Exhibition on view January 21st – March 25th, 2023

Media Contact:
Cecelia Koger, 310-519-0936

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 10th, 2023

San Pedro, CA – Angels Gate Cultural Center (AGCC) is pleased to present a new contemporary art exhibition, Trade Fare Social, on view January 21st – March 25th, 2023. Artists kelli rae adams, Melissa Bouwman, Mark Rumsey, and the Institute 4 Labor Generosity Workers & Uniforms engage the audience as participants – not mere viewers – in art as social practice. Trade Fare Social opens with a free public reception at Angels Gate Cultural Center on Saturday, January 21st from 3 – 5pm. Audiences can further engage with the artists and themes in a live, virtual artist talk on Thursday, February 9th at 5:30pm Pacific Time online.

Trade – to exchange, Fare – the cost to participate, and Social – relating to/interacting with, encompasses the ethos of this group exhibition comprised of kelli rae adams, Melissa Bouwman, Mark Rumsey, and the Institute 4 Labor Generosity Workers & Uniforms. Guest curated by Mark Rumsey, works in Trade Fare Social address present-day challenges of the Student Debt Crisis, Bodily Autonomy, Sustainability, and Economic Systems. Offering a reflection on the viewer/maker relationship, this exhibition privileges the collaborative processes by which the art is made. The modes of physical production and material usage explored also deepen existing subtexts, about the worldwide web, the handmade vs mass produced, and consumerism among other themes. Through the audiences’ engagement with the works as active participants, these creations deny the authority of capitalist structures as there is no consumable end product for profit. Trade Fare Social positions the artist as a change agent who creates frameworks for engagement around critical social issues.

kelli rae adams’s work Beg, Borrow, Steal refers to the artist’s monthly student loan debt payment, demonstrating the overwhelming financial burden placed on individuals to receive higher education in the United States. adams asks us to consider the value placed on institutional degrees and consider who should bear the burden. In light of recent political battles on student loan forgiveness, the work takes on new contexts that ask us to consider how divisive rhetoric exhausts and amplifies existing faulty narratives of class, individualism, equity, and collectivism.

Sewing Rebellion is an ongoing movement to educate the public in basic hand and sewing machine skills, critiquing systems of production in the global apparel supply chain. An ongoing participatory work by the Institute 4 Labor Generosity Workers & Uniforms, this iteration is entitled Closed Loop Campaign: Quechquemitl Geschichte Klei-dungsstück. The work features the Quechquemitl Geschichte Klei-dungsstück (Little Chest Story Garments) first samples created by Susana Rodriguez, Ariana Garcia, and Blanca Patricia of the Mama Leonas (Boulder, CO), and Adriana Paola Palacios Luna of Luna Cultura (Boulder, CO). Employing a closed loop system by reusing fabrics and materials, this work relies on community, artists, and businesses to deploy systems of sustainability and social justice.

Melissa Bouwman’s Uterus Spaceship was initially conceived as an act of resistance and representation, celebrating the magnificent uterus form to interrupt the preponderance of cock-rockets in a grad school class. Revisiting this form on the heels of the overturning of Roe V. Wade, the work takes on a new significance – demonstrating an even greater need for representation and reverence for the uterus and its owners. The website uterusspaceship.com is an extension of the work, collecting conversations about all things uterus: its mystery, its power, its monthly devastation, what it means to have one and use it, what it means to have one and choose not to use it, and what it means to not be able to choose.

Small World Tees by Mark Rumsey is centered around labor, consumption, and waste, examining how these factors interface in the context of globalization. Donated t-shirts are cataloged by zip code to create community profiles from the data contained in each garment. A database records information including where it was made, what it was made out of, color, size, and any graphics they may contain. The items are re-branded and re-packaged, made available at the Small World Tees Retail Shop. Exhibition visitors are each able to take one re-branded t-shirt home with them. The resulting inventory information is presented online at smallworldtees.com, allowing visitors to view results by postal code.

AGCC will host free public events in conjunction with the exhibition that will provide the South Bay Harbor communities free opportunities to further engage with the artists and themes of Trade Fare Social:

  • Saturday, January 21st 3-5pm: Public Opening Reception
  • Thursday, February 9th, 5:30pm PST / 7:30pm CT / 8:30pm ET: Gallery Conversations – a virtual artist talk online
  • Saturday, March 25th, 1:30 – 3:30pm: Public Closing Reception

Trade Fare Social will be on view in the AGCC galleries January 21 – March 25, 2023, with open gallery hours Thursdays – Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. More information about the exhibition and programming events can be found at angelsgateart.org.

This exhibition is supported by the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. Additional support for the AGCC exhibitions program provided by City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, The Ahmanson Foundation, Norris Foundation, and the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.

About Angels Gate Cultural Center
Angels Gate Cultural Center (AGCC) emerged from a group of San Pedro artists in the 1970s that created art studios and exhibition space within the WWII era army barracks of Angels Gate Park near the Port of Los Angeles. Today, AGCC hosts over 50 artist studios in addition to a variety of programs to engage the diverse communities of the Los Angeles Harbor region, including arts education in local schools, community classes, cultural events, and exhibitions of contemporary art.