It is exciting to have the Ell@s collective working with STAC in their 10-week Arts In Action workshop.  This innovative collective explores topics with art, creativity, activism and discusses many important issues such as  gender, inequality and more. They are a true motivation for young womyn and the community. They are part of the bigger picture of Wilmington, expanding and offering such great collectives, spaces and opportunities for the youth to stay busy and gain new knowledge. It is truly special because it is something many of us never had growing up. On that note I got to learn more about Ell@s. Check it…

S.T.A.C Drag Ball


When did Ell@s first begin?

Ell@s had our first official meeting in May 2011, but there were a lot of conversations, events, friendships, and collaborations that led up to that first meeting.


What was the motivation for starting a feminist collective in this area? Was there anything specific in any of the members experiences that motivated the collective to be created?

One of our biggest motivations for starting a feminist collective was that we didn’t know of any feminist movements, organizations, or circles in the Wilmington/Carson area. A lot of us had organized around feminist issues in our schools, and throughout L.A. and wanted to create a movement in the South Bay. Street harassment, sexual assault, and violence against womyn were issues that got us talking about creating a collective. One of our members (Carmen) organized a show last year called No Cat Calls! The night was a lot of fun and had a serious message around sexual harassment in public. That show was when we started to talk about getting together and finding like-minded folks. As the group expanded, we saw that the collective we wanted to be was a movement, a safe space, and a sisterhood of support. We spent a lot of time getting to know each other and what we envisioned the collective to be before we started doing community/public events.

Taking Back The Night


How many Ell@s members are in the collective?

It’s hard to name everyone because Ell@s has had a number of people involved in our group from the beginning. We have expanded since the first meeting but there is a core group of about 10 of us – Sonya, Retro, Syl Via, Jovanna, Maria, Monique, Gloria, Nuria, Carmen, and Shonowa.


Are there any special talents or ideas that members bring to the table?

Yes! That is one of the great things about the collective  -we are talented and unique individuals with the same vision. Creativity and art have been a big part of everything we do because we are a creative bunch. We are artists, students, activists, community organizers, hair stylists, poets, musicians, designers, and photographers that come together to heal, create, motivate, inspire, and challenge ourselves and our community. We want our communities to be safe, healthy, free of violence, full of resources, covered with art, and so much more.

How did the idea come about to do a workshop at Slanguage with STAC? What are the main goals for the teens?

Slanguage approached us about hosting the STAC program for the summer. Some of our members had worked with Slanguage in the past through their teen workshop and the WECAN residency. Up until the STAC program, we had collaborated on a  few events in the community – Dia de los Muertos Peace Walk, Womyn’s History Month, Take Back the Night, and GOOD WARNING to mention a few. We were excited to do the STAC program. It was challenging, new, and gave us an opportunity to work with youth. We formed Arts in Action, a 10-week workshop series centered on identity, art, and activism. We wanted to combine our skills and share our knowledge with high school students (everything we wish we would have learned in high school). Our goals for the teens are for them to explore their identity and creative interest in a safe and empowering space. Each Arts in Action workshop is different but has format where we discuss, create art, learn about feminist artists, and feminist herstory.

Has the collective done similar work-shops?

Yes, in the past we have hosted similar workshops. The difference is that the program is youth centered.


As you know I able to attend one of your teen workshops and thought it was a great experince! However, how does Ell@s present topics such as class, gender, sexuality, feminism to the teens since unfortunately some teens don’t encounter topics like this in highschool?

We were very glad to have you! That poetry workshop was a lot of fun! You are very right. That was a lot of Ell@s experience in high school and part of why we wanted to discuss these topics. The program is set up give students space to learn from us and teach us as well. We ask them about their lives and experiences so they can find a place to connect.

Sound workshop

For me it is a first to hear of such groups in this area, but it is exciting that so many young people, especially womyn are being more proactive with issues that affect us. Do you feel that new groups with empowering messages for womyn have changed from groups in the past? What is different if so and why?

Yeah, it is very exciting to be a part of a feminist collective in this area, it’s time. Some of Ell@s had done a lot of radical work in the Bay, Orange County, and in other parts of L.A., we wanted to see it in our hometowns. We are not quite sure about the second question… I think our collective is somewhat different from groups in the past. We have an artist approach to how we do things. Ell@s are a creative space, a movement that connects and heals. The collective still feels very new, we have been very busy in our year and a half of existence. We have focused on issues that are current in our communities and relative to our everyday experiences.


For those who are interested in joining the collective what do they have to do? Are men also able to join?

If you want to join, you have to dance battle Sonya! Just kidding, simply ask one of us or hit us up on our fan page! We like to take some time to hang out with folks and get to know them, their interests, and visions before they become involved. Ell@s collective is a womyn identified/trans space!


