As we enter autumn, many of us return to our familiar patterns and routines – settling back into a school schedule, attending classes, reuniting with community after travel or summer jobs, swapping out our sandals for last year’s fall jackets and sweaters. The dwindling daylight and the impending autumnal chill makes us retreat to what we know. This month’s newsletter draws inspiration stories from artists who are attuned to the familiar, whether by engaging with personal and familial histories, or utilizing materials that have been repurposed or sourced from commonplace or household settings. Read about Ruth Awasa’s use of children’s art materials, and the habits of thrift that were handed down from her as a student under Josef Albers. Similarly, El Anatsui shares about his use of bottle caps and repurposed materials, “… we were working with new, fresh materials which had no history or anything behind them. Over the course of my practice, I discovered that used materials have more potency.” And finally, we feature a piece on Njideka Akunyili Crosby, whose recent show at the Zwirner gallery in New York combines biotic forms from her roots in Nigeria and L.A., as well as imagery pulled from family photographs and scenes depicting domestic settings.
Our Seeds stories feature artists who find ways to remain open, attuned, and present as the seasons change. After enduring a period of self-doubt and insecurity, Giselle Cordero reconnects with her artistic practice and progression by joining the League, making a home for herself amongst the studios, the instructors, and within the community of artists. Joselyn Chimbo shares her appreciation for artist Oswaldo Guayasamín, whose work engages with the violent, unequal and discriminatory history of the Quechua people. “My father would tell me about his work and the history of our country because our family comes from indigenous Ecuadorians who spoke Quechua.” Chimbo’s hope is to use her work to shed light on her culture and contribute to a world where the arts are accessible to all. Read on to find out more about our current Seeds students!
Check back next month for our November newsletter!
Reaching My Potential
Finding a space to oil paint freely in the city can be quite challenging, as renting a studio or painting at home is not always practical. However, immersing myself in an artistic environment like the League will give me the freedom to explore my creativity without any restrictions.
Sharing my Message
Guayasamín’s influence was always present in my life because my family has his work in our home, and its available throughout the street markets in Ecuador. I love that his work exposes the current problems in our country, and that this is what drives his choice to be a painter.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby Assembles Extended Family Trees
Ruth Asawa: Solid Form Meets Thin Air