World Arts, Local Lives – May
Los Angeles, with its communities from around the world, is a melting pot of traditions and practices. While the museum doors are closed, the Fowler is pleased to offer digital public programs celebrating world arts and cultures. All programs are free. RSVP to receive the link to join.
A Global Destination for Art
Artists from all over the world flock to work in Los Angeles, drawn by the energy of ingenuity and the space for experimental expression. Join us on Zoom as we visit with artists creating in our City of Angels.
Glenn Kaino, Bridge, 2013–14; fiberglass, steel, wire, gold paint; 100” x 35” x 6’; photo: Glenn Kaino Studio.
Glenn Kaino | RSVP
Tuesday, May 4, 11 am–12 pm PDT
Renowned Japanese American multimedia artist Glenn Kaino creates works that often function as poetic contradictions, aiming to reconcile conflicting ideologies, opposing systems, and strict dichotomies. Kaino’s most recent work responds to the connections between protests across the globe, and explores the power of collective action in forging a more just world.
Join the Fowler for a virtual tour of Kaino’s studio and see works in progress that build a framework for collaborative storytelling across generations. Then, listen to a conversation between Kaino and arts writer and adjunct professor Scarlet Cheng as they discuss the need for anti-racist, cross-community coalition building, and the rarely-addressed challenges faced by the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
Glenn Kaino was born in 1972 in Los Angeles. His studio practice includes sculpture, painting, filmmaking, performance, installation, and large-scale public works. He also operates outside the traditional purview of contemporary art, instigating collaborations with other modes of culture—ranging from tech to music to political organizing. Major solo exhibitions of Kaino’s work have been presented at the High Museum of Art; the Studio Museum in Harlem; and REDCAT, Los Angeles. Kaino’s work has been featured in Desert X, the 2004 Whitney Biennial, and Prospect.3, New Orleans; and included in the collections of LACMA and the Hammer Museum, among others.
Scarlet Cheng is an arts journalist and college professor. She is a regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, The Art Newspaper, and Artillery art magazine, and has been published in ARTnews, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and many other print and online publications. During a sojourn in Hong Kong, she served as managing editor of Asian Art News magazine, the first English-language magazine to focus on the modern and contemporary art of Asia. She also teaches art and film history at two of Southern California’s major art colleges: Art Center College of Design and Otis College of Art & Design.
Lunch & Learn
The Fowler’s Lunch & Learn series offers easily digestible explorations of charismatic objects from around the world in our permanent collection. Join us to chew on some sustenance and feed your mind during your lunch break.
Artist unidentified (Dogon peoples, Mali), Bellows, early to mid-20th century; iron, wood, leather; Fowler Museum at UCLA, X73.630; Gift of Mr. W. Thomas Davis
Conserving Striking Iron | RSVP
Monday, May 10, 12:00–12:30 pm
Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths was a significant exhibition for the Fowler Museum, earning honors and accolades as one of the best exhibitions of 2018. After its successful international tour and return, conservation of the forged iron objects continues, including work on a substantial donation to the museum by artist and exhibition co-curator Tom Joyce.
Join Head of Conservation Christian de Brer for a presentation on the role of the Fowler Museum’s Conservation Department in preparing for the exhibition and donation, with a focus on stabilizing and treating the objects for display, travel, and long-term storage. De Brer will also address unique issues related to works in iron, such as weight, corrosion, and past use.
Christian de Brer has overseen conservation-related activities at the Fowler Museum since 2011. A graduate of the UCLA/Getty Interdepartmental Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials, he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in the Conservation of Material Culture at UCLA and investigating ancient West Mexican ceramics. De Brer’s areas of focus include characterization of materials and stabilization treatments for objects from non-Western cultures, as well as mitigation of display and storeroom environments for preventative collections care.
Program recording, “Lunch & Learn: Conserving Striking Iron,” May 10, 2021
The Fowler is honored to be a convening place for conversations and lectures that explore the many ways art creates meaning and defines purpose for people across the globe.
