maquettes, contact sheets and work prints, as well as images form a pair of related projects. A moving ode to industrial towns in decline. Through Aug. 13. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Lucio Muniain, “Are You Skeptical?” at the Grand Central Art Center. The Mexico City artist takes everyday images of brutality that saturate the media and uses them to create works on paper that record, in a more methodical fashion, the issues of violence plaguing the poor, migrants and marginalized communities — a way of re-sensitizing viewers who might be numb to the daily drumbeat of bad news. As part of the exhibition, which will feature dozens of the artist’s drawings, Muniain has also created a large-scale mural. Through Aug. 13. 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, grandcentralartcenter.com.
Lauren Greenfield, “Generation Wealth,” at the Annenberg Space for Photography. Greenfield, a filmmaker and photographer, has long explored the issues of affluence and consumerism at the intersection of social status and celebrity culture. The exhibition features 195 color prints that depict the continual aspiration for more. Through Aug. 13. 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, Los Angeles, annenbergphotospace.org.
Marisa Merz, “The Sky is a Great Space,” at the Hammer Museum. This is the first traveling U.S. retrospective of the Italian painter, sculptor and installation artist, covering five decades of innovative work — from her early experiments with Arte Povera (the only female member of the movement) to the enigmatic heads she created in the 1980s and ’90s. The show will include some of her trademark installations from the ’70s too — including pieces made from delicate copper wire, bowls of saltwater and knitting needles. This is the exhibition’s West Coast debut after its display at the Met Breuer in New York City. Through Aug. 13. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, hammer.ucla.edu.
Jim Shaw at Blum & Poe. Shaw, who currently has a massive installation on view at the Marciano Art Foundation, is also showcasing a series of works at his Culver City gallery space. This includes drawings on paper, as well as paintings on old theater backdrops that riff on the dark side of politics and popular culture. Through Aug. 19. 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, blumandpoe.com.
Amy Park, “Ed Ruscha’s Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass,” at Kopeikin Gallery. In her previous show at Kopeikin, Park transformed Ed Ruscha’s famous photographic chronicle, “Every Building on the Sunset Strip,” into a sequence of poignant watercolors that rendered that cold photographic document in a human hand. In this series, she takes on the L.A. artist’s book “Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass,” turning Ruscha’s deadpan images of pools into remarkable studies of color, light and design. Through Aug. 19. 2766 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, kopeikingallery.com.
Betye Saar, “Keepin’ It Clean,” at the Craft & Folk Art Museum. A new exhibition by the renowned Los Angeles assemblage artist gathers the washboard pieces that she has made over the course of her career — pieces that reflect on issues of American race and inequity. Also on view is the exhibition “Material as Metaphor,” which features nearly a dozen artists exploring contemporary iterations of fiber art using materials such as vinyl, industrial felt and wire. Through Aug. 20. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
“Chalk Circles,” at REDCAT. A combination of art and performance explores the connection between the two — including the ways in which these forms address movement and gesture and the presence of bodies. The show is organized by REDCAT gallery director Ruth Estevez and LACMA curator José Luis Blondet, and its title is inspired by a 1944 play written by Bertolt Brecht in Los Angeles called “The Caucasian Chalk Circle.” The show includes work by Pilar Aranda, Peio Aguirre, Dora García, Silke Otto-Knapp and Kerry Tribe. Emily Mast performs “Hold Your Tension” in collaboration with Mikaal Sulaiman this Sunday at 5 p.m.The show runs through Aug. 20. Check the website for a full list of performances. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown Los Angeles, redcat.org.
Mary Ellen Carroll, “1963 (Outtakes, Aftermaths and Assassinations,” at Redling Fine Art. The conceptual artist takes the year 1963 as a point of inspiration, indexing the year’s images so that one image represents every day of the year. From these, Carroll will create a painting to represent each day. In her new show at Redling, she is showing six works from these series — “indexed under the subjects of aftermath, altering perception, and assassination.” Through Aug. 26. 6757 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, redlingfineart.com.
“No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992,” at the California African American Museum. A historical exhibition looks at the myriad social and political forces that led to the 1992 riots in the wake of the Rodney King verdict — including a troubled history of police relations in minority communities, a history of housing segregation and the drug war, among other factors. Included in the show are hundreds of images and historic documents, as well as a zoot suit and a ’90s era police cruiser. Through Aug. 27. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“NOEMA,” at the El Segundo Museum of Art. A show about diagramming features at its heart an epic 27-foot piece by Matthew Ritchie that was created in collaboration with the Getty Research Institute and charts the entire history of human diagrams. This was obviously designed for a geek like me. Through Aug. 27. 208 Main St., El Segundo, esmoa.org.
