FAR Bazaar: Cerritos College – Photo Essay
By Kristine Schomaker
FAR Bazaar at Cerritos College
(in the Old Fine Arts Building)
11110 Alondra Blvd
Norwalk, CA 90650
Jan 28-29, 2017 (10AM-10PM, both days)
This coming year, 2017, marks the fortieth anniversary of the Foundation for Art Resources (FAR – http://www.far-la.org/), one of the oldest non-profit arts advocacy groups in Southern California. In recent years, as numerous other artist-run spaces and alternative art collectives have sprung up within the region, FAR’s output has somewhat diminished from its incredibly active heyday. But, there is no doubt that throughout the last quarter of the twentieth century, FAR helped to produce some of the most significant alternative art events in Los Angeles. From the monthly Art Talk Art lecture series of the 1980s (http://www.far-la.org/art-talk-art/) to the massive FAR Bazaars of the 1990s (http://www.far-la.org/history/featured-events/far-bazaar-at-the-federal-building/), FAR was blazing trails for today’s LA art community. Billboard art, artist-coloring books … you name it and FAR probably did it first.
To honor this major milestone of 40 years, FAR is collaborating with Cerritos College to host its biggest FAR Bazaar event ever. In February of 2017, after over 55+ years of use, Cerritos College will be retiring and demolishing its existing Fine Arts complex. This mid-century modernist structure, now sits side-by-side with its replacement, a massive new Fine Arts building to be completed in December 2016. Before the old building is torn down, however, Cerritos College, with the help of FAR, will transform every abandoned classroom, faculty office, and administrative space into temporary exhibition spaces, each to be guest-curated by local art collectives and alternative art spaces, as well as the graduate programs from regional universities and art schools. Because the building is slated for destruction immediately after the end of the event, there is ample opportunity for these various groups to explore alternative methods of installation and even transform the individual spaces into walk-in tableaus that directly engage with the pedagogical nature of the environment.
January is the month for the region’s major commercial art (af)fairs, in particular the Los Angeles Art Show and Art Los Angeles Contemporary. The FAR BAZAAR, as non-commercial alternative art fair, highlights the significant contribution that art collectives, artist-run spaces, and local art schools have on the regional art scene overall. Much like the art fairs provide access to disparate commercial galleries from across the globe, the FAR BAZAAR will allow the various art communities that are physically spread far and wide across the megalopolis of Southern California to come together temporarily in one place for easy access and for productive exchange.
At the same time, in the new Fine Arts building, there will be a series of scholarly panel discussions covering issues such as the history of artist collectives and artist-run spaces in Southern California and the growing plight of aging mid-century modernist architecture. In the newly-relocated Cerritos College Art Gallery, there will be two exhibitions debuting the same weekend as the FAR BAZAAR, one featuring the work of this year’s Cerritos College Art+Tech Artist-in-Residence (Stephanie Deumer), and the other highlighting work by former FAR board members, amongst them current professors and administrators from Otis, Occidental, UC Berkeley, Scripps, and Art Center.
Participating collectives include: Adjunct Positions, Association of Hysteric Curators, Ave 50 Studio, Biomythography, Boys of Summer, Concrete Walls Projects, D-Block Projects, DH Arts Collective, Disposable Collective, Durden & Ray, Earth Like Planets, Elephant, FA4 Collective, Finishing School, Hinterculture, Improvised Alchemy, JAUS Gallery, KCHUNG, LA Freewaves, Machine Project, Monte Vista Projects, Motherboy, NewTown Arts, Rough Play, SASSAS, Shed Research Institute, Sixpack Projects, Slanguage Studios, South Bay Contemporary, Summercamp’s ProjectProject, TILT Export:, and Transit Republic.
Participating MFA programs include: Art Center, CalArts, Claremont Graduate University, Otis (Public Practice and Fine Arts), UC Irvine (Fine Arts and Critical/Curatorial Studies) UC Los Angeles (Design Media Arts and Fine Arts), UC Riverside, and University of Southern California
(Information courtesy James MacDevitt)