Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Check out the Photo Video of the our Final Project/Installation

Check out the Photo Video of the our Final Project/Installation at 18th St. Art Center Gallery...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The opening our group exhibit "LOVE IN A CEMETERY" will open SATURDAY, JANUARY 23rd, 2010 (7pm)
Please join us in celebrating bail being granted for Alex Sanchez. This is great news and we are confident that the trial if it gets to that will also have similar outcomes.

Visit our installation which will include silkscreen posters, painting by Fabian Debora, photography, as well as panels and platicas coorganized by Rodrigo and I. Items to benefit the We Are Alex campaign will also be on sale.

Here is our final Artist statement/Project Description:

The creations within the gallery are a result of a relationship built between students Rodrigo Marti and Felicia Montes in conjunction with Homies Unidos, a gang intervention program in the Pico Union area of Los Angeles and We Are Alex, the ad hoc committee that was formed after Homies Unido’s director Alex Sanchez was incarcerated and faced dubious judicial proceedings.
Marti and Montes realized the importance of expanding Homies Unidos and We Are Alex's networks in order to increase the visibility of both organizations.

They began with the creation of an art program based on themes of identity and culture focusing on issues of personal space, and urban life in relation to international issues, focusing specifically on the histories of conflict among various discriminated populations.

The creative outcomes are varied and include a panel discussion or conversation based on youth and gang intervention work and the prison industrial complex, extending the organizations' messages through a poster campaign and bicycle spoke card distribution, and a guerilla theatre piece created by Homies Unidos Program Coordinator Alejandro Alvarado.

Montes feels especially connected with the organization as a Chicana from East L.A. who has worked with various similar underserved populations for the past 13 years. Her life’s work and creations deal with the interconnected issues of the communities within Homies Unidos and We Are Alex including identity, immigration, culture, and community. She hopes this creative energy and its manifestations can free Alex and all political prisoners and activate artists and community to create change.

A new arrival to Los Angeles, Marti was initially drawn to the project when learning of the stresses caused by the Alex Sanchez case on not only Homies Unidos, but also the wider gang-intervention community. Allegiances and friendships built through this project have been invaluable to understanding their unique history and the long struggle for (im)migrant rights.



Thursday, January 21st - "Fruits of War" Film Screening (7pm)

Thursday, February 4th - "Fruits of War" Film Screening (7pm)

Wednesday, February 24th - "Peace Platica"
A conversation with key Peacemakers, and Gang intervention workers, and youth.
at National Center for Preservation of Democracy @ JANM
111 N Central Avenue, Los Angeles 90012
(Little Tokyo, across from MOCA/Geffen)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tom Hayden's Blog

Be sure to check out TOM HAYDEN's WEBSITE & BLOG which has lots of updates on the Alex Sanchez Case.
Tom has been a long time supporter of Alex and is one of his biggest allies. His writings are important to read and share.

Here's the lastest update re: Judge Real's surreal behavior/actions...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Planning the Exhibit Installation

So we've been planning more for the exhibition... brainstorming and fine tuning things more to see what would be best for the exhibit installation we will be creating.

Here is some images we put together as an exercise to see what kinds of images we could make with all the posters created thus far. Take a look and let us know what you think!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Political Posters

We have since created a few more posters as well as t-shirts and some bike cards to be shared with the community to educate others about the FREE ALEX campaign.

Here is a selection:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Project & Programming Plans

In our conversations with Homies Unidos and We Are Alex we saw that our own organizing and artistic skills and experience could most help the organizations and so after much brainstorming, planning and thought, we plan on doing the following...


Postering & Stickers, t-shirts (documentation)
( towards beginning)

Bike card

Screenings of “Fruits of War” Video at 18th street Art Center EARLY, possibly (Th. 1/28/10?)
*figure out dates to possibly show other locations

Street theater /guerrilla theater (w/Alejandro) At opening
-Recording of it
Plot performance art in institutional courtyards (LACMA, Hammer, etc.)

