R.S.V.P. Los Angeles: The Project Series at Pomona celebrates the milestone of 50 Project Series exhibitions by connecting the extraordinary artists who have been part of the program with a new generation of artists based in the Los Angeles area. The exhibition features seven artists—Justin Cole, Michael Decker, Naotaka Hiro, Wakana Kimura, Aydinaneth Ortiz, Michael Parker and Nikki Pressley—and is unified by a unique curatorial process.
With these artists, the exhibition captures the dynamism of the Southern California art scene, while further extending the Project Series’ impact on the arts community. All artists will engage with students and elements of the curriculum in a variety of ways during the exhibition.
To celebrate the Project Series and to broaden the curatorial perspective, a committee comprised of Pomona College faculty, students, and Museum staff collectively determined the artists, exhibition strategies and publication content. The committee consists of Rebecca McGrew, senior curator; Terri Geis, curator of academic programs; Lisa Anne Auerbach, associate professor of art; Ian Byers-Gamber, Pomona College Class of 2014; Jonathan M. Hall, assistant professor of media studies; Nicolás Orozco-Valdivia, curatorial intern and Pomona College Class of 2017; and Valorie Thomas, professor of English/Africana studies.
The curatorial committee invited seven previous Project Series artists: Christina Fernandez, Charles Gaines, Ken Gonzales-Day, Katie Grinnan, Soo Kim, Hirokazu Kosaka and Amanda Ross-Ho, to nominate two emerging or lesser-known artists whose work contributes to the contemporary art dialogue in Southern California. No other criteria were given, in order to encourage a broad and diverse pool of nominated artists. Through a combination of research, studio visits and intensive discussion, the committee selected the seven artists. Unified by this curatorial process, serendipitous connections emerged between the artists’ work: an interest in the archive and documentation, the use of storytelling and theatricality, the delights of obsessive drawing practices, examinations into troubling recent history, spiritual openness and exploration, and commitment to craftsmanship. Their work includes drawing, installation, photography, sculpture, social practice art, sound art and video.
The Project Series at Pomona College 1999-2014
Created by Rebecca McGrew, Pomona College Museum of Art senior curator, the Project Series focuses on emerging and under‑represented Southern California artists. Its intent is to bring to the Pomona College campus art that is experimental and that introduces new forms, techniques or concepts. The Project Series has enhanced the Museum's role as a laboratory for exploring innovative, cross-disciplinary collaborations and ideas and as a catalyst for new knowledge.