Chon Noriega. Credit: Felicia Lasal
Celebrating CSRC Director Chon Noriega | RSVP
Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 5–6:15pm
The Fowler is honored to co-present a special program with the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) to celebrate Chon Noriega, who is stepping down this spring after 19 years as CSRC Director. The program will also mark the recent endowment of the Chon Noriega Arts Fund, which will support research-based efforts to advance the understanding of the arts within the mission of the CSRC.
Join the Fowler, CSRC, and Director Noriega for dynamic conversations and special presentations with CSRC friends and collaborators across academic disciplines whose work focuses on arts and culture, civil rights, law, and policy.
Special guests include: Fowler Director Marla C. Berns, Wendy Laura Belcher, María De Los Angeles “Nena” Torres, Carlos M. Haro, Claudia Mitchell-Kernan, Cheech Marin, Terezita Romo, the Hon. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Thomas A. Saenz, Pilar Tompkins Rivas, and David K. Yoo; poetry readings by Roberto Tejada and Vickie Vértiz; and a performance by the incomparable Dan Guerrero.
We invite you to email a brief congratulatory statement for Chon to firstname.lastname@example.org. A selection of these messages will be displayed in Zoom before the program begins. Please indicate if you do not wish for your message to be displayed publicly.
Engaging Lived Religion
The Fowler’s new initiative, “Engaging Lived Religion in the 21st Century Museum,” generously funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., brings to the fore lived, multisensory experiences of religion in Los Angeles. Offering a platform to different religious and spiritual viewpoints, these programs facilitate greater appreciation of the rich, diverse, and indispensable knowledge of our city’s faith-based communities.
Intercultural Muslim Wedding Celebration among members of La Asociación Latino Musulmana de América. Image courtesy LALMA.
Muslim Communities in LA | RSVP
Thursday, May 20, 12-1:15pm
Join the Fowler for a moderated panel discussion featuring three local community leaders: Marta Khadija Felicitas Galedary, Edina Lekovic, and Imam Jihad Saafir. This panel will reveal the histories of Black and Latino Muslims in Los Angeles, and their interactions with Muslims of other backgrounds in the city. It will also highlight the leadership of Muslim women within these groups. The testimonies of the panelists will shed light on intersections of Islamic belief, race, and gender in Southern California; and show how lived experiences of Muslims map onto the city of Los Angeles. The program will begin with a brief history of Islamic communities in LA by Asma Sayeed. The panel will be moderated by Harold D. Morales.
This program is co-presented by UCLA’s Islamic Studies Program, in partnership with the Center for the Study of Religion and the City at Morgan State University.
Marta Khadija Felicitas Galedary was born in Mexico, Guerrero State; she emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1983 and became a U.S. Citizen in 1988. Marta Khadija is the founder of “La Asociación Latino Musulmana de América” (LALMA), based in Los Angeles. She was a U.S. representative, sponsored by the State Department, at the First Latin American Muslims Conference in Spain (2003). In 2014, she established a partnership with LA Voice, leading to a new approach to outreach in non-Muslim communities through civic engagement. Currently, she coordinates Latino Muslims activities with diverse multi-ethnic, non-Muslim communities.
Edina Lekovic is the Executive Director of the Robert Ellis Simon Foundation, which supports innovative mental health projects addressing the needs of vulnerable populations in L.A. County. As a leading voice on American Muslims and an inter-community builder among diverse faith traditions, she has been featured on CNN, Buzzfeed, NPR, and many other media outlets. She is a co-founder and board member of NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, and a lay leader at the Islamic Center of Southern California. She also hosts the podcast, Meeting the Moment, which explores how people find opportunities within life’s big challenges; it was named one of the best new podcasts of 2018.
