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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Mobile Arts Program
The Mobile Arts Program is a home-based program that provides 1:1 creative arts therapy services to individuals with developmental disabilities who cannot attend a day program due to physical limitations and/or seeking specific adaptive skills training. Our team of professional art and music therapists provide sessions developed through a curriculum of adaptive, self-care and education skills development through the arts. Individuals otherwise homebound benefit from further physical and emotional decline by participating in a community-based program, where the opportunity for transition and inclusion are available. MAP services are currently funded through the Westside Regional Center and San Diego Regional Center, private pay options are available.
Virtual Option is available, learn more here.
Health & Wellness Clinic
The Creative Health & Wellness Clinic is an outpatient treatment program for children and youth with various disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, acquired brain injuries, neurodegenerative disorders, physical injuries and other socio-emotional disorders.
The clinic implements our distinctive approach of Creative Arts IN Therapy & Creative Arts AS Therapy, which employs creative arts therapies to reach and teach individuals with disabilities, working with them through play and music to enjoy creative experiences while achieving their non-musical goals. Specifically, our sessions address: IEP Goals and Objectives, Communication Skills, Speech and Language Skills, Early Intervention, Cognitive Impairments, Social/Emotional Skills Support and Daily Living and Functional Skills. The clinic is founded on the theories and principles of A.H. Maslow and Able ARTS Work’s core belief of Love Before Learning.
The clinic is funded in part by grants. Private pay and financial aid options are available.
Accessible Arts Workshops
Accessible Arts Workshops deliver standards-based visual art and music education workshops to children and adults in schools and community centers throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The program provides age-appropriate performance standards in the areas of: Artistic Perception; Creative Expression; Historical and Cultural Context; Aesthetic Valuing and Connections, Relationships and Application. Our workshops further enhance the well-being of participants with the inclusion of social-emotional learning while being led by teaching artists and creative arts therapists who have achieved the highest level of excellence in their artistic practice and education. Our workshops promote inclusion by encouraging engagement between individuals with and without disabilities. Workshops are grant funded services supported in part by The Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles County Department of Arts & Culture, and The National Endowment for the Arts.
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