Plain Sight — Residency Art Gallery
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Group Show /// Ken Gonzales-Day, Mercedes Dorame, Devon Tsuno, Ruben Ulises Rodriguez and Chinwe Okona

9.14 – 11.3.18

About the Exhibit

This exhibition features work by artists both established and emerging, who are seeking a nuanced understanding of history through an intimacy with the natural world. Using research, ritual, and close observation, these artists make work that questions authoritative reality and shapes new ways of seeing Southern California.


About the Curator

Savannah Wood – Savannah Wood is an artist with deep roots in Los Angeles, Pasadena and Baltimore. Since returning to LA in 2015, she has been doing curatorial and communications work at Clockshop, a multidisciplinary arts organization based in Frogtown. Most recently, she co-edited the catalog for Radio Imagination, a yearlong project celebrating the life and work of Octavia E. Butler. Savannah is interested in uncovering obscured histories, tapping into ancestral magic, and learning about human evolution through our relationships with plants. She makes photographs, clothing and small-scale sculpture.

Savannah Wood

About the Artists

Ken Gonzales-Day

Ken Gonzales-Day – Gonzales-Day received a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, an MFA from the University of California Irvine, and an MA from Hunter College in NYC. He is a Professor of Art at Scripps College in Claremont, CA. where he has taught since 1995. His work has been widely exhibited including: LACMA, Los Angeles; LAXART, Los Angeles; Tamayo Museum, Mexico City; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; The New Museum, NYC; Generali Foundation, Vienna, among others. In 2017, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in photography.

Mercedes Dorame – Mercedes Dorame, born in Los Angeles, California, received her MFA degree from the San Francisco Art Institute and her undergraduate degree from UCLA. She calls on her Tongva ancestry to engage the problematics of visibility and ideas of cultural construction. She is part of the permanent collection’s of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Saisset Museum and the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum. She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from: the Montblanc Art Commission, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Loop Artist Residency, En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship Awards program, Galería de la Raza, for her solo exhibition there, the Harpo Foundation for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center and from the Photography Department at the San Francisco Art Institute for her MFA Studies. She is part of the Hammer Museum’s 2018 Made in LA exhibition and has shown her work internationally.  Her writing and photographs have been featured in publications such as News From Native California and 580 Split.  She has been interviewed about her work by PBS Newshour, KCET Artbound, the Harpo Foundation, Culture Strike, Black Boots Ink and KQED’s video podcast Gallery Crawl.

Mercedes Dorame
Chinwe Okona

Chinwe Okona – Chinwe Okona is a multimedia artist / photographer / writer and MBA candidate. Her work focuses on themes of black identity, nostalgia, and forgiveness through the lens of self documentation, and takes the form of editorial content / design, photography, and digital media. She resides in Los Angeles, California

Devon Tsuno – Devon Tsuno is a Los Angeles-native. His recent abstract paintings, socially practice projects, artist books and print installations focus on the LA watershed, water use, and native vs. non-native vegetation. Tsuno is a 2017 Santa Fe Art Institute Water Rights artist-in-residence, the 2016 SPArt Community Grantee, and was awarded a 2014 California Community Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship for Visual Art. His long-term interest in bodies of water in the LA area has been central to his collaborations with the Department of Cultural Affairs, Big City Forum, the Theodore Payne Foundation, the grantLOVE Project, and Occidental College. Tsuno has exhibited at the Hammer Museum Venice Beach Biennial, the US Embassy in New Zealand, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, and Roppongi 605 in Tokyo. His solo exhibition, Reclaimed Water was identified in Art LTD as a Critic’s Picks: 2014 Top 10 exhibitions in LA and his exhibition Watershed curated by Aandrea Stang was reviewed in Artillery Magazine and Notes on Looking. Tsuno received an MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2005 and a BFA from California State University Long Beach in 2003. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Art and Design at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Devon Tsuno
Ruben Ulises-Rodriguez

Ruben Ulises Rodriguez – The objects I find are mementos. Portals to the time and place where I found them. Trees are the most perfect portals. There is a divinity about them, an Axis Mundi. The trunks of trees have to do so much with this plane; they hold the history of everything around them. They are raw, exposed, marked and cut to fit a certain place. Not all of them are free. The roots of trees hold all to that which is hidden, the death, the decay, they are the labor of things hidden. Just a many the labor of work my dad had to have. The branches of trees swing to the wind in the same way my mom swings her hair back and forth while Vicente Fernandez sings ‘Volver Volver’ as she cleans the house with purple Fabuloso. There is a nest up there.