Pow! Wow! Antelope Valley Mural Map

POW! WOW! Antelope Valley returns for our third year this week in Lancaster, California. International and area muralists will adorn the walls of the city, adding to the 31 murals and installations created during the 2016 and 2018 editions of the festival. Founded in Hawaii, back in 2010, POW! WOW! is a series of global events that celebrate culture, music and art.

We are excited to share with the Antelope Valley community the art of eleven amazing creatives this coming September. Taking part will be Allison Bamcat, Carlos Ramirez, Carlos Mendoza Casey Weldon, Chloe Becky, Gustavo Rimada, Huntz Liu, Kim Sielbeck, Manuel Zamudio, MJ Lindo, Spenser Little, and Victoria Cassinova.

As the new murals come to life, be sure to explore our existing murals and installations from Aaron De La Cruz, Amandalynn, Amir Fallah, Amy Sol, Andrew Hem, Andrew Schoultz, Bumblebeelovesyou, Carly Ealey,  Christopher Konecki, Dan Witz, David Flores, Ekundayo, Emily Ding, Hueman, Isaac Cordal, Jeff Soto, Julius Eastman, Kris Holladay, Lauren YS, Mark Dean Veca, Meggs, Michael Jones, Mikey Kelly, MOUF, Nuri Amanatullah, Scott Listfield, Spenser Little, Super A, Tina Dille, and Tran Nguyen.

For the safety of the artists and the general public and in compliance with the Los Angeles County Health Department’s COVID-19 protocols, we will not be holding any public events during POW!WOW! AV. While the expansion of the Antelope Valley’s outdoor museum is exciting and visiting the murals offer some escape for all that have been trapped indoors these past several months, we ask that you wear a mask while touring the new murals as they come to life. Please respect the artists’ working space and safety by keeping well away from their work zone and do not distract them with conversation. We thank you in advance for your understanding and support.

The Lancaster Museum of Art and History is dedicated to strengthening awareness, enhancing accessibility, and igniting the appreciation of art, history, and culture in the Antelope Valley through dynamic exhibitions, innovative educational programs, creative community engagement, and a vibrant collection that celebrates the richness of the region.

Thinkspace Projects was founded in 2005; now in LA’s Culver City Arts District, the gallery has garnered an international reputation as one of the most active and productive exponents of the New Contemporary Art Movement. Maintaining its founding commitment to the promotion and support of its artists, Thinkspace has steadily expanded its roster and diversified its projects, creating collaborative and institutional opportunities all over the world.

Made possible due to the support and sponsorship of the Lancaster Museum of Art and History and Thinkspace Projects from Los Angeles, California. 

Special thanks to the City of Lancaster, Destination Lancaster, The BLVD Association, Signs & Designs, and all who helped bring POW! WOW! AV to life.

For further details please check www.lancastermoah.org and www.powwowworldwide.com

POW! WOW! Antelope Valley 2020
September 5 – September 12
Lancaster, California / The Antelope Valley
Presented by MOAH Lancaster and Thinkspace Projects

Allison Bamcat
@allisonbamcat

Carlos Ramirez
@c.ramirez2323

Carlos Mendoza
@chuckvalleys

Casey Weldon
@caseyweldon

Chloe Becky
@elsiethecowww

Gustavo Ramada
@arte_de_gustavo__

Huntz Liu
@huntzhuntz

Kim Sielbeck
@Kimseilbeck

Manuel Zamudio
@raid_33

MJ Lindo
@mjlindo

Spenser Little
@spenserlittleart

Victoria Cassinova
@vcassinova

The New Vanguard III: Interview with Kathy Ager for ‘Fool’s Gold’

Thinkspace is proud to present new work by Kathy Ager for her latest exhibition ‘Fool’s Gold’ as a part of ‘The New Vanguard III’ showing at The Lancaster Museum of Art.

Ager is known for her surreal still-lifes inspired by the 17th-Century Golden Age of Dutch and Spanish painting. Her compositions are comprised of historical visual rhetoric to deliver intensely personal and emotively charged themes. 