Dr. Harold D. Morales is Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and the City (CSRC) at Morgan State University. His research is inspired by his roots in Central American religiosity and focuses on the intersections between race and religion, and between lived and mediated experience. He uses these critical lenses to engage Latinx religions in general and Latino Muslim groups in particular. Morales is currently focusing on developing public scholarship initiatives through his research on mural art and social justice issues in the city of Baltimore, and through the CSRC, which is generously supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Imam Jihad Saafir has a bachelor’s degree in Arabic studies, a master’s in Islamic leadership, and a Ph.D. in practical theology from the Claremont School of Theology. He is the founder of Islah LA, a community restoration initiative rooted in the Islamic principles of social justice. Islah LA promotes the betterment of community, education, social and economic empowerment in South LA.
Asma Sayeed is Associate Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and Director of the Islamic Studies program at UCLA. Her primary research interests include early and classical Muslim social history, the history of Muslim education, the intersections of law and social history, and women and gender studies. Her book, Women and the Transmission of Religious Knowledge in Islam (Cambridge University Press, 2013), analyzes Muslim women’s transmission of ḥadīth from the rise of Islam to the early Ottoman period. She is passionate about fostering collaborations between the broader community and partners at UCLA to promote better public education about Islam and Muslims.
Join curators for lively conversations about their passions and projects that inspire audiences to engage with different worldviews and find joy in the diversity of human experiences.
From left to right:
Artist unidentified (Sherbro-Bullom peoples, Sierra Leone), Mask for Sowei Society, before 1925; Fowler Museum, X65.4778; Gift of the Wellcome Trust.
Salampasu artist (Democratic Republic of Congo), Kasangu mask, 19th century; wood, paint, rattan, feathers; 37 x 16 1/2 x 19 in (93.98 x 41.91 x 48.26 cm); New Orleans Museum of Art purchase, 82.93
Artist unrecorded (Yombe group, Kongo, Democratic Republic of the Congo or Angola), Scepter, late 18th century; ivory. Former collection of the University of Michigan Museum of Art
Provenance Research and Repatriation to African Communities | RSVP
Monday, May 24, 11 am–12:15 pm
Repatriation, provenance, and collaboration with community partners are among the pressing issues facing museums with collections of African objects. These conversations have entered public discourse through discussions of the objects looted from Benin City in 1897. Yet, questions of African collections extend beyond the Benin case. Each collection has its own specific histories and presents unique challenges for museum professionals.
Join curators from the Fowler, New Orleans Museum of Art, and University of Michigan Museum of Art for presentations and a panel discussion about current approaches and examples of work happening in museums today. The program will be moderated by Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie.
This program is generously supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Laura De Becker is the Interim Chief Curator and the Helmut and Candis Stern Curator of African Art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA). A specialist in Central African art, she joined UMMA after a fellowship at Wits Art Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. De Becker has been working for many years with a team to reinstall UMMA’s permanent African collection, which will double the footprint of the African gallery and has prompted a separate project grappling with issues of restitution entitled, Wish You Were Here.
Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba is the Francois Billion Richardson curator of African art at the New Orleans Museum of Art. He received his doctorate in Art History from the University of Florida, Gainesville, and specializes in the visual cultures of shrines, having contributed articles and book chapters on the topic to various publications. He also writes on the museum and the politics of acquisition.
Carlee S. Forbes is the Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Fowler Museum, where she researches the African objects donated by the Wellcome Trust in 1965. Forbes received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked with the Ackland Art Museum, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art. Her research focuses on art produced during the colonial period in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, museum and collecting histories, and issues of provenance.
Erica P. Jones is Curator of African Arts at the Fowler Museum. She received her Ph.D. in Art History from UCLA. Since joining the Fowler Museum in 2015, Jones has organized several exhibitions. In 2018, she curated a solo exhibition of Botswana-born painter Meleko Mokgosi, Bread, Butter, and Power, and authored the accompanying publication. Her 2019 exhibition, On Display in the Walled City: Nigeria at the British Empire Exhibition, 1924–1925, directly relates to the research conducted by the Fowler’s Mellon team.
Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie is Professor of African and African Diaspora Arts in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara. His research focuses on modern and contemporary African art, cultural informatics, and the arts and cultural patrimony of Africa and the African diaspora in the age of globalization. He is the author of Ben Enwonwu: The Making of An African Modernist (2008), Making History: African Collectors and the Canon of African Art (2011), and founder-editor of Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture.
