Mark Vallen's ART FOR A CHANGE Newsletter - June. 2006
1) - AT WORK: THE ART OF CALIFORNIA LABOR... Labor history through the eyes of artists
4) -VALLEN'S WEB LOG... Art news, Rants and Raves

Oil Painting by Mark Vallen, 2006

Labor history through the eyes of artists

June 13th - August 14th, 2006.

Several of Mark Vallen's paintings will be included in, At Work: The Art of California Labor, a major exhibit to take place at the Pico House Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. Opening on June 13th, 2006, the exhibit displays the works of artists past and present whoíve documented the dignity and struggle of Californiaís labor movements, from the chaotic 20th century to the present.

The story of labor - which comprises passionate struggles and triumphs as well as dehumanizing forces - has figured largely in the art of our time.
At Work
features many of California's most noted artists. It is a combination of original artwork from contemporary artists, and historical works by noted artists like Diego Rivera, Dorothea Lange, Tina Modotti and many others.

Artist's Opening Reception
Saturday, June 17th, 2006. 7 - 10 pm.

Curated by Marianna Gatto and Shervin Shahbazi, the LA presentation of At Work incorporates the works of contemporary artists like Malaquias Montoya, Richard Duffy, Doug Minkler, Steve Wong, Ester Hernandez, Yolanda Lopez, Robbie Conal and over 50 others.

[ Here's what Vallen has to say about the exhibition: ] "At Work puts on view works by artists from the 1930ís school of social realism, being in such company is humbling to say the least, especially since Iíve long regarded such artists as exemplars and major influences. Iíve set out to create a new oil painting specifically for the exhibition. Titled Solidarity, the painting depicts a women participating in a labor rally. The action itself is left ambiguous, it could be anything from a striking unionís picket line to a march expressing unity with workerís demands. However, one thing is made clear by my painting, the new face of labor in California is female and non-white, and this reality has infused the modern-day labor movement with new energy and leadership."

Vallen was asked by the organizers of the L.A. exhibition to put together an artistís panel discussion and slide show/lecture that will further explore the themes presented in At Work. He asked photographers Sheila Pinkel and Slobodan Dimitrov to join him in an exmination of artist's responses to labor and its various struggles and triumphs. This free public program will also be held in the Pico House Gallery.

Get The Picture?! Art & Social Change
Saturday, July 15th, from 6 - 9 pm

The artist at work
The artist at work
Vallen working on his painting, Solidarity.

At Work: The Art of California Labor, runs from June 13th through August 14th, 2006, at The Pico House Gallery. The gallery lies just off of the old plaza on Olvera Street, the cityís first street and the symbolic heart of Los Angeles. The Pico House is located at 424 North Main Street, Los Angeles, California 90012. Phone: 213 485-6855. Open daily 10 am - 3 pm.

For more details on the At Work exhibit, including a list of scheduled events, previews of artworks, and maps to the gallery, please visit:



Dedicated to art theory, commentary and exhibit reviews

3 Years in Jail for making a Collage? - "It appears the exigencies of the long war supercede such trifling things as freedom of expression." The Getty's Great Bouguereau Debate - "Depending on how you see things, he was either the defender of western civilization or a major obstacle to progress." An Iraqi artist paints Donald Rumsfeld - The Iraqi surrealist painter, Muayad Muhsin, has painted a rather unflattering portrait of U.S. Defense Secretary, Donald H. Rumsfeld. Famous Los Angeles Mural Destroyed - Mindless bureaucrats paint over a masterwork by muralist Kent Twitchell.
The Art of the Fart!
- The Tate Modern in the UK presents a recording of fart noises as "audio art."

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