Edible Estates, Lakewood, CA
Foti Family Garden, 2006
Photo: Fritz Haeg
The Millard Sheets Gallery will present Fair Exchange, a group exhibition by 28 Los Angeles-based artists and artist collectives,for the annual L.A. County Fair, September 8 – October 1.
Traditionally, the Fair has been a celebration of regional domestic and agricultural arts and sciences. Although fairs and art galleries share the practice of exhibiting as a way to communicate cultural meaning and values, historical boundaries have distinguished one tradition from the other. The goal of Fair Exchange is to challenge these barriers and open a meaningful dialogue between artists, fairgoers, and art audiences. With the L.A. County Fair as inspiration, Fair Exchange will present a body of contemporary artwork that reimagines the creative media of knitting, sculpture, painting, Christmas-tree decorating, tablescaping, gardening, photography, performance, video, and quilting.
Fair Exchange’s curator, Irene Tsatsos, shares her vision: “…the artwork in Fair Exchange is about living in Los Angeles, in all of its fractured, ugly, awesome, complexity. Beyond that, indeed embracing that, Fair Exchange is about simply living – consciously, mindfully, and with awareness of ourselves and others.” Within the broader thematic framework of the Los Angeles living experience, with its civic, social, environmental, and economic concerns, the artists and collectives in Fair Exchange will produce, for example: knitwear that bears sociopolitical commentary; a meditative mandala constructed of prizes from the Fair’s midway; tours of the Fairgrounds that illuminate the historical and cultural history of the Fair; edible garden kiosks proffering sustainable land use models; the time-honored photography competition results, selected through a newly web-based, peer jurying process; and a public forum for presentation of social and artistic ideas. Parts of the exhibition, and its related activities, will be integrated throughout the Fairgrounds, stimulating critical interplay. Through this myriad of artwork, Fair Exchange invites viewers to reconsider the limitations of the materials, methods, and sites of art creation and dissemination.
The exhibition is organized by independent curator Irene Tsatsos, the former director and curator at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE). Ms. Tsatsos is an independent curator and writer, and the Director of Communications at Carlson & Co., a fine art and architecture fabricator in San Fernando. Consulting curators include Glenn Phillips, Jeff Cain, Julie Deamer, and Veronica Wiman. A full-color catalogue designed by the Department of Graphic Sciences with an introduction by Executive Director Dan Danzig and essays by Irene Tsatsos and consulting curators will be available at the time of the exhibition. Fair Exchange is presented by Farmer’s Insurance. This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.
Fair Exchange Program Schedule
Artists and collectives participating in Fair Exchange:
Lisa Anne Auerbach
Enid Baxter Blader
Jeff Cain and Shed Research Insitute
Nao Bustamante & Miguel Calderon
Gary Cannone for Outpost for Contemporary Art
Harry Dodge & Stanya Kahn
Fallen Fruit with David Burns, Matias Viegener, and Austin Young
Fritz Haeg and Gardenlab
Institute for Figuring
Los Angeles Urban Rangers
New Chinatown Barbershop
Rubén Ortiz Torres