January 17, 2020

90/300: A Measure of Representation, In Celebration of Cultural Influence

ArtCenter’s Inaugural Black Alumni Exhibition Celebrates Identity While Seeking to Broaden Representation

On view at ArtCenter DTLA
February 13 through March 13, 2020

In commemoration of the 90th anniversary of ArtCenter College of Design, the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in partnership with ArtCenter DTLA have organized a series of exhibitions and programs to honor the impactful achievements and celebrate the College’s Black alumni.

The 90/300: A Measure of Representation, In Celebration of Cultural Influence exhibition explores themes of representation and identity through the contextual lens of cultural impact and influence. In 90 years of existence, ArtCenter has helped shape the careers of no more than 300 designers and artists of African descent. While only making up about one percent of the total number of graduates, this underrepresented group of alumni continue to have a significant impact on the global creative economy. The 90/300 exhibition serves to document the contributions ArtCenter’s Black alumni have made in developing the narrative of Black identity in mainstream culture and their influence in the overall cultural discourse.

“The Black experience can be expressed in an infinite number of ways,” said Aaron Bruce, ArtCenter’s chief diversity officer. “By acknowledging the multidimensionality of blackness through the lens of creativity and cultural influence, this exhibition celebrates identity while serving as a mechanism to broaden the landscape of representation for black artists and designers.”

90/300 consists of three exhibition projects; a video survey of alumni work and interviews titled Impact/300 produced by Elizabeth Gray Bayne (MFA 11), Trailblazer: The Photographs of Barbara DuMetz (BFA 73), a retrospective of the pioneering photographer, and Minority Report, a group exhibition of alumni works curated by acclaimed contemporary artist Devin Troy Strother (BFA 09).

ArtCenter alumna DuMetz is a trailblazer in the field of commercial photography. She began working in Los Angeles as a commercial photographer in the 1970s, when very few women had established and maintained successful careers in the field, especially African-American women. DuMetz is known for her work with African-American celebrities, corporations and images of everyday life in African-American communities. During her long career, she’s made a major contribution to diversifying the landscape of images that defined pop culture in the United States.

Minority Report reflects a group of individual artists from ArtCenter's census of Black alumni from the last 90 years. “The conversation of identity within an art practice is a constantly revolving door that you could go in out of at any time,” said Strother. “The artists participating here have literally gone through ArtCenter’s revolving doors and have come back out on the other side with a singular voice; their practices focus on nuances of race and identity, or draw away completely from such familiar and expected tropes. Hopefully this show ushers in a more diverse future for ArtCenter, one that expands the diversity of its student body across all disciplines.”

The artists featured in Minority Report include Edgar Arceneaux, Edward Cushenberry, Elizabeth Gray Bayne, Ranee Henderson, Joshua Holzmann, Vincent Johnson, Jamonn Roberts, Dana Walker-Juick and Everard Williams.

Strother is known for his intricate alternative narratives in a variety of mediums (mixed-media, sculpture, neon and installation). He finds inspiration in snippets of overheard conversations, movies, television, music, stand-up comedy and podcasts. He incorporates humor and language relevant to his peers and does not shy from the outrageous, his titles often serving as the punch line. He completed a residency at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine in 2010. His works are in the permanent collections of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem. His works are also in prominent private collections around the world.

Related events:

Panel discussion with artists from Minority Report will take place on Thursday, February 27. Time TBA.

Additional events will announced as details are confirmed.

Link for public: http://www.artcenter.edu/connect/events/90-300.html

ArtCenter DTLA
114 W. 4th Street
Los Angeles, Calif. 90013

Opening reception:
Thursday, February 13, 7 until 9 p.m.

Exhibition hours:
Tuesday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Artwalk Thursdays till 8 p.m. (second Thursday of every month)
Closed Sundays, Mondays and holidays

Free admission

Parking is available at 415 S. Main Street (left side of Main St.; entrance between Kazunori and Big Man Bakes.) Rates are $5 for the first 90 minutes. $10 maximum. A kiosk located near the garage entrance accepts both cash and card. ArtCenter DTLA does not offer validation. From the parking garage, walk down Main St. and turn left on 4th. ArtCenter DTLA is on the left side of 4th St.

ArtCenter DTLA is accessible by public transportation. Metro’s Pershing Square subway station is three blocks away. Metro 92, 33, 68, 733, and DASH Downtown D on Main Street and Metro 28, 40, 45, 83, and 745 on Spring Street all stop within a block of ArtCenter DTLA. Visit Metro for bus and subway maps or call 323 466-3876.

Plan your trip using LADOT or Metro bike maps. Refer to Metro Bike Share Map for kiosk near you. Free bike parking is located in the parking garage at 415 S. Main St.

About ArtCenter DTLA: As a satellite of the College, ArtCenter DTLA provides a platform for dialogue and engagement, intersecting the campus with the Los Angeles community. As an extension of the Exhibition department’s mission, ArtCenter DTLA’s programming will focus on events and exhibitions that are critically engaging from a transdisciplinary perspective. Drawing on the resources of the College and the Los Angeles art community to collaboratively build and contribute to a culture that is diverse, innovative and relevant.

About ArtCenter Exhibitions

ArtCenter Exhibitions includes the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at its Hillside Campus in Pasadena, the Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery and the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography at its South Campus in Pasadena, and ArtCenter DTLA in downtown Los Angeles. These curated spaces embody ArtCenter's institutional will to understand artistic thinking and design strategies as levers in promoting social advancement, the pursuit of humanitarian innovation and use of critical inquiry to clarify objectives and truths. Using the lens of contemporary art and design, the mission of ArtCenter Exhibitions is to ignite emotional resonance, provoke intellectual dissonance and conjure unexpected pathways of thinking.

About ArtCenter: Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.

Teri Bond
Media Relations Director
ArtCenter College of Design
626 396-2385

Image of two brown women by Barbara DuMetz.
Brown Girls, a photograph by alumna Barbara DuMetz, will be on view at ArtCenter DTLA February 13 through March 13, 2020.
Coke ad showing Black life by Barbara DuMetz.
Coca-Cola ad in 1984 photographed by Barbara DuMetz
Image of two people embracing by Barbara DuMetz.
Holding You, a photograph by ArtCenter alumna Barbara DuMetz, will be on view during 90/300 at ArtCenter DTLA.
Photo of Pam Grier by Barbara DuMetz.
Actress Pam Grier photographed by ArtCenter alumna Barbara DuMetz.