In anticipation of her first museum exhibition, our interview with Kathy Ager discusses her love of light and color, finding inspiration in heartbreak, and how switching between big and small pieces helps artistic pursuits move forward.

SH: How long have you been showing your work in galleries and various exhibitions? Do you remember the first time you showed your work to the public? What was the exhibition?

KA: I’ve been showing since 2017. I remember my first exhibition was a sort of DIY situation in Lisbon, Portugal. I’d spent quite a bit of time there and met some amazing artists and friends. My friend Isac decided he wanted to make something happen instead of waiting for a gallery to approach us. It was a great show! I showed alongside some amazing Portuguese artists like Wasted Rita, Kruella D’Enfer and Maria Imaginário.

SH: When painting, what are you listening to in the background?

KA: Depending on my mood, I’m either listening to podcasts or music. I find if I’m in a lonely mood, which is pretty often when sitting in a studio alone all day everyday, listening to podcasts really helps. I really love dark, funny shit like Last Podcast On The Left. If you haven’t listened, start with Episode 331: The Donner Party or Episode 161: Hollow Moon. I’m also super interested in other people’s lives (I’m so nosey) and love hearing personal stories. The podcast Heavyweight gives me a good dose of that, plus some good laughs and some satisfying digging up of the past. Episode #2 Gregor is a good place to start, where they attempt to ask Moby to give Gregor’s damn CDs back.

SH: What was the inspiration behind the body of work that you will be showing for New Vanguard III?

KA: For this body of work, I continued to delve into my own personal experiences and observations and seek ways to express them through objects and light. A lot of my inspiration comes from my more painful experiences and outlook on life, but I try to make something beautiful out of that darkness. I was particularly inspired by the alienation I felt last year when caught up with someone who valued the pursuit of the party life over building something solid and real. That’s where the title “Fool’s Gold” came from. It’s painful to feel like you’re not enough, but to those who are after more fucked up pursuits and easy highs – the fool’s gold – you will never be valued the way you deserve. I find so much inspiration in that heartbreak.

SH: When viewing other artists’ work, what elements get you excited or inspire you?

KA: I definitely get excited by the use of light and color in other artists’ work. I’m always analyzing how the subject matter was lit and what the set up must have been. When I was living in Amsterdam and Barcelona, I got to see first hand how the difference in natural light (cold versus warm) coming through a window can make a difference in the vibe of the original baroque masters. I also love combinations of realism and graphic elements. It creates a playfulness that can be both dark and light and I love that kind of vibe.

SH: Does having an exhibition at a museum feel different than showing work at a gallery?

KA: It definitely feels different. There are so many different lanes in which to show work. From the DIY experience of my first show in Lisbon, to showing with Thinkspace, and now in a museum, they all feel different in a good way. It adds another dimension to the experience of showing and viewing my work.

SH: Every person experiences that moment, when they are in the middle or even at the start of something, where it feels overwhelming or isn’t going as planned – how do you personally push through those difficult moments? 

KA: I feel like I experience that on a weekly or even daily basis! I feel overwhelmed quite often, or feel like I’ve lost my painting ability (a fear that seems to hit me when I start every painting). I get through it by just moving forward and painting. I might move on to a different part of my painting if I’m having trouble with a certain spot. Or if I’m working on a very large canvas and feel like I’ll never finish, I might switch to a small painting for a few days just to remind myself that I’m capable of finishing something. I also find it super helpful to chat with artist friends who can pump me up and reassure me that I’m doing fine! It’s all a mental game, so learning what works for you to keep moving forward is key. 

SH: If you could show your work beside any artist, in the entire history of art, who would you want to share wall space with?

KA: It would be insane to show alongside one of the Dutch masters like Adriaen Coorte, Frans Snyders, or Ambrosius Bosschaert, who inspire a lot of my work. Although their skills are lightyears ahead of mine and I’d be mortified! Haha. I’d also love to do a show together again with Wasted Rita where we can express our inner pain and angst in such different ways. That would be fucking amazing.

SH: What piece challenged you most in this body of work and why?