“Living Apart Together: Recent Acquisitions,” at the Hammer Museum. A new installation gathers recent additions to the museum’s permanent collection — gifts from donors and artists, as well as museum acquisitions — with an emphasis on art made over the last decade in Los Angeles. A good opportunity to see what’s been cooking in the old hometown. Through Aug. 27. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
Dennis Hopper, “The Lost Album,” at Kohn Gallery. In addition to being an actor, Hopper was a devoted photographer, who, for a period of 10 years, principally in the ‘60s, carried his camera with him wherever he went. In the process, he captured scenes on the street, celebrities at rest and his artist friends (figures such as Ed Ruscha and Billy Al Bengston). The exhibition is drawn from an archive of more than 400 photographs that sat untouched in a box until after the artist’s death in 2010. An adjacent space is showing works by Hopper contemporaries John Altoon, Wallace Berman, Bruce Conner and others. Through Sept. 1. 1227 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, kohngallery.com.
“Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Murray,” at the Museum of Latin American Art. For almost a decade in the 1930s and ’40s, the Hungarian-born photographer Nickolas Murray photographed Mexican painter Frida Kahlo at home and at work. This exhibition gathers 46 black and white and color photographs of the Mexican artist, as well as copies of the correspondence they exchanged. Through Sept. 3. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.org.
2017 California Pacific Triennial, at the Orange County Museum of Art. The latest iteration of OCMA’s biennial looks at issues of architecture and urban design and their ever evolving features. This includes installations by 25 artists from throughout the Pacific Rim, including L.A.-based artist Olga Koumoundouros, known for working with fallow structures; Nancy Popp, who has studied issues of displacement related to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro; Korea-born artist Haegue Yang, who employs elements of domestic architecture in elaborate installations; and Teddy Cruz, of Estudio Teddy Cruz, in collaboration with Fonna Forman, both of whom run the Cross-Border Initiative at UC San Diego. At a time in which space in cities is growing increasingly contested, it is an ideal time for a show of this nature. Through Sept. 3. 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach, ocma.net.
Luis Tapia, “Cada Mente es un Mundo,” at the Museum of Latin American Art. This solo presentation features new and recent works by the Santa Fe-based artist, who is known for creating work that is inspired by the techniques of traditional craft — but uses it to address a range of modern themes, including Chicano identity. Through Sept. 3. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.org.
John Divola, “Physical Evidence,” at Gallery Luisotti. The long-time SoCal artist, who was featured in the most recent Whitney Biennial, is known for his stark pictures of abandoned domestic spaces that often bear wry bits of his own alterations. The show brings together two major bodies of work: the “Five Prints Portfolio” from the 1980s and “Untitled, 1990,” from the following decade — which though seemingly opposite in nature (one bursts with color and objects, the other is abstracted black and white) are both about the thin line between the real and the artificial. Through Sept. 9. An artist’s reception will be held Aug. 5 at 6 p.m. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., No. A2, Santa Monica, galleryluisotti.com.
“Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971,” at the L.A. County Museum of Art. Previously on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, this exhibition tracks the legacy of one of the most important postwar galleries in the United States — a space that, for a time, operated in Los Angeles. Its proprietor, Virginia Dwan, wasn’t simply a run-of-the-mill gallerist, she was a patron, supporting artists with stipends and studios. She staged one of the earliest pop art exhibitions and she was an important supporter of minimalism. Plus, she was key in helping artists execute the most outrageous works — including important land art pieces such as Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty.” Talk about thinking big. Through Sept. 10. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, www.lacma.org.
“Illuminating Women in the Medieval World” at the Getty Museum. Drawn from the museum’s collection of medieval illuminations, this exhibition pulls together images that represent the medieval woman in various guises: as biblical heroines, saints and nuns. The show also explores the ways in which women contributed to the production of manuscripts during that era. Through Sept. 17. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Paul McCarthy, “Spinoffs, Wood Statues, Brown Rothkos,” at Hauser & Wirth. McCarthy is known for tackling the grotesque and the excessive in American culture. This show features nine monumental carved black walnut sculptures that are part of his continuing examination of the 19th century German fairy tale “Snow White,” along with Disney’s more Modern interpretation — but in ways that are hardly about happy endings. Through Sept. 17. 901 E. 3rd St., downtown Los Angeles, hauserwirthlosangeles.com.
