Three Long Beach museums receive Getty Foundation grants for So Cal collaborative art project

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long beach museums pacific standard timeThe Getty Foundation in Los Angeles has awarded grants to the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Museum of Latin American Art, and the University Art Museum at CSULB as part of its regional initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, the largest collaborative art project ever undertaken in Southern California.

“Pacific Standard Time will celebrate Southern California’s history of post war art and I’m delighted that our Long Beach museums are playing a key role in what will be a major international cultural event,” said Mayor Bob Foster.

The Getty Foundation in Los Angeles has awarded $3.1 million in grants to 26 arts institutions across Southern California as part of its unprecedented initiative Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980.  Concurrent exhibitions, in the fall of 2011, are expected to attract national and international attention and visitors.

“Long Beach played an enormously important role in what was one of the most exciting and vibrant periods of modern American art,” said Melissa Abraham (Getty Foundation).

This regional exhibition series paired with the countywide Pacific Standard Time programming will provide visitors with a greater understanding of the tremendous impact that our culturally diverse city of Long Beach has had on the development of contemporary art in Southern California. Furthermore, the Long Beach Pacific Standard Time exhibitions offer a broad appeal to local, regional, and international visitors, as the exhibitions hosted by the three museums offer a variety of themes, time periods and cultural highlights.

Please join Mayor Bob Foster; Robert Swayze, Manager, Economic Development & Cultural Affairs for the City of Long Beach, LBMA Director Ron Nelson, UAM Director Chris Scoates, MOLAA President Richard Townsend, and the curators for each exhibition on Thursday, March 18th at 11 o’clock AM for a press conference at the AVIA Hotel’s Roof Top Terrace.

“The Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time research and exhibition initiative is unprecedented in Southern California. I’m thrilled that Long Beach’s three art museums will play such important rolls in this initiative, joining dozens of prestigious artistic institutions from across Southern California.  The opportunity to make a record of important artistic endeavors, on this scale, does not present itself often. The Long Beach Museum of Art’s exhibition, Exchange and Evolution, will draw from its internationally acclaimed video archive to serve as a perfect compliment to next year’s important exhibitions,” said LBMA Director Ron Nelson.

The Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) received support from the Getty Foundation to present Exchange and Evolution: World Wide Video / Long Beach. This exhibition will explore the connections forged between the LBMA and the international community during a most fertile and dynamic period in the history of the museum between the years 1974 and 1999. The project analyzes the important role that video played in the history of Southern California contemporary art, focusing especially on the international video artists working and exhibiting in the LBMA video production and exhibition program, who influenced the field of video in Southern California and beyond. Exchange and Evolution will run from October 7, 2011 through February 12, 2012.

Richard P. Townsend, President and CEO of the Museum of Latin American Art stated that, “The Museum is pleased to be a part of the Pacific Standard Time initiative and grateful to the Getty Foundation for their vision and generosity in underwriting a project of this magnitude and importance. To it, we are delighted to contribute an exhibition and publication which not only pertains to our mission, but locates us firmly within the diverse community we serve”.

Few exhibitions or publications have examined the heritage of Mexican modernism in the postwar era, despite Los Angeles’ geographical and cultural proximity to Mexico. In response to this, the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) will present MEX/LA: The Legacy of Mexican Modernism in Los Angeles from September 11, 2011 until January 1, 2012. As early as the 1930s, Mexican muralists David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco had completed influential murals in greater Los Angeles, and, together with other Mexican modernists of the 1940s, Alfredo Ramos Martinez and Jean Charlot, this group left an indelible footprint upon the Mexican, Mexican-American and Chicano artists of the 1970s and 80s. From the Olvera Street mural by Siqueiros, to the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema and the Disney silver-screen productions, to the revitalization of the street mural, up until the performance art of Guillermo Goméz-Pena, MEX/LA: The Legacy of Mexican Modernism in Los Angeles, will explore the bi-national and hybrid forms of artistic practices, popular culture and mass-media arts that have uniquely shaped Los Angeles’ cultural panorama. The exhibition is co-curated by Cynthia MacMullin and Rubén Ortiz Torres in collaboration with Southern California’s leading scholars and curators in the field of Latin American art.

“This is an unprecedented moment in Southern California art history. This series of PST exhibitions, collaborations and programs will provide curators and scholars alike an amazing opportunity to showcase and highlight the groundbreaking and innovative work that has been made here on the West coast for decades but doesn’t always get the critical attention it rightly deserves.  As a small museum, we are honored to be a part of this initiative and have the chance to add to this rich and meaningful history,” said Chris Scoates, Director of the University Art Museum, California Sate University, Long Beach.

The University Art Museum (UAM) will mount Peace Press Graphics 1967-1987: Art in the Pursuit of Social Change, a survey of the press’ work and their connections to artist collectives of the time. Founded in 1967 by a unique group of L.A. activist-artists who created an “alternate everything” printing and publishing business, the Peace Press (1967-1987) emerged from the tangle of progressive political and alternative groups that flourished during the decades between 1960 and 1990.

The poster archive exemplifies an important element of visual and cultural history: art that reflects the desire and intention to create social and political change, as well as artists who attempt to affect change through both their work and their actions. The exhibition, co-curated by Ilee Kaplan and Carol Wells, will feature 50 to 75 posters from the press’ archive alongside works on paper whose subject matter addresses issues such as feminist causes, workers’ rights, civil liberties, anti-nuclear protests, environmental concerns, and anti-war demonstrations by artists who worked with the press.

In addition, a historical timeline, poetry and spoken word performances, film clips interspersed in the galleries, and a separate film screening series will accompany the artworks—to offer audiences a unique opportunity to understand the art of political protest within its larger cultural milieu. Peace Press Graphics 1967-1987: Art in the Pursuit of Social Change opens September 6, 2011.

According to Steve Goodling, CEO of the Long Beach Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, “This really is a major cultural tourism event. The Getty’s worldwide reputation and the theme of this collaboration—post-war art in Southern California – are going to draw lots and lots of attention.  We look forward to working with LBMA, MOLAA and UAM to maximize the impact here in Long Beach.”

Pacific Standard Time has become the largest collaborative project ever undertaken by museums in Southern California. The new grants, which will support the implementation of exhibitions and the publication of catalogues, bring the total awarded by the Getty Foundation in support of Pacific Standard Time to $6.7 million. In addition to the current grants, the Foundation awarded nearly $3.6 million in grants to support research and planning for the exhibitions in 2008 and 2009.

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