What are future plans for Ell@s? What would the group like to accomplish?

We are looking forward to the Slanguage Teen Art Summit! We are close to the end of our Arts in Action workshop series, we’re looking forward to taking time to reconnect and figure out where to move forward. We have a lot of ideas for the future – a Vagina Monologues, another Take Back the Night, and lots of community-based art projects. We want to continue to be a safe space to challenge patriarchy, violence, and injustice in our community.

Good Warning

words to live by


For those interested in collaborating with Ell@s or interested in being part of this collective, contact their fan page on Facebook or email them at

Also please join us this Saturday, August 11, 2012  as Ell@s Collective in Residency at Slanguage will lead a workshop for their culminating event working with our youth at the Slanguage Teen Arts Summit! Teen Art Summit Event Page

Location: LA><Art 2640 S. La Cienega Los Angeles, CA 90034

11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.





All photos by Monique Arellanes

Slanguage presents another exciting event at LA><Art! Join us Saturday, August 11, 2012 for The Teen Arts Summit! Our talented teens get together and take over with discussions and collaborations. ! This will also be the last day to VOTE for Slanguage! and we are proud to announce that Joe Buscaino from District 15 will be providing a bus for those in the community interested in going. Check the flier for more details.


Location: LA> <Art 2640 S. La Cienega Los Angeles, CA 90034

11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For more information visit Made In LA





Please join us to celebrate Slanguage’s 10-year anniversary at LAXART this weekend! There will be a free art exhibition tour by Slanguage artists, an art workshop, and food at LAXART from 11am – 2:30pm.
If transportation is needed, a bus will pick up community members this Saturday, July 21 between 9:30-10:15am at the studio and it will return by 3pm. IMPORTANT: Please RSVP to Karla Diaz at by this Friday as there is limited bus seating.
Many thanks to the LA City Council District 15, Joe Buscaino, and Adrian Veliz for all their support!
TO VOTE: Bring your CA or school ID. Also, you need an email address. We can help with this if you don’t, but it’ll be helpful if you do.
See you there!

The time has come and it will be on and popping this summer as Slanguage takes over LAXART starting this weekend! In honor of the take over we are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Slanguage opening its doors to the community and art world. Mario Ybarra jr and Karla Diaz started their vision in 2002 as young artists out of graduate school. Their creative space not only been a foundation for them, but a stepping stone for many emerging local artists to discover their talents.
Slanguage has came a long way since 2002 we have seen and been though goodtimes and bad, but we managed to stay afloat with the support of all the resident artists, visiting artists and community.
Please take the time and support 10- years of hard work for all the artists who have helped us make this happen. “This is a takeover” will feature what Slanguage has done best. It will showcase 10-years of art archives, programming, work-shops, performances and much more!

Public Opening

Saturday, June 2, 2012
12 p.m to 3 p.m.
2640 S. La Cienega
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Mural by the 777 crew


Karla Diaz's Hands On Billboard Throwing up the "W" our Slanguage Hometown

Check out the programming for the summer below


Internationally renowned artists’ collective Slanguage will activate LA><ART throughout the duration of the exhibition. Alongside a public billboard project, a new mural on LA><ART’s facade, and an interactive installation documenting 10 years of the collective’s projects, Slanguage will host public programs, events, and performances that will give audiences access to its pedagogical process of artistic creation. Please note that some programs require an RSVP.



SAT | JUNE 16 | 12–2PM | RSVP BY JUNE 9

SAT | JULY 21 | 12–2PM | RSVP BY JULY 14

SAT | AUG 4 | 12–2PM | RSVP BY JULY 28

Led by different contemporary artists from Los Angeles, these three workshops will provide a dynamic opportunity for children and youth ages 5 to 13 to make their own works of art in a wide variety of media. From collages and painting to sculpture and installation, these workshops bring young audiences and artists together for a family friendly arts education experience. RSVP required.



WED | JUNE 27 | 7–8:30PM | RSVP BY JUNE 20

WED | JULY 25 | 7–8:30PM | RSVP BY JULY 18

WED | AUG 15 | 7–8:30PM | RSVP BY AUG 8

Organized and moderated by Slanguage, these discussion forums for artists will be structured around distinct themes, creating a space for creative practitioners to discuss some of the most pressing personal and professional issues facing contemporary artists today. These discussion forums will serve as safe spaces for candid conversations and are open to artists only. RSVP required.



World’s Worst Words II [WWWII] an evening of spoken word, music and performance featuring guest artists from some of Los Angeles’ most dynamic and creative organizations including; Deondri Ruff _ Homeboy Industries, Jael Williams _ Homeland Cultural Center, Jumakae _ Duende and One Imagination, Rolando Riggio _ 826LA, Venessa Marco _ Da Poetry Lounge,  Jessica Cornejo _ Heart and Soul and Inner-City Arts,  Shonowa Villalobos _ Ell@s,  and DJ Emilio Venegas Jr. _ Wilmington Enrichment Community Artist Network(WECAN).