Sean David Christensen and Michael Nannery, at the Grand Central Art Center. On view is video by Sean David Christensen that explores his father’s manic depression and an experimental interior garden by Michael Nannery. Through Sept. 17. 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, grandcentralartcenter.com.
Jim Shaw, “The Wig Museum,” at Marciano Art Foundation. Shaw is a Los Angeles artist who has long been obsessed with marginal religious movements and secretive social orders. Which makes him the perfect artist to take over the cavernous theater at the Marciano Art Foundation, which once served as a masonic temple. (Among the various collections in his studio, Shaw maintains a box of masonic wigs.) For this installation, he has employed vintage masonic theater backdrops that were found at the space for a sprawling diorama that riffs on the themes that preoccupy him most: capitalism and its discontents. Also on view is an exhibition of works from Marciano’s private collection. Through Sept. 17. Admission is free but advance reservations are required. 4357 Wilshire Blvd., Windsor Square, Los Angeles, marcianoartfoundation.org.
“Down and to the Left: Reflections of Mexico in the NAFTA Era,” at Armory Center for the Arts. A group exhibition featuring work by a range of Mexico and U.S-based artists takes as its point of departure the ’90s NAFTA years, a period of great change, when Mexico came out of a relative period of isolation, and when the local and the global became one. It was also a time when the Zapatista rebellion against the government had galvanized indigenous people and international audiences. Many of the works on view by artists such as Javier Téllez, Nao Bustamante, Lourdes Grobet and Pedro Mayer deal with this climate of economic and political unrest. Through Sept. 17. 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, armoryarts.org.
Phil Dike, “At the Edge of the Sea,” at the Laguna Art Museum. Raised in Redlands in the early part of the 20th century, Dike was a story designer for Walt Disney (working on animated classics such as “Fantasia”) and also taught at Chouinard (which ultimately became CalArts), and later, Scripps College. But he also painted — watercolor sketches that captured wind, sand and sea. At first, he did this in literal ways. Later in his career, he reached toward the purely abstract. This show gathers 40 years of works from the California regionalist, featuring more than 60 paintings, including many that have never before been seen. Through Sept. 24. 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach, lagunaartmuseum.org.
“Maven of Modernism: Galka Scheyer in California,” at the Norton Simon Museum. This exhibition examines the life of a key art dealer: Galka Scheyer, who embraced Modern work early in the 20th century and was partly responsible for bringing the artists known as the “Blue Four” to prominence in the United States. (They were Lyonel Feininger, Alexei Jawlensky, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky.) Born in Germany in the late 19th century, she ultimately settled in California, where she lived in San Francisco and later in Hollywood, where she found an audience that was open to the work and its ideas. The exhibition contains work by the Blue Four, but also objects and other artworks that connect to Scheyer’s personal and professional life. Through Sept. 25. 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, nortonsimon.org.
Robert Grosvenor, at Maccarone. The gallery is showing three large-scale sculptures by the New York City artist, known for producing works that often seem to defy gravity. (Times art critic Christopher Knight notes the power of the piece he currently has on view at LACMA as part of the group exhibition “Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971.”) These more recent works see him mixing his signature industrial materials with found and other objects in ways that riff on materials and balance. Through Sept. 30. 300 S. Mission Road, Boyle Heights, maccarone.net.
“Sea Sick in Paradise,” at the Depart Foundation Malibu Village. A group show organized by Amy Yao looks at that righteous point where art and surfing intersect — touching on surf culture and history, as well as environmental concerns. This include a mix of pieces by Billy Al Bengston, Jeff Ho, Stanya Kahn, Margaret Kilgallen, Barry McGee, Roe Etheridge and Tin Ojeda — among many others — at a pop-up space in Malibu. Through Sept. 30. 3822 Cross Creek Road, Malibu, departfoundation.com.