KA: I think “Look Both Ways Before You Crossed My Mind” was the most challenging. I’d been sitting on this idea for quite some time and it took a while to solve it visually. I’m always looking at how to express a specific feeling clearly enough without getting too literal. Then I came across this coyote who had been hit by a car and it was the perfect symbol for what I was trying to visualize. From there, things were easier to solve. It was also a very large canvas so it was tricky to work within my relatively small working space!

SH: Do you have any pre-studio rituals that get the creative juices flowing?

KA: Definitely tea and some good music every time! My mom is from England so I’m a die-hard tea drinker. Nothing starts before a good cup of tea. I also love to dance so I’ll usually start with a couple solid tracks that get me going. Something like “Last Kiss” by Overdoz or “Summertime Magic” by Childish Gambino. The combination of tea and dancing also explains the number of tea spills occurring throughout the days.

SH: We declare The New Vanguard III is a milestone in your artistic journey, what are three other milestones that mark your path and life as an artist?

1. My first ever exhibition in 2017 with my friends in Lisbon

2. My first ever solo show, Golden Ager, with Thinkspace in 2019

3. A collab with a (THE) sneaker brand which will remain top secret until later in 2021!!


THE NEW VANGUARD III
Curated by Thinkspace Projects

September 12 through December 27, 2020

Lancaster Museum of Art and History
665 W. Lancaster Blvd.
Lancaster, California 93534
www.LancasterMOAH.org

Featuring Solo Exhibitions From:
KEVIN PETERSON “Embers”
KAYLA MAHAFFEY “Adrift”
ALEX GARANT “Deconstructing Identities”
KATHY AGER “Fool’s Gold”

The New Vanguard III: Interview with Alex Garant for ‘Deconstructing Identities’

Thinkspace is proud to present new work by Toronto-based artist Alex Garant for her latest exhibition ‘Deconstructing Identities’ as a part of ‘The New Vanguard III’ showing at The Lancaster Museum of Art.

Garant is known for her hyper-realistic rendering of op art portraits where her subjects’ faces and eyes seem to skip their registers through image redoubling and superimposition. Not unlike the fugitive flicker of a screen or the spectral layering of multiple film exposures.

In anticipation of her first museum exhibition, our interview with Alex Garant discusses what this show means to her, how she pushes through moments of overwhelm, and her creative rituals.

SH: How long have you been showing your work in galleries and various exhibitions? Do you remember the first time you showed your work to the public? What was the exhibition?

AG: When I was 7 years old, my parents enrolled me in an oil painting class at the local community center, and at the end of the program, we got to show our work at an art show for the neighborhood. I was so so proud and even sold my painting to strangers, which to me was such a strange concept. Then in my late teens,  I had a few amateur showings with Art School/ College.

After that I was working a lot, marketing jobs, travel jobs, all kind of stuff and I lost my creative focus. In 2012 I suffered from a heart attack, it really changed everything and got me to focus on my true passion again.

My first exhibit in a professional gallery happened in 2013 at a local gallery in Toronto.

SH: When painting, what are you listening to in the background?

AG: Honestly, once I get deep into the creation zone, I mostly block out all external noises or distractions. I get so focused that everything else is white noise. That said, I often play some mid-century retro jams and blues to get me in a happy place.

SH: What was the inspiration behind the body of work that you will be showing for New Vanguard III?

AG: “ Deconstructing Identities”  was created while self-isolating and navigating the ups and downs of the pandemic. This surreal setting gave birth to pieces inspired by self reflection and specifically the role of self-inflicted appearances. People’s constructed nature fighting with their instinctive core and trying to visually translate a complete persona. This collection  also introduces more contextual elements to my work. Featured are little pieces of nostalgia riding the line between kitsch and whimsy contrasting with the expression of the characters sometimes melancholic or naive.

SH: When viewing other artists’ work, what elements get you really excited or inspire you?

AG: I always get excited to see works my own imagination could never come up with. Sometimes, it amazes me to see the simplest color combination and I start thinking: wow, how can they make those 3 colors work so well together. I am truly an art fan and I am always overwhelmed by technique and imagination. I’m fascinated by any creative minds different than my own.

SH: Does having an exhibition at a museum feel different than showing work at a gallery?

