Southern California picks from Mariah Green

Cliff Notes

Each week, our regional Cliff Notes columnists Mariah Green, Vanessa Perez Winder, Jas Keimig, and Sam Wrigglesworth pick the most exciting events and exhibitions on the West Coast.

Jina Imani
Slow Bloom Coffee Co-Op, Redlands, CA
April 2 to December 31

This will not be the last time you hear about Jina Imani. As an artist, curator, and friend she continues to create spaces for fellow black creatives in the Inland Empire (the region centered around San Bernardino and Riverside). Blackness is shared as a consuming place where light shines on the often quiet work of the interior self.

Jina’s photo collages cannon together allowing our eyes to journey into her work and experience all that is thick and sweet like a black syrup. Continuous focuses in her work are driven by personal narratives. The majority of photos used are self portraits. Hair, eyes, face, to feet, all that makes up Jina gets included. I see myself inside of the kaleidoscoped multi-dimensioned worlds she creates and crave to hang out with all the different versions that make her who she is.  

Reflection: Where do you source the key principles that run throughout your projects? Where are your sweet spots to balancing the systems that support and sustain yourself throughout your creative processes?

Our Common Foe
The Little Gallery of San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA
July 29 to August 19

Living in the Inland Empire, I see myself inside the beautiful blues and purples silhouetted from the valleys. Welcoming me into its wide ridges of stories. Every sunrise and sunset roads fill with working commuters making their ways through polluted brown haze. This story of pollution generates just beyond our backyards with nonstop warehouse growth.

The exhibition OUR COMMON FOE in San Bernardino, CA, gives artists the space to cope with personal and collective impacts against warehouses. Curator Toni Sanchez sees artists creativity and imagination as a gateway into reimagining our realities. The Little San Bernardino Gallery houses the group show and carries many of the Inland Empire’s heavy hitters: Unite Fore Colton, S. Garcia & S. Marin, Maria Fernanda Durazo, Marcus Stuart, Rosy Cortez, Nofun, Duan Kellum, Angel, Anthony Victoria, and James Ojeda.

Reflection: Intentioned to disturb the day to day pollution inhaled, these questions are meant to fuel us away from familiar forms of exhaustions onto paths of community re-imagination. What would artists platforming warehouse workers’ issues look like for the future of the Inland Empire? How can there be more distributed resources tailored for artists who anchor their work in community success? If warehouses were to disappear tomorrow, how would you reimagine those lands?

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