“Home — So Different, So Appealing,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This is the first of the Getty-funded Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles / Latin America series — and it couldn’t land at a better social and political moment. The show, a collaborative effort between LACMA, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center, thoughtfully explores the way in which Latino and Latin American artists have used elements of the domestic to comment on issues of the personal and the political in art. The assembled works — by figures such as Felix Gonzalez Torres, Luis Camnitzer and Leyla Cardenas — include installations that ruminate on immigration, urban architecture, control and subtle resistance. The conversation piece? Perhaps Daniel Joseph Martinez’s recreation of a spliced Unabomber cabin painted in Martha Stewart shades. Through Oct. 15. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“¡Mírame! Expressions of Queer Latinx Art,” at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. A group show brings together artists from various Latino backgrounds who explore issues of sexuality and identity in their art, including Xandra Ibarra, Alma Lopez, Julio Salgado and noted photographer Laura Aguilar, known for the striking portraits she creates of herself and others. Through Dec. 9. 501 N. Main St., downtown Los Angeles, lapca.org.
“Neo Native: Toward New Mythologies,” at the Maloof Foundation. This exhibition features more than 40 works by 11 contemporary U.S. artists with Native American roots — including painting, photography, ceramics and more. This includes works by painter Gerald Clarke Jr., ceramicist Diego Romero, conceptual artist Cannupa Hanska Luger and photographer Cara Romero. Opens Sunday and runs through Jan. 7. 5131 Carnelian St., Alta Loma, malooffoundation.org.
Standing Rock: Art and Solidarity, at The Autry. The Standing Rock protest in North Dakota attracted an unprecedented protest that brought together native and non-native cultures in a unified front against the proposed Dakota Access pipeline. This exhibition gathers ephemera from that action, including poster art, clothing and photographs. Through Feb. 18. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, theautry.org.
“Artists of Color,” at the Underground Museum. As part of its ongoing partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Arlington Heights arts space has put together an exhibition that focuses on color — on its aesthetics, as well as the roles color can play as a symbol, affecting the way it’s perceived both socially and politically. The show includes works by an array of artists, including Ellsworth Kelly, Dan Flavin, Lita Albuquerque, EJ Hill, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Josef Albers, Carmen Herrera and Noah Davis (the late founder of the Underground Museum). It’s a striking look at color seen anew. On long-term view; no closing date set. 3508 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights, theunderground-museum.org.
“Becoming America: Highlights From the Jonathan and Karin Fielding Collection,” at the Huntington Library. The Huntington has just redone its American art galleries and now features a new expansion by architects at Frederick Fisher and Partners that adds eight rooms for display. Up first is an exhibition devoted to the Fielding Collection, featuring more than 200 works of 18th and early 19th century American art, including paintings, furnishings and decorative art. Through Oct. 28, 2019. 151 Oxford Road, San Marino, huntington.org.
“L.A. Communities Through the Eyes of Artists,” in the Passageway Gallery at Union Station. For 15 years, L.A.’s principal train station has been showcasing work that reveals the city through the eyes of its artists. This year, it is showing a series of newly commissioned pieces — including Shizu Saldamando’s depiction of Little Tokyo, Sam Pace on Leimert Park and Artemio Rodriguez on East L.A. On view indefinitely. Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., downtown Los Angeles, metro.net.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “Carne y Arena,” at LACMA. The gripping new virtual reality experience by the Academy Award-winning director places the participant in the shoes of migrants making the arduous trek through the Sonoran desert to reach the United States. This may sound like the trivialization of what can be a fatal journey, but it is not. Iñarritu has considered all of the elements that surround his virtual reality video to humanize the story of immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border. I wrote about my experience of the piece in June. It’s not cheap (it’s a $30 special admission, in addition to regular museum fees) but it’s worth every penny. On view indefinitely. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
Daniel Hawkins, “Desert Lighthouse.” The Los Angeles-based artist is obsessed with producing works that toy with ideas of grandiosity, failure and gestures that border on the Sisiphyean. (One of his goals as an artist is to ultimately build a scale replica of Hoover Dam.) Now Hawkins has installed a 50-foot tall, fully functioning lighthouse in the Mojave Desert in the vicinity of Barstow. The piece even features a light to guide travelers through this rugged landscape. Directions and coordinates can be found on the website. On view indefinitely, Hinkley, Calif., desertlighthouse.org.
Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
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Were their prayers answered?
White — most of them, anyway — evangelicals, recently photographed laying hands on President Donald Trump perhaps were praying that the proposed Senate health care bill, the one estimates predicted would result in millions losing care or Medicaid coverage, would fail.