Curated by Slanguage, with production support by Mario Davila from LAartlab, WWWII is part of a 10-year history of Slanguage events supporting creative collaborations.

FRI | JULY 20 | 7–10PM

7:00 – 8:00           DJ Set

8:00 – 9:00           Spoken Word

9:00 – 10:00         Performance and Music




SAT | AUG 11 | 11AM–5PM

Slanguage’s Teen Arts Council organizes a citywide summit for teen arts leaders involved in myriad arts education programs throughout Los Angeles County. During this symposium-like event, teens will share programmatic ideas, discuss the challenges of organizing youth arts programs, share experiences, and form networks for possible future collaborations.


SAT | AUG 25 | 11AM–6PM


The second annual Slangfest is a daylong festival of art workshops, music, and performances. Art activity booths will host family workshops while a lineup of performances including break-dancing and live bands takes the stage. Food trucks will be present during the event. At noon, Scott Benzel and Mark Hagen will fit a wrecked car with a custom pyramidal bass cabinet and play a mix of Ghettotech, Booty bass, and early Detroit Techno as well as a live original composition through it. Incorporating both a dense mix of sound to create extreme vibrations and slow compositions using live musicians, Bass Elegy/Devil’s Night (for M.K.) is an elegy to one of our city’s most influential and pioneering artists, Mike Kelley.


The show will be running until September 2, 2012

Make sure to pick up a brochure to check out all the other artists in all 4 locations or check out the website

Also for those with Iphones download a Made In LA sound map for FREE


Hope to see you all there!





This year marks Slanguage’s 10 year anniversary! Please keep updated to our blog and Facebook page for all the latest happenings coming for summer. Opening June 2, 2012




Slanguage Studio is celebrating its 10th year anniversary and participating in a very important exhibition about Slanguage’s history for the first Los Angeles biennial, Made in L.A. 2012, organized by the Hammer Museum in collaboration with LAXART, will be presented at the Hammer, and the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park. Slanguage’s exhibition is called “THIS IS A TAKE OVER!” inspired by the Native American taking of Alcatraz, in which the artists will be taking over the LAXArt Gallery in Culver city and Programming it for three months. Events will include a Teen Art Summit, a music/spoken word Slanguage Festival, discussions, workshops, a mural and billboard. Stay tuned for further details about the events. Also, you can help support the future of Slanguage by voting for Slanguage to get a $100,000 prize in the middle of June. Go Slangasters! (Karla Diaz)

Slanguage Teen Arts Council (STAC) welcomed Katie Bachler in collaboration with resident artist Tony Lopez for an exciting new green residency called: Radical Gardening. Here is a bit more about Katie Bachler and this exciting  project already in the works.



The Radical Gardening project is very exciting, especially in Wilmington! As you may have noticed Wilmington is considered a port-industrial town, how will the “green side” of Wilmington be exhibited with this project?

There is nature everywhere in Wilmington! In the plants growing through the cracks, the plethora of California Fan Palms… The city is nature, we just don’t look at it that way. We spend our days and night on the surface of the city, in the idea of the city. A main goal of this project is the re-learning the process of looking at and knowing a place. Many of our adventures have just been in the immediate vicinity of Slanguage, sketching the plants in the cracks, collecting rubbings of the bark of the trees nearby, talking to the neighbor Rogelio about his guayaba trees and nopales. By simply renaming an small plot of land outside of a food store a park, we change the frame of nature in the  city. The space is activated. We encourage passers-by to notice the local flora, to slow down. With the green map we are creating, a new side of Wilmington will be made public.


Slanguage neighbor Rogelio talking about his garden

The plants and greenery in Wilmington often seem unappreciated or taken for granted at least; what can we learn from the greenery that we do have?  Was there anything interesting you’ve noticed regarding species of plants or natural green spaces in Wilmington?

There is this amazing little marsh by Ghost town that Tony showed me while we were riding bikes. There are many places to peep the salt-marsh biome, the native fan palm is everywhere too! We can re-think our relationship to nature and slow down a bit, spend time contemplating the bottle-brush trees, the tumbleweeds… Ecosystems exist even in the empty lots, we can see birds in the black mustard and marsh grasses.

How will you and Tony be working in collaboration?

We are planning the projects together.  He knows all about the wonders of Wilmington, and its amazing to see what actual sites around Wilmington connect to our conversations about Nature/Human interventions. There are all these super amazing spots, like the palm trees with happy faces painted on them, or topiaries of strange bears by this taco shop, where nature and people connect. Tony and I have similar interests in the intersections of nature and the city; he turns some of my thoughts into actual locations around town. Tony is a skilled builder, so he is teaching me about the table saw etc, and we will build together!


The triangle park has been something that Mario and Slanguage have been trying to bring to life for a long time. It is an honor that the Radical Gardening Project will get that chance to make a change. How do you feel about working with a space that the city supposedly overseas but has done nothing with?

I love it! This little park is a rupture in the institutional fabric of the city, an in-between-space, somewhere seemingly forgotten. This is where interesting things happen, it has the possibility of becoming a space that actually reflects the needs of the community. When the space is used by people in the neighborhood, it becomes an impromptu public space, defined by the activities that take place there. The possibilities for this park are expansive because of its over-looked status. It can actually reflect the needs of its stake-holders, we can focus on the community surrounding the space, be super Wilmington specific, think about people who walk by the triangle everyday. It is a people’s park.

What will the park look like in the end?

We will add plants and benches and a horse shoe court, a suggestion of a local neighbor who is also an artist! It will reflect the desires of the community. We just had this new idea of creating a cancer memorial in the center of the park because we keep hearing about people who have died of cancer in Wilmington and there is no public memorial in the city. We will create small planters with the names of people who have died, and a space for the public to plant seeds in their memory.

I see you are incorporating green thinking with community and art. Why do you think it is important to involve other members of the community with this project?

Change does not happen unless people feel a sense of agency, connection to what is being made in their community. Its the difference between grassroots political organizing and mainstream politics. People will only participate if they feel like they have something at stake. We want people to use the park, we want it to be their park, so it is super important that we talk to people. Also, i am not from here, so I need to learn about people and a place before I can help think of ideas for improvement. Things take time, the building of relationships in this community are just as much a part of the project as the park itself. The park is the people, a manifestation of multiple needs. Making a map too, that reflects what is important to the residents of Wilmington, will create a sense of empowerment and connection to this neighborhood.

STAC teens painting on a birdbath

Have you done similar projects in the past? In what cities have you worked in doing so?

I have; these types of projects are my favorite! I worked with Marjetica Potrc on two projects involving people and plants. One was in Amsterdam, in a suburb. We created a community garden in an area of social housing that came to be completely run and operated by the residents. The residents cooked food from the garden in a community kitchen and held events that they designed. It was a project about creating a social engine, a catalyst for creating community.  Last May, I worked on a project with Marjetica in Aubervilliers, just outside of Paris France. The neighborhood is the most diverse in europe, so we collected seeds and plants from people from all over the world and connected over the idea of the garden. We planted these plants in large red bags at an art center. I am interested in being an artist-facilitator, working with people and ideas that already exist in a place, figuring out ways to make the invisible visible. I was part of a residency in Vermont this summer where we collected hand-drawn maps of peoples favorite places in a small town called Putney, then I combined all of the places on the maps on a map that I drew, a giant one that is now on display at the food co-op, the central community place in the town. People love to look and talk about what they added to this work. Map makes a place for people to bond and converse!

Residency in Vermont with Frannie Garretson: hand-drawn maps of peoples favorite places in a small town called Putney.


Is there any future projects you will be working on?

Yes, always. I will keep teaching and really want to start a school with friend and collaborator teacher Sarah Dougherty. I am also working on a project called the Workers Rug. Collaborator Jade Thacker and I are creating a rag rug with members of IDEPSCA, an organization that works with members of low-income communities concerned with solving problems in their own communities. We are working specifically with day laborers and domestic workers to collect stories about work, about invisible labor. Each piece of clothing we collect will connect to a story about work, which we will pin onto the Worker’s Rug. We hope to display the rug at the offices of local politicians.

STAC teen creating a garden box


The project ends around December 21, 2011 but keep posted to the STAC Face Book page for the progression of the project and finale at triangle park.

Artist: Katie Bachler, USC, MA in Art in the Public Realm

STAC, Slanguage Teen Arts Council is a leadership group gaining skills through art!


  • working with an arts organization and gaining marketing and production skills
  • meet with other working artists, and arts institutions
  • developing programming including events and exhibits, and community art projects for your own peers and community.




Doña Junta

It’s been quiet at the studio lately, although that doesn’t mean we’re any less busy!

One  reason — Mario Ybarra, Jr. has been in residency at Sigrid’s Space (Gellerup, Denmark) since October. Every year, Sigrid’s Space selects four international artists to work in-house on a project that brings together social and inclusive aspects of his/her art practice. This fall, Mario brings The Drawing Club to Denmark and leads weekly workshops and conversations about one of our favorite things to do. We miss you, Mario!

To see The Drawing Club in action, please check out their Facebook page here.

Lastly, don’t forget! Our SlangAIR residency featuring What the Palm Tree Knows opens tomorrow night at Slanguage. Just click here for details!