May 9, 1959, is a day that still lives in the memory of many in the Mexican-American community. On that day, the last residents of Chavez Ravine were forcibly evicted from their homes by Los Angeles County Sheriffs. Aurora Vargas, a war widow, was physically removed from her home, manhandled by four officers and rammed into a squad car. Dodger Stadium was built on top of their bulldozed homes, gardens and playgrounds. It is a story that black and brown communities know too well: ouster from their generational homes by government-backed business interests.
ReflectSpace Gallery presents a multi-disciplinary reflection on the bitter history and contemporary legacy of the displacement of the Mexican-American communities of Chavez Ravine. Historical and archival material stand alongside work by contemporary artists that address issues of government-supported dispossession and violence against black and brown bodies that continue unabated today.
Archival images in “dispLAced” are from Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection, UCLA Digital Library and USC Digital Library. Artist Favianna Rodriguez, Jerolyn Crute, Miyo Stevens-Gandara, Wayne Perry and Weston Taruya contribute serigraphs to the exhibit courtesy of Self Help Graphics & Art and artist Luis Genaro-Garcia participates with collage work. LA Meekly podcast, hosted by Greg Gonzalez, contextualizes “dispLAced” in West’s historical continuum.
“dispLAced” is part of the Glendale Library, Arts & Culture’s (GLAC), the Southern California Library Cooperative and Niche Academy’s Be The Change series focused on: Inclusion – Diversity – Equity – Antiracism. Be The Change events will build collective understanding of systemic racism, elevate the voices and stories of BIPOC, and inspire our community to be the change. Be The Change is sponsored by the City of Glendale, California Arts and Culture Commission, with funding from the City of Glendale Urban Art Fund. www.eglendalelac.org/bethechange
ReflectSpace Gallery is an exhibition space inside Downtown Central Library in Glendale designed to explore and reflect on major human atrocities, genocides, social justice and civil rights violations. Immersive in conception, ReflectSpace is a hybrid gallery space that exhibits contemporary art as well as archive, employing installation, technology and interactive media to interrogate current-day global human rights issues and reflect on the past and present of Glendale’s communal fabric. www.reflectspace.org
ReflectSpace Gallery is partially supported by the Glendale Library, Arts & Culture Trust.