March 27 - May 4, 2014
March 29 - June 8, 2014
South Gallery, Staircase Atrium, Wells Fargo Gallery
Rooftop & Jewel Box
May 10 - June 8, 2014
29th All Media High School Art Exhibition
The 29th Annual AVUHSD Exhibition is an all-media exhibit of nearly 150 pieces created by burgeoning Antelope Valley students who attend schools in the Antelope Valley Union High School District: Academies of the Antelope Valley (AAV), Antelope Valley, Desert Winds, Eastside, Highland, Lancaster, Littlerock, Palmdale, Pete Knight, Quartz Hill and R. Rex Parris High Schools. Exhibited work includes a wide variety of media including: painting, drawing, sculpture, video, scratchboard, computer art, photography, mixed media and much more. Awards were presented from the High School District, community groups and the City to the students for their artwork.
In addition to the students’ work, there is also an accompanying AVUHSD Teachers’ show in the Vault Gallery. The first of its kind for the Museum, the exhibit presents an opportunity for the student pieces to be displayed in reference to their mentoring instructors’ artwork. The Teacher’s Exhibit celebrates the educators who teach this next generation of young artists and will be on display through April 27.
Yi Kai: Paintings and Drawings
In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, MOAH brings internationally renowned painter Yi Kai to the Antelope Valley. Yi Kai came from China to begin a new life with his wife and son in America. He soon became a U.S. citizen, immersing himself in American culture while reserving time for trips back to his native lands. Occupying four galleries on the second floor of the Museum, Yi Kai’s richly textured and brightly colored paintings and drawings bridge these two cultures, layering Western symbols of freedom, materialism and the pursuit of individuality with the Eastern philosophical and spiritual qualities he grew up with and witnessed while traveling and drawing in Tibet. Yi Kai’s art offers the viewer a visual dialectic that promotes unity, harmony and peace in the world, making him a perfect representative of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
Each gallery is filled with a unique series of work from his prolific repertoire. Located at the top of the stairs, Map in Transition welcomes viewers to the second floor. Map In Transition reads right to left as a chronology of America’s pioneering spirit, starting with the settlement of the first colonies onward to westward expansion. Like each of his series, Map in Transition is laden with symbols of individuality, freedom, and prosperity—imagery that speaks to the American desire for material wealth and the clash that often occurs between spirituality and consumerism in America and China. His deeply hued gauche painting Monk with Pilgrims, 1989 is exhibited with Map In Transition to highlight the global reach of Yi Kai’s practice and the symbolic bridging of nations and ideologies. In the East Gallery Yi Kai’s abstracted landscapes depict the textural aesthetics of waste and decay while offering a sense of humor in the toy cars that punctuate his canvases. The Wells Fargo Gallery plays host to the Tibet Series, an intimate selection of drawings and collage that chronicle Yi Kai’s visits to Tibet and his skillful and sensitive renderings of the people and cultures of the Himalayas.
In the South Gallery, Yi Kai shifts his focus by immersing the viewer in a critique of globalization and the mixing of cultural values from West to East. Yi Kai’s visual investigations of materialism and greed take shape in his deconstructed robotic figures and disfigured men in business suits that appear oblivious to the world around them, while his stark critique of China’s disregard for the environment reaches a climax in his large-scale oil on canvas Gas Mask Series. These paintings speak to the cause and effect of China’s industrial pollution and the separation that occurs as cultures and languages are lost in pursuit of contemporary comforts and high society.
On one hand, Yi Kai’s richly textured and colorful work offers a celebration of the unique freedoms he immediately embraced upon arrival to the United States of America. On the other hand, he presents a sobering critique of consumerist values that have reached around the globe, influencing a new generation of consumers in China. Yi Kai is an artist who sees the world through the shifting edges of cultural values and the boundaries of tradition, bringing them together in a spectrum of visual manifestations that ask the viewer to see the relationships between nations through his art.
Brad Howe: High Desert Regional Health Center Installation
In anticipation of the installation of his monumental kinetic artwork at the new Los Angeles County High Desert Regional Health Center in Lancaster, the artwork of internationally distinguished artist Brad Howe is presented on every floor of the Museum: the Roof Terrace, in the Jewel Box Gallery and the Entrance Lobby. The Entrance Lobby installation is an interpretation of the Los Angeles County High Desert Regional Health Center project that is currently underway and is intended to give the community a glimpse in anticipation of its unveiling on May 30, 2014. The name of the installation will be selected by the artist from suggestions by the community. As you view the blue icons and notice connections between them, consider Mr. Howe’s invitation to name the work. What comes to mind when you view the artwork and drawings? Do you recognize elements and symbols from your own experiences in the High Desert? Are they familiar to you and how do you relate to them? Perhaps you enjoy skateboarding or walking or the plants and animals of the desert. Perhaps you have a grandparent or are caring for an elderly family member. Perhaps you shop till you drop, and look great doing it? Go ahead, enjoy finding yourself in the work! By submitting a name and perhaps leaving a message for the artist, you become an active participant in the process of making civic art. Mr. Howe will select a name from the suggestion box and announce the winner at the Grand Opening on May 30!
