The Iridescence of Knowing

September 14 - November 18, 2023

The Iridescence of Knowing invites visitors to explore the rich lineage of Indigenous cultural production in Tovaangar, known today as the greater Los Angeles basin. The exhibition brings together a collection of works from diverse artists from multiple generations and varied First Peoples communities of Southern California. The works challenge conventional boundaries between "craft" and "fine art”, uplifting intergenerational transmission of culture, the significance of lineage, and the profound connections between cultural tradition and contemporary artistic practices.

In Indigenous cultures, ancestral histories are often influenced by multifaceted perspectives—ecological, spiritual, oral, cosmological. The notion of iridescence captures this fluid, reflective, ever-evolving nature of understanding and serves as a powerful metaphor for the transformative and dynamic qualities of knowing.

Weaving, both as a physical technique vital to Indigenous craft and as a symbolic concept, lies at the heart of this exhibition. Weaving represents not only tangible embodied skill, but also the intangible essence of transgenerational cultural memory that bridges time and space. Here, weaving serves as a powerful symbol, holding space for different modalities of artistic expression and fostering a circular expansion of ideas that move beyond traditional linear narratives of time. In this way, contemporary approaches to making are woven inextricably with generational ones, holding refractions of influence and celebrating the vibrant presence of both the past and present in the current creative landscape.

The Iridescence of Knowing provides a space for reflection, dialogue, and celebration of artistic traditions. It invites visitors to consider the embodied relationship between physical objects and the realms of generational energy that they hold. It encourages exploration of ancestral lineages and contemplation of ways in which cultural traditions can be sustained, evolve, and remain relevant in the present and for generations to come.

Exhibiting artists include: Weshoyot Alvitre, Theresa Ambo, Jessa Calderon, Gerald Clarke, Lewis deSoto, Robert Dorame, Katie Dorame, River Garza, Sky Hopinka, Adrienne Kinsella, James Luna, L. Frank Manriquez, Leah Mata Fragua, Samantha Morales-Johnson, Cara Romeroand Craig Torres.

This exhibition is curated by Mercedes Dorame, 2023-24 Wanlass Artist-in-Residence and Joel Garcia, Fall 2023 Curator-in-Residence.

OXY ARTS occupies and acknowledges our presence on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples. We acknowledge the Gabrielino/Tongva as the original caretakers of Tovaangar, which spans LA County, parts of Northern Orange County and the Southern Channel Islands. We pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), 'Ahiihirom (Elders) and 'Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

Screen Reader Friendly Exhibition Guide