And it did.
Or maybe not. Who knows what a person prays for in his or her heart?
This week, a group of African-American faith leaders brought a different message to Washington, illustrating the stark divide in a country with a separation between church and state that is regularly and sometimes warily breached by politicians and preachers alike.
A majority of Americans prefer leaders who profess some belief. Reflecting that, the percentage of believers and Christians has remained surprisingly stable in Congress even as the diversity of faiths represented has broadened. Meanwhile, the citizenry grows increasingly uncertain of the power of a higher power.
In truth, many of those particular faith leaders in the Oval Office have aligned themselves with the Trump agenda, whatever it is that day, and they’re sticking with it.
Vice President Mike Pence and a host of other elected officials wear their faith openly and proudly, and use it, they say, as a guiding principle for policy decisions. Of course, what God instructs can be interpreted in widely different ways.
White evangelicals who attend church regularly are strongly in the president’s corner — as are, to a lesser extent, white Catholics, which causes some awkward avoidance of political talk in my diverse parish on any given Sunday.
In giving a report on exactly what happened in the White House, Richard Land, head of the Southern Evangelical Seminary in Matthews, N.C., in the Charlotte Observer, did not have much to say on health care. He did, however, echo the president’s talking points, particularly on the investigation into possible Trump campaign ties to Russia.
Land called it an “inside-the-Beltway, navel-gazing, tail-chasing exercise that most Americans don’t care about.” He also threw in the obligatory attack on the media.
And yes, he said, the evangelical leaders, who were treated to an issues briefing from Jared Kushner, in their presidential meeting “prayed that God would give him wisdom … and that God would protect him.” But that seemed beside the political point.
Many white evangelical leaders supported Trump during the campaign, citing his anti-abortion views, his position on giving churches and individuals more freedom of action and expression in the public square and his power to appoint conservative judges sympathetic to that agenda.
That support paid off with the appointment of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, with little attention to how the previous president’s pick Merrick Garland was shunted aside to leave the vacancy open.
It’s not that Trump’s, shall we say, flamboyant lifestyle and profane pronouncements did not give religious leaders pause. But, in a neat trick used by inauguration speaker Franklin Graham, those very transgressions were twisted around as proof that Trump was chosen.
“He did everything wrong, politically,” Graham said in The Atlantic. “He offended gays. He offended women. He offended the military. He offended black people. He offended the Hispanic people. … And he became president of the United States. Only God could do that.”
Picking and choosing
Now, forgiveness and understanding are certainly positive values. But they can be used strategically and selectively.
Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm, found that out when his criticisms of Trump’s behavior, the role of religion in politics, and outreach to all races and religions earned rebuke and the cold shoulder from fellow Christians, as well as a nasty tweet by the president himself.
Other rebels have surfaced since. Lawrence Ware publicly renounced his ordination in the Southern Baptist Convention in The New York Times, in part because of its slow progress moving past its founding history of racism and exclusion.
“I want to be a member of a body of believers that is structured around my Christian beliefs of equity, not one that sees those issues as peripheral,” he wrote.
The National African American Clergy Network’s message, guided by faith, harkened back to the history of faith as social justice guide. It called on black clergy from around the country “to stand up for justice and human dignity for all Americans,” it said in a statement, “and to protest President Trump’s devastating budget and its adverse effects on the poor of this country.”
The clergy and lay leaders scheduled meetings with key members of Congress and spoke against health care and budget proposals, using the Lord’s word to support their views. They worshipped at Ebenezer United Methodist Church, a historic church that has seen W.E.B Du Bois and Frederick Douglass enter its doors.
The Rev. Dr. William Barber, of the Moral Mondays movement and founder of Repairers of the Breach, set his message in biblical lessons: “‘Woe unto those who legislate evil, and rob the poor of their rights, and make women and children their prey.’ These people here make a big deal out of putting their hands on the Bible to be sworn into office; we have come to tell them what is inside of it.”
Praying for a man to use power wisely is not the same as unlimited faith in that man’s power to act wisely. Goodness and decency is not owned by a person, a religion or any faith at all, for that matter. Though it is said God works in mysterious ways, the simplicity of that message would seem no mystery at all.
Roll Call columnist Mary C. Curtis has worked at The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun and The Charlotte Observer. Follow her on Twitter @mcurtisnc3.
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