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Lava Thomas (left) and Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle (right)

Monumental: Part Two, with Lava Thomas and Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

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Interdisciplinary visual artists Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle and Lava Thomas will continue their November discussion regarding the dismantling of hegemonic factors within public art selection and looking at who determines what is “monumental.”  Together they will continue to unpack the problematic elements within public art commissions and artwork removal, and the lifelong impact that cycles of commissioning have upon communities. How do monuments that are both erected and dismantled impact the geographies where they are placed? What narratives do they continually assert within their presence and absences? How does one create a monument that begins to balance the scales of history? How do we reimagine the possibilities for monuments in the face of insistence upon historical amnesia / purposeful forgetting?

Whether creating memorials to victims of racial violence, illuminating the labor of women in the struggle for equality, or stretching the conventions of portraiture and representation, Thomas’s practice amplifies ideas that center visibility, resilience, and empowerment in the face of erasure, trauma, and oppression. Her oeuvre spans drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and installation, exploring the events, figures and movements that inform and shape our individual and collective histories. 

Hinkle is an interdisciplinary visual artist, writer and performer. Her practice fluctuates between collaborations and participatory projects with alternative gallery spaces within various communities to projects that are intimate and based upon her private experiences in relationship to historical events and contexts. A term that has become a mantra for her practice is the "Historical Present," as she examines the residue of history and how it affects our contemporary world perspective. Hinkle is currently an Assistant Professor of Painting at UC Berkeley’s Department of Art Practice.

Both Thomas’s and Hinkle’s works are featured in The Black Index, a group exhibition featuring works that build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Other featured artists include Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Titus Kaphar, and Whitfield Lovell. The exhibition will be on view at the Palo Alto Art Center from May 01, 2021 to Aug 22, 2021. The exhibition is curated by Bridget R. Cooks, Associate Professor in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Art History, University of California, Irvine.