CORE: Defining Ourselves is a longstanding annual tradition of Able ARTS Work. Beginning in 2005, with the first ever CORE exhibition at the George V. Deneff Gallery in Long Beach, Able ARTS Work has built an art community that celebrates creatives not only across the nation but the globe. This annual juried exhibition has grown and evolved through the years to include artists of all abilities, exhibitions at venues across the Los Angeles area, and ADA components to create a fully accessible and inclusive showcase of the arts. As we look back on the past 16 years of CORE, it’s time to transform our traditional format with an exciting reinterpretation of this iconic exhibition.
Participating community artists from the LA art scene were invited to create a collaborative body of work with our resident artists over the course of several months in 2019-2020. Disability influencer Lolo Spencer and AAW resident artist Brian Corder were invited to co-curate solo artwork by artists, further integrating the element of community collaboration into the curation process and the exhibition. This multi-dimensional community exhibition originally had been planned to open at Bergamot Station in May 2020. The world came to a screeching halt in March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe forcing a total shut down. The future of CORE became uncertain; all plans were put on an indefinite hold.
In early 2021, the exhibitions team began to piece the show back together little by little with hopes of sharing the original message of community and collaboration with a world in desperate need. Although everything seemingly stopped the past year, time had continued on - through the process of putting the show together changes arose. Changes in venue, in artist participation, in curation, and of artwork included. Although the journey involved some unexpected changes, the essence of this exhibition has not. CORE 2021 is the culmination of this journey. This exhibition explores the praxis of collaboration and community, highlighting the unique creative relationships built every day through the artistic process. As past CORE shows have established a passionate art scene inclusive of all abilities, we build upon that strong foundation to bring these revolutionary ideas to a broader audience. CORE 2021 aims to unify the larger LA art scene with a narrative on the power of community and the need for continued collaboration among our greater society. The relationships formed between all participating artists is as much a part of the exhibition as the physical artworks created from these collaborative explorations. This evolved exhibition redefines what it means to work together in the contemporary art world in the midst of a global pandemic and beyond. Able ARTS Work acknowledges and celebrates the process of artmaking and growing creatively as an arts community. We invite our audience to think about the connection between the practice of collaboration and how this translates into making our communities more inclusive, accessible, and unified.
I LIKE IT A LOT
Jesus Quiroz (left) &
Leonardo Moleiro (right)
The collaboration of Jesus Quiroz, a resident artist of the CECA studio in Hawthorne and Leonardo Moleiro, a Pasadena based artist, ignited the flame of inspiration for the annual CORE exhibition in 2020. The two were both participants of the Weekend Warrior Residency, hosted by Able ARTS Work (AAW) at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles in winter of 2019. During the residency, an AAW resident artist and community artist were selected to work side by side to provide opportunities for the exchange of ideas, skills, and a chance to learn from one another. Both artists were very dedicated to their work from the start of the residency. Every Saturday, both artists journeyed to San Pedro to work for several hours on solo and collaborative art works. Jesus chose to begin a garden themed series of drawings. He often completed his small nature studies in the gardens located at Crafted. Leo painted abstract geometric figures on canvas hanging on the studio walls. Each artist often would stop to check in on the other and provide critique, feedback, or a word of positive encouragement on works in progress. The culmination of their residency is a collaborative painting combining the geometric abstract shapes utilized by Leo into the organic garden landscape created by Jesus.
This collaborative relationship did not end once the residency concluded. Both artists were asked to participate in CORE 2020 due to their successful artistic relationship and exemplary community collaboration. CORE 2020 was intended to highlight the importance of collaboration with the community. The artists took on a pen-pal style collaborative process due to distance. Jesus began paintings that Leo would pick up then complete. In the process of the pen-pal collaboration a mix up occurred with the artwork intended for Leo and artwork intended as solo pieces for Jesus. Then the COVID- 19 pandemic occurred turning everyone’s world upside down. The exhibition, paintings, and collaboration were put on an indefinite hold. As CORE 2021 began to take form again, the exhibition team began to piece the various parts of the exhibition back together after more than a year. In this process a happy accident was revealed. Leo had unknowingly collaborated on Jesus’s personal artwork instead of the paintings originally intended for collaboration. Leo combined their styles in a way that honored Jesus’ artwork without overtaking it. He found the perfect balance to complement Jesus in this most unusual collaboration. This “happy accident” exemplifies what the collaborative process is truly all about.
