Friday, September 9, 2016

Hunter International House presents Viktor le. Givens.

"Art is Business" reposted for Rootworks Gallery showcases artistic expression that has healing, reconciliation, or the investigation of folk, street and indigenous cultures at its core.

 "The In Between Space: Black Magic. Black Manhood. Black Matter"

Inspired by the "conjure" writings of Charles Chestnutt and the short story "The Man who Lived Underground" by Richard Wright, this immersive exhibition functions as a series of speculative ethnographic installations exploring le. Givens' reflections on matter, ancestry, memory and the position of black men in both physical and metaphysical space.

le. Givens says of this work: “This installation is my propitiatory temple to men with gifts--sight seeing, dream catching, street prophesying alchemists--the brothers whose identity and operations may not garner the attention of the mainstream. In navigating the future of black masculinity we have to understand how the black male body moves through literal and figurative space, sometimes unseen, sometimes hyper-visible and more often negotiating the place in between these spaces."

Viktor le. Givens is an installation and performance artist whose practice includes the gathering of ancestral objects to activate spaces for site-specific rituals. His materials frequently include quilts, garments, shoes, coins, jars and bottles, recipes and other forgotten or discarded household items and personal effects. Through the accumulation of these cultural artifacts, le. Givens seeks to create spaces that act as sacred places or "temples" that inspire the activation of cultural memory, survival, and resistance and that support African-American spiritual retentions and continuities.

Rootwork Gallery (645 W.18th St., Pilsen) is pleased to announce the opening on Friday, September 9 from 6-10 pm of "The In Between Space: Black Magic. Black Manhood. Black Matter" part exhibition, part visual environment composed by mixed media artist Viktor le. Givens. 

Friday, September 2, 2016


Reposted from the California Arts Council Arts Beat

Published: 09-02-2016

We are delighted to welcome Andrea Porras to the staff of the California Arts Council as our newest Arts Programs Specialist.

At her RFK Elementary kindergarten class in San José, Andrea's parents were told their child's approach to simple art projects were "unique."

Many years later, as the director of Sacramento's World Arts Space summer project in Oak Park, a local TV reporter asked her how she came up with such a unique and creative idea. The 200-plus youth Andrea enrolled for the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission program would be categorized as "an unequaled" project for youngsters by both media and observers.

Andrea Porras has created, directed, curated, performed and collaborated in multiple theatre productions. She has performed and assisted on independent film/video documentary projects, live performances, public and private speaking engagements. Andrea's creative engagement expertise in producing  visual art and music shows as well as dance and altar offerings in renown museums, classrooms, galleries and alternative community spaces continues to this day.

Andrea holds a B.A. from California State University-Sacramento (CSUS) in Theatre Arts with a special focus in ethnic studies and a minor in cultural anthropology. Her research, performance and community service travels have taken her to China, Africa, Mexico and Cuba as well as Hawaii and the American Southwest.

While at CSUS, Andrea and colleague Nicole C. Limón-Steward founded "Movimiento Molcajete," that later became a community arts multi-disciplinary training vehicle and platform for arts education in community based learning. The program provides creative opportunities for women and youth in projects that include live teatro, ritual, poetry, music, photography and art.

Andrea also collaborates with a variety of theatre companies including Teatro Espejo and California Stage utilizing her experiences as a former Teatro Campesino Vibrant Being Fellow.

Andrea brings to her work at the California Arts Council experiences garnered from her community based training with collectives and projects like the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF), Chicano/Latino Youth Conference, Washington Neighborhood Center (WNC), Sacramento Black Art of Dance, Ebo Oko Kan, and the United Farm Workers (UFW).

Most recently, Andrea served the Yolo County area as Art Space Manager for the UC Davis Chican@ Studies community service center, Taller del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA). She also served as an artist in residence for Poetry Out Loud and Trucha Palabra at the Yolo County Juvenile Detention Center.

Andrea's 13 year-old son, JAH'Sol Amaru, a Cal Middle School student and an outstanding dancer, has already performed in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and in the Bay Area. His journey continues to fuel Andrea's commitment to advocating for arts, culture as well as mental and spirit nurturing experiences for all generations of California.

"I am encouraged by the intersections of past and recent life experiences that bring me to this junction of joining such a gifted and talented team of practitioners/art administrators," Andrea said.  "It is with reverence to my mentors and past CAC staff that I press forward in my new role."

Andrea can be reached at (916) 322-6395 or