Temporary tattoos w/ key words like “18th St. Art Center”

Sample drawing of possible tattoo:

Projection of tattoos/paintings on bodies/walls (see installation plan ideas)

Videos: “crazy baldhead” - possibly w/ street corner guerrilla showings

Here's some sample shaved head photos from the video shoot:

Panel discussion (Mike de la Rocha) MID FEBRUARY
Possible dates:
Thur. 2/11
Sat. 2/13
Thurs. 2/18
Sat. 2/20

Looking to do at a high profile locations perhaps Redcat, Hammer, JANM, etc.


After brainstorming, we presented and planned and got feedback. Over the vacation we met and brainstormed and planned somemore (a non-stop process here)...and came up with some line drawings of different ways we could install at 18th Street Art Center. Rodrigo compiled them in some sketches and here are the most updated plans:

We are moving forward and excited and busy....

Monday, November 30, 2009

Art Workshop

There’s been lots of developments with our project. We’ve come along way since our first thoughts and meetings with Homies Unidos.

Rodrigo and I brainstormed lots of ideas on how to use our artistic and organizing skills to benefit Homies Unidos and the We Are Alex Campaign. We came up with many; some the usual political propaganda issues and the others pushing the edge of identity and assumptions on gang members, Raza communities and youth.

One of our other projects was to do an Art Program for Homies Unidos, as they really asked and were interested in reinvigorating a program they had in the past. Rodrigo and I created a template of an art program with about four workshops. The program focuses on identity, culture and community.

The organization has had a art program before, below are some examples of the work done.

Our first workshop date was November 18th but because of the lack of participants and many transitions happening within the organization, we have decided to postpone the workshops, turn in all our workshop templates/sample lesson plans and see how else we could help both Homies Unidos and the We Are Alex Campaign. We are currently reformulating how to do the art workshops at a later date.

Here are the basics of our art workshop plan:


a. Art Breaking Activity which is an introduction to mark making and to fast portraiture. It works to loosen the hand and break down concept of what “ART” is and is not. (RM) Rodrigo should sample there & have samples. 30-40min
i. Playing 4 square (RM)
ii. Partner Portraits (RM) ex: time/contour
b. Intro to us and to program/project background/ideas/possibilities (exhibit, help w/ Alex, etc.) (RM/FM) 10 min
c. Presentation/sharing on varied sample portraits from world/history, etc. (RM/FM) 15-20 min
d. Closing reflection on identity, culture, community and our workshop themes. “Where are you from?” hood, city, county, state, country, culture, subculture, etc….. PREP for Next session’s walk and theme. (RM/FM)
e. Drawing exercises--- 2 room views exercise (RM)
f. “I am” reflective writing prompt…. (FM)

Images for presentation, camera, paper and chalk, pencils, lined paper.

g. Discussion re: community/urban planning our hoods
i. Introduce ‘zine possibility
h. Prep regarding photo taking, use of cameras, goals, etc.
i. Walk outside and begin walk
i. Sample of what to look at/look for/how to look/take pics by us
ii. Architectually, socially/politically, artistically/design wise
j. Guided Walk around neighborhood (should have handouts to write note re: picture and things they saw)
k. Return to Homies Unidos for discussion/debrief through visual share out/mapping (see ex. Suzanne Lacy’s “Prostitution notes”)
l. Begin your draft map of your hood.
m. Visual or written REFLECTION on “My hood”
2) HW: Ask students to look into their own culture/family heritage….and get stories/information.

DAY 3) GROUP MAPPING (El Salvador /Central America)
a. Discussion of Mayan culture
b. Discussion of violence/civil war
c. Place in world/its relation to U.S.
o Watch “Fruits of Labor”
o Guest Speaker(s):
• Maria Guardado
REFLECTION (written or visual)

DAY 4) MAYA MOBILE presentation
d. Presentation on Mayan culture
e. Ceramic tile or other project created

f. Focus on Mayan Exhibit; compare different exhibits
g. Reflections

h. Created/Brainstormed together with participants.
i. Samples ideas may include stencils, paper mache or other traditional/non-traditional art forms/tools for use in a community project
i. Ex: Homies Unidos &/or We are Alex stencils, shirts, etc.

* Day’s may take longer than one session and we hope to have 2+alternate dates for the project to manifest.