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CORE 2021 Episode 1
CORE 2021 Episode 2
Virtual Gallery Below
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Need a closer look? See below.
Jesus Quiroz & Leonardo Moleiro
Solo and collaborative work.
Me Gusta Food
An collaborative installation by Jazmin Urrea & EPI Studio Resident Artists
Carlos Arredondo & Jazmin Urrea
Solo and collaborative work.
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About Able ARTS Work
Historically individuals with autism and developmental disabilities were not afforded the same opportunities for inclusion that most of society is afforded and excluded from many educational, living, leisure and vocational opportunities in our community for a quality of life. Able ARTS Work was established in 1982 as a non-profit organization to provide inclusive services for individuals with developmental disabilities, autism and ALL people through the creative arts therapies and education, music, dance/movement, drama/theater, visual arts, media and digital arts. Over the last 39 years, Able ARTS Work has expanded to provided creative art services and opportunities to the broader community including marginalized and underserved communities, youth at risk, children in a school setting and art enthusiasts throughout Southern California.
Our vision and philosophy is based on A. Maslow’s human psychology of hierarchy of human needs, thus our motto “Love Before Learning. Learn for Life.” We continue to forge community partnerships in a spirit of social responsibility that are vital to our growth from corporations, businesses and community members to connect with communities to fully integrate possibilities and talents through the expressive arts to nurture and foster a spirit of inclusivity, diversity and equity changing the status quo and promoting a quality of life for all. Today we are expanding our tailor made services that are typically in-person when safe, expanding to virtual online classes pushing the needle forward to make the creative and expressive arts opportunities accessible for all.
The primary mission of Able ARTS Work is to provide lifelong learning, community service and vocational opportunities through the creative arts for people of all abilities and all ages in an environment of warmth, encouragement and inclusion. Able ARTS Work provides unique development opportunities to all participating staff, students and partnering community members, together we grow.
Love Before Learning.
Learn for Life.
Cultural Equity Statement
Able ARTS Work supports a full creative life for all and upholds standards and practices that value the contributions of a diverse community.
Love, Partnership, Creativity, Opportunity, Progressive, Integrity, Stewardship, Ability
We value the person first.
We value sharing experiences, building community and forging an inclusive society.
We value the creative arts as a vital tool to liberate and transform lives.
Through acceptance, encouragement and empowerment, we provide unique opportunities for growth and self-expression.
We are dedicated to always moving forward to best serve the needs of our community and to break down barriers of stigma.
We celebrate and support unique ability and contribution
We are honest and ethical in our leadership, influence and service delivery
We are committed to respectfully managing our resources.
We believe all people…
…,regardless of functional capability, have a right and responsibility, to contribute to the well being of their community and have a vocation of their choosing.
…should have access to an informed and supportive community, which must play a vital role in removing the barriers to full involvement and inclusion.
…should have access to the expressive arts in vocation, education, leisure, health and wellness.
…have the right to express and practice their cultural and artistic heritage.
We believe all people regardless of functional capability should be treated with dignity and respect, thus our philosophy and vision...
Love Before Learning. Learn for Life.
Our Leadership Team
Able ARTS Work's team of instructors and therapists are visual artists, music therapists, performers and expressive arts therapists who are professionals in their discipline. Our team is inspired by out-of-the box thinking and wholeheartedly understands the intimate relationship between self-discovery and the creativity of each individual. Here a few faces that make up the amazing Able ARTS Work team.
Able ARTS Work’s volunteer Board of Directors are passionate advocates of our mission to provide lifelong learning and vocational opportunities to people of all abilities and all ages. The board is composed of leaders from the local community and has wide expertise in areas relevant to Able ARTS Work’s mission, ranging from law and business leadership to music therapy.
Able ARTS Work has a growing and dynamic mission, which demands a growing and dynamic board. Please reach out if you share the passion and are interested in joining our board.