Global Cuisine Cooking Lessons
Variety is the spice of life. Learn how LA’s favorite international restaurants cook up their most famous, easy-to-make dishes in live cooking classes led by their chefs on Zoom. When food is your love language, some secrets are too good not to share.
Dumpling Monster’s Chicken Dumplings. Image courtesy Perry Cheung.
Dumpling Monster | RSVP
Tuesday, May 25, 5–6 pm
In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Fowler is pleased to present a cooking lesson with Dumpling Monster, a Shanghainese-inspired restaurant marked by Los Angeles’ busy-yet-laid-back vibes. It features a straightforward menu of traditional and classic Chinese fare; locally-sourced ingredients; and an elevated, chef-driven approach.
Join head chef and owner Perry Cheung to learn how to make his famous pork and shrimp wontons, and chicken chive dumplings (boiled and pan fried), complete with dipping sauce. Then, spend time making dumplings with your friends and family over Memorial Day weekend. Ingredient list will be sent upon RSVP. Come with supplies prepared and ready to cook!
The Fowler is honored to be a convening place for conversations and lectures that explore the many ways art creates meaning and defines purpose for people across the globe.
Soraya Sarah Nazarian in front of her sculpture Legacy. Photo courtesy Soraya Sarah Nazarian
An Artist’s Journey with Soraya Sarah Nazarian | RSVP
Wednesday, May 26, 5–6pm
Join us for an intimate conversation with renowned Iranian Jewish artist Soraya Sarah Nazarian and her daughters, Shulamit Nazarian, Founder of Shulamit Nazarian Gallery, and Sharon Nazarian, Senior Vice President of International Affairs at Anti-Defamation League. They will recount Soraya’s extraordinary journey as an immigrant, artist, and philanthropist. The program will be moderated by Marla C. Berns, Shirley and Ralph Shapiro Director, Fowler Museum at UCLA.
This program is presented by Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at UCLA Hillel, in partnership with Y&S Nazarian Center for Israeli Studies and Fowler Museum at UCLA.
Soraya Sarah Nazarian is an Iranian-born artist who immigrated to the U.S. in 1979 with her family. She is a master in direct stone carving. Her work explores themes of motherhood, family, spirituality, and Iranian culture. Hillel at UCLA is proud to have a bronze mezuzah by Soraya at its entrance. Soraya established the Soraya Sarah Nazarian Artists Initiative at the American Jewish University to provide emerging artists with studio and exhibition space in Los Angeles. She lives and maintains a studio in Los Angeles, California.
Shulamit Nazarian has been an advocate for artists, art education, and the creative community in the United States and abroad for over 20 years. She immigrated to the United States from Iran with her parents and siblings; studied architecture and worked as an architectural graphic designer; and began a successful career as a gallerist with the opening of the Shulamit Nazarian Gallery in 2012. The Gallery features a diverse program of emerging and mid-career artists and has achieved International recognition for its groundbreaking approach.
Sharon Nazarian, Senior Vice President of International Affairs, heads the Anti-Defamation League’s work of fighting anti-Semitism and racial hatred globally, including in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and at the Lague’s Israel office. She is also President of the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Family Foundation and founder of the Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), whose Advisory Board she chairs.
Marla C. Berns is the Shirley and Ralph Shapiro Director of the Fowler Museum at UCLA and has been in this position since 2001. She received her Ph.D. in Art History at UCLA, specializing in African art. Her publishing and curatorial work have concentrated on women’s arts of Northeastern Nigeria, encompassing ceramic sculpture, decorated gourds, programs of body scarification, and issues of gender and identity. Among the many projects she has overseen at the Fowler, the most recent was the 2018-20 international traveling exhibition, Striking Iron: Art of African Blacksmiths, for which she was co-curator, co-editor and contributing author to the accompanying publication. In 2013, Berns received the medal of chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic.