Slanguage’s ‘take-over’ of LA><ART has been a great success  since its opening last month. Along with great reviews from the LA Times and other media sources, we are also honored to be in the running for the Mohn Award! Hard work pays off — and with the wonderful team of resident artists and supporters, we are continuing to see a brighter future.

In addition, it’s important for us at Slanguage to spotlight those  artists who have helped create the visual images throughout the years. Right now, we’ like to recognize the three artists who painted the mural that is beautifully laid out on the  front of the LA><ART building. The artists involved in the creation of this mural titled Peace in Wilmas are Mario “Dred” Lopez, Mario “Autoe” Cuen and Raul “Spew” Vasquez. I got a chance to find out more about the mural and their work.

More after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Picture Me! An Introduction to Photography

Taught by artist Ruth Cabral (shown in Self Portrait 2009 on the left), the course will be expose young artists to photographic works of art that explore different kinds of self-expression. Students will take inspiration from their own environment to develop insight into their identity. The artists will create collages, do cyanotype printing that incorporates composition, design their own shoes, and create an awesome self-portrait based on their alter ego. By incorporating the camera, the junior artists will apply visual techniques to communicate their own unique identities in a medium that captures a moment in their lives. The class will be 10 sessions and will close with a class exhibition. All materials are included in class fee.

Class starts this Saturday, April 30th

For 10 Saturdays from 11am-12:30pm

Registration, April 30th, 10-11am

$10 per class, or $100 for 10 sessions

San Pedro Community Garden

Slanguage got a great opportunity to go visit and explore the San Pedro community garden. This 3 ½ acre land is owned by the city of Los Angeles and has been around over 40 years. For a yearly fee anybody can start a garden. The garden is fitted with hoses for easy access to water, mulch is also available.  However, not just anybody can maintains their roots here; some gardeners have managed to sustain their plots for up to thirty years.
More after the jump…

Slanguage co-founder Karla Diaz  was in an exhibition in Cairo Egypt. Her project “Homeland” was based

on the Long Beach-cultural and community center that she attended when she was

young run by Dixie Swift and Manazar Gamboa

The exhibition is titled “Citizen, Participant” curated by Pilar Tompkins.

Here is a look back at a few recent events with Slanguage and our comrades.

Prison Gourmet: Eat at LACMA  was a  great event representing prisoner recipes. Spreads and unique ways of creating prison food is must for prisoners all over the CDCR system and beyond. We wanted to replicate some of the recipes that inmates eat on a daily basis, the exhibition was a success and we even ran out of food!

Karla Diaz and Tony Lopez are preparing “Prison Gourmet” recipes sent into Slanguage by friends and family who are currently serving prison sentences in the California State and Federal Prison Systems. These recipes show a great deal of imagination,resiliance and resistance by the men who sent them in

Check out more after the jump

Read the rest of this entry »


Karla Diaz / Slanguage

640 N. Avalon Ave

Wilmington, CA 90744

The Monster Inside Me:

An exhibition about fantasy

Featuring works by

Steve De La Torre, Alonso Garzon, Eric Marquez

and Mario Lopez

May 8 – June 17, 2010

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Poetry Reading at 8:30pm

Works and merchandise for sale

Wilmington – This exhibition highlights some of the first Slanguage artists and their work about fantasy. The show is comprised of a series of drawings, paintings and sculptures alluding to animation, graphic design, and mythical characters. Spontaneous and raw, the artists in this exhibition use materials to intricately challenge notions of illusion and fantasy worlds. Click here for more interviews with the artists:  The Monster Inside Me, Interview with Eric Marquez 

 Interview with Steve De La Torre

Interview with Mario Lopez

Last fall I was fortunate to be able to spend some time at Artpace in San Antonio, Texas. I really enjoyed spending time with all the folks there and feel I made some great friends. I met  Ruth and Rico at the first art opening I attended there and both were working with an organization called San Anto Cultural Arts. SACA is a small but prolific organization that has been operating out an office on the west side of town. For more details about SACA check them out at this link.

Ruth had just received her BFA from the Chicago Art Institute and Rico has been a volunteer artist with the organization. They are involved with the mural program and offered to give me a tour of their work. I was excited to see what they had been working on so I made my way to their office. They showed me around the head quarters and told me that their founder Manny Castillo had recently passed away from cancer and that the organization was just recovering from the great loss. This was a surprise for me seeing how young this leader was, about 40 years old. The legacy he left with the staff and artists at SACA is definitely one he would be proud of.

Rico keeps a job as a taxi driver so our tour bus was a yellow cab mini van. Awesome! We started out by looking at the murals closest to the office and moved further and further out into the West Side. Ruth explained to me how each mural is lead by different artists in residence. Each of those artists spend time working up themes and ideas that are then presented to the community and the collaborating team. The teams and community members then work together with the resident artist to produce a mural.

Working with several different lead artist keeps the approach fresh and unique for every mural. Ruth recounted how with each mural they had improved not only with ideas but also with materials. She showed me her first mural painted with house paint and how it was already showing fading from the sun. In comparison the mural next to it was painted with a professional grade acrylic paint that was holding up much better. Some of the murals they have produced even include some glasswork and sculptural relief elements. Each mural they showed seemed to get better and better.

As the afternoon went on I was exposed all sorts of murals that they had produced with all sorts of themes such as domestic abuse, health, community leaders, historical musicians and much more. Rico even treated us to a poem that he wrote for the inauguration of one their murals. SACA holds public blessings of their murals that consist of a prayer by a catholic priest, Aztec dancers and  Conjunto groups. I feel really honored to have gone on this tour thanks to both Ruth and Rico. Keep up the good work!