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Published on October 3rd, 2017 | by Joseph Wickline

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Samo art department partners with 18th Street Art Center

The Samo Art Department, under the supervision of department head Amy Bouse, has partnered with the 18th St. Art Center to exhibit student artwork in the Center’s gallery. Under the new partnership, Bouse’s fourth period AP art class will have work completed in their classes displayed at the 18th Street venue as a part of the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Initiative. This agreement is still in the early stages of development, so no dates are set in stone yet.

“I think some of that is still in flux,” Bouse said. “It’s the first time that we’ve worked with them.”

The Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Initiative is a series of thematically linked exhibitions, all featuring art in Latin American styles, which are spread across southern California. The goal of the initiative is to introduce Californians to important art that they would otherwise not encounter and to bring to light complex issues regarding the changing cultural makeup of California.

“There are lots of exhibitions going on that just started: The Getty, LA County Museum, Hammer [Museum]. Pretty much everyone is participating,” Bouse said.

Bouse was approached at the beginning of the school year by Betty Marin of the 18th St. Art Center. Marin reached out to educators across Santa Monica, to expand the initiative to young artists. This is the first such partnership ever attempted by the Samo Art Program.

“One of my big interests is partnering with different community members and community groups,” Marin said. “I had done a similar educational partnership before, so when we were working on this exhibition I proposed also developing an educational program with local students.”

The specific works that the students will create remains undecided, but it will fall into Pacific Standard Time’s Latin American theme, and will be displayed as a part of “A Universal History of Infamy: Virtues of Disparity”, a three part exhibition which includes works at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and features the work of prominent Californian artists, chiefly Latin American.

“They’re going to produce artwork that are kind of in dialogue with the artists’ artwork,” Marin said. “So we’re thinking about the themes, thinking about the forms that are used by these artists, and they’ll get to develop their own artwork about those issues.”

The partnership will extend beyond gallery space, though. Guest artists affiliated with Pacific Standard Time and with the 18th St. Art Center will visit the school to talk to students, and students will go on field trips to both the 18th St. gallery and the exhibition at LACMA.

One of the primary pieces on display at the 18th St. exhibition is a copy of a pre-colonial Latin American codex, an accordion-folded book filled with pictographs intended to document stories, legends, and histories. The codex is accompanied by a video documenting the imagined life of the codex, from the gathering of its raw material components to its ultimate storage in the Vatican library.

The partnership will continue to develop over the course of the year, as the Samo Art Department collaborates with Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA and the 18th St. Art Center.

“We have a lot of resources in Santa Monica that can be helpful for us, and it would be great to have more of a community involvement with the school,” Bouse said.

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