By inviting the community to take part in naming the artwork, Howe continues the strong public engagement component that shaped the initial design of the installation. Brad Howe, born and raised in the High Desert, was selected for the High Desert Regional Health Center project by a committee comprised of County and local stakeholders including MOAH. In response to the site and soul of the community, Howe designed a suite of three large scale suspended sculptures that reflect the stories conveyed by local residents during several community engagement events facilitated by artist Rebecca Niederlander. Neiderlander’s process of creating an environment of listening and storytelling resulted in stories rich in a sense of place and community identity. Howe converted the residents’ stories into icons and symbols that the viewer’s eye will string together as the icons move and intersect with one another. Cascading into free form passive kinetic sculptures, the artwork represents a transformation of the verbal into the physical, reflecting the collective voice of Antelope Valley.
As a student of International Relations at Stanford University, Howe attended the University of São Paulo to specialize in Brazilian Literature and Economic History. It was there that he discovered the passion for art and architecture that would eventually lead to his first exhibitions. Since then, he has exhibited in over 18 countries worldwide, and his works have been placed in collections throughout 32 countries. His studio is actively completing site-specific commissions for cities, universities, museums and private corporations worldwide, with his own light and playful flair enlivening the Museum and soon to be open Los Angeles County High Desert Regional Health Center.
Andrew Frieder: A Life in Stitches (1959-2014)
The Lancaster Museum of Art and History is honored to highlight selected work by Lancaster artist Andrew Frieder. Andrew Frieder: A Life in Stitches showcases the artist’s unique and compelling visual language through a collection of works on paper, stitched collages and paper quilts made during the last decade of his life. With a focus on his personal mythology, Frieder’s works on paper welcome the viewer into his visual world through his playful articulation of human and animal figures while layering scriptural references and ancient Greek mythology into a distinctive narrative. The stitched collages feature Frieder’s signature style of revealing and concealing his creative process: white washing acrylic paint over graphite sketches and machine-stitching the paper together in a variety of textures and compositions. Additionally, Frieder expanded the language of traditional patch quilting into the realm of collage, where his use of hand-made aluminum staples together with grommets, embroidery thread and machine-stitched prints reference his family’s background in industrial fabrics and medicine. His father was a noted surgeon and his grandfather made quilted moving blankets and canvas goods. On his mother’s side, the family worked primarily in the garment industry. Preferring to work in multiples, Frieder’s process included designing and making his own printing presses and tools from recycled materials, which allowed him to toy with the spectrum between freedom of expression, mass production and precision.
Andrew Frieder: A Life in Stitches pays tribute to one of Antelope Valley’s most prolific artists. Largely self-taught, he studied art and writing for a time at UCLA and Bennington College in Vermont and immersed himself in his work producing thousands of prints, drawings, collages, quilted works, hand-made tools, printing presses, hats and furniture throughout his lifetime. Three of Frieder’s works of art are housed in MOAH’s permanent collection. The Museum is curating a major retrospective of the artist’s life’s work to open in 2016.
Natural Treasure: The California Poppy
This season weather conditions have brought an explosion of orange, gold, and purple across the foothills and grasslands of the Antelope Valley. In celebration of this spring’s proliferation of wildflowers, Lancaster Museum of Art and History has collected a gallery full of our state’s treasure, the California Poppy. Natural Treasure: The California Poppy features artwork selected from an open call to Southern California artists by MOAH’s Curator Andi Campognone to encompass a spectrum of approaches from paintings of traditional poppy-filled landscapes to contemporary conceptual imagery.
The California Poppy, Eschscholzia Californica, was designated as California’s official state flower in 1903; its golden blooms a fitting symbol for the Golden State. Long before the Gold Rush, when the Spanish came, they declared California the “Golden State” because of the massive blooms of poppies adorning the coastal and desert landscape throughout California. Although endemic to California, small pockets exist in Oregon and Arizona and have traveled by way of human dispersal as far as New Zealand. The largest native poppy fields are located in the Antelope Valley and were abundant in the San Gabriel foothills now known as Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre. The poppy has been called the “flame flower” and “copa de oro” (cup of gold) in reference to its bright orange to yellow petals. As an annual flower, the blooms last one season and in a good year will set hundreds of thousands of seeds, and then die. Dependent upon winter rain fall, the number of plants, their duration and intensity of color will vary from year to year and generally last from as early as mid-February through late May. Native Americans used the fresh roots to soothe toothaches and headaches and some tribes chewed the petals like chewing gum.
In 1996 Governor Wilson proclaimed May 13 to 18 as Poppy Week, which coincides with MOAH’s colorful exhibit featuring a diverse array of approaches, mediums and styles. Here in the Antelope Valley, the flower is honored by the City of Lancaster’s annual California Poppy Festival, now in its twenty-third year. Additionally, in 1976 local residents teamed up to protect 1,745 acres of some of the most exquisite poppy fields in the nation. The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve consists of lands donated to the State of California by the Munz Family and set aside in perpetuity to celebrate this natural treasure. Each spring, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve comes alive with the seasonal surprises of the western Mojave Desert Grassland habitat. Be sure to enjoy the proliferation here at MOAH and at the Poppy Reserve this spring.