While Los Angeles is recognized internationally as an artistic hub, just beyond its eastern border lies a vibrant community of artists that are beginning to earn the recognition they deserve. To showcase these talented artists, the Millard Sheets Gallery at Fairplex in Pomona joins the Riverside Art Museum to produce Beyond Heritage, a series of regional exhibitions, educational programs and a catalog showcasing the contemporary artwork of Latino artists living or working in the Inland Empire. The exhibition builds on the Millard Sheets Gallery’s successful 2005 L.A. County Fair exhibit, Latino Artists of Los Angeles: Defining Self & Inspiration.
Beyond Heritage explores a new legacy, building on the idea that many artists of Latino ancestry create art that speaks from their heritage, but not exclusively about their heritage. These artists’ work, writes essayist Peter Frank in the exhibition catalog, “refuses to answer the quickly asked questions. It does not tell us what makes Latino art Latino, only what makes it art . . . Some artists have grand social, cultural and even religious concepts to convey, while others look to the energy of the streets.”
Located at Fairplex in Pomona, the Millard Sheets Gallery is situated within a shifting border, still in Los Angeles County, but having much in common with the communities of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. As part of its efforts to develop into a vital center for the arts, one that is a relevant cultural resource in the community, the gallery is collaborating with the Riverside Art Museum and other area arts organizations in Pomona and Riverside. A generous grant from the James Irvine Foundation, the gallery’s first, in support of Beyond Heritage and its bilingual catalog allows the gallery to expand its programming and reach a broader audience.
In addition to the exhibitions at Millard Sheets Gallery and the Riverside Art Museum, other area arts organizations including the Latino Art Museum and the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona and La Sierra University’s Brandstater Gallery and Division 9 Galleries in Riverside