AG: First, I feel very honored and humbled to be part of this amazing Art statement that is The New Vanguard III. When it comes to process, I do think a museum exhibit was a bit more pressure, I am absolutely one of those artists who try to push themselves a lot and is never satisfied with anything coming out of the studio. Every piece is always a learning experience, therefore each painting is a puzzle piece of my creative journey. So I would say, there is a different feel to it, but it’s mostly self-inflicted… Oh, and my mother is extra proud.

SH: Every person experiences that moment, when they are in the middle or even at the start of something, where it feels overwhelming or isn’t going as planned – how do you personally push through those difficult moments? 

AG: For me usually, during the creation of a painting I go through several phases: confidence, excitement, struggle, hate, hate, hate, overwhelming desperation, satisfaction, 2 minutes of pride and then happiness fading into an almost disappointment, until I start a new piece and the cycle starts again. It’s a roller coaster, but at the end of the day, once you start seeing art as your daily work, you understand that this exact process is part of the job description. You will create 100 “okay” pieces for 1 piece you might end up being fully satisfied with. Eventually, you accept this reality and also understand it is what the entire experience is. The ups and downs are part of the Art. It becomes an integral fragment of how you move your brushes, which colors you chose, how much detail you add.  And if a final piece is so wrong to my eye, I usually put it aside and start another one. The key is to keep creating.

SH: If you could show your work beside any artist, in the entire history of art, who would you want to share wall space with?

AG: That is a hard question, mainly because I would have to arrogance to think I deserve to be shown next to the artists I admire the most. But one of my biggest inspirations is the Pope Series by Francis Bacon which I saw for the first time when I was a child, and those images have been inspiring to me ever since.

SH: What piece challenged you most in this body of work and why?

AG: U wish was the most challenging because it was my first full body piece and I truly put all my energy into rendering every section to the absolute best of my abilities. And I am now very excited to work on bigger full-body pieces in the future.

SH: Do you have any pre-studio rituals that get the creative juices flowing?

AG: I will answer candidly: it is silly but this is how I get started, I gesso my canvas, and while it dries in the sun, I drink a Redbull, set up my palette ( always the same way) & pre-mix a few skin tones ( always the same method). I feel like a clear set-up routine really gets me started properly until the chaos of creation overwhelms me.

SH: We declare The New Vanguard III a milestone in your artistic journey, what are three other milestones that mark your path and life as an artist?

AG: I feel like every painting could be a milestone, every art show, every time someone sends me a DM to support me, every time I sell a print, all those moments are so so so important to me. I cherish and truly, deeply appreciate every single step of this amazing journey I am on.

From the outside, objective observers would most likely consider my biggest markers to be: Graduating from Art School over 20 years ago, my heart attack & realizing I NEEDED to be an artist, my first solo exhibit & my first museum exhibit.


THE NEW VANGUARD III
Curated by Thinkspace Projects

September 12 through December 27, 2020

Lancaster Museum of Art and History
665 W. Lancaster Blvd.
Lancaster, California 93534
www.LancasterMOAH.org

Featuring Solo Exhibitions From:
KEVIN PETERSON “Embers”
KAYLA MAHAFFEY “Adrift”
ALEX GARANT “Deconstructing Identities”
KATHY AGER “Fool’s Gold”

‘New Vanguard III’ featured in LA Weekly

Thank you to LA Weekly for the kind words and featuring the upcoming exhibition ‘The New Vanguard III‘ at MOAH Lancaster in their piece on by-appointment viewing.

“For many years now, L.A.’s Thinkspace Gallery has operated at this intersection across exhibitions, institutions, installations, conventions, and festivals. Likewise, for the past few years, the Lancaster Museum of Art and History has embraced the vibrant, popular appeal of mural-based works and through collaborating with the global phenom of the POW!WOW! mural festivals, brought exciting public art to the Antelope Valley” – LA Weekly

Spenser Little’s Illuminated Wire Sculptures featured on Colossal

Big thank you to Colossal for featuring Spenser Little’s exhibition ‘Illumination Devices‘ at MOAH Cedar. Please click here to read ‘Illuminated Wire Sculptures Nest Inside Larger Kinetic Works by Artist Spenser Little ‘ on the Colossal site.