We Are Here/Here We Are

How to have a show of over 100 artists throughout LA County? How to do it without putting people at risk? How to make the show meaningful and open to one and all? Spread it throughout the County and allow the artist’s art to reflect on, and exist with, the environment and the current state of affairs. All art is displayed in places that the public can easily and safely access from the outdoors (scroll for a list of participating Long Beach Artists). Tag the artist’s location via a post on your choice of social media. Comments and feedback are appreciated.

OPENING:  MAY 16, 2020 (On view: May 16-June 20, 2020)


Durden and Ray presents We Are Here / Here We Are, a Los Angeles County-wide exhibition of nearly 100 artists that explores our innate desire for connectivity through sensation. Due to the constraints of the COVID-19 lockdown, the artists in this exhibition have chosen public spaces to display their work — from Santa Monica to the East Side and from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach. The location of each piece will be posted on a Google Map that allows the exhibition to be explored virtually or in real life.

We are here.
While the world turns inward more than any other point in our lifetimes, we are paradoxically more connected with each other than ever through the use of social media, digital technology, video conferencing, and telecommunication. But as the streets remain empty, the restaurants and coffee shops remain closed, and the houses of social engagement remain shuttered, we are rediscovering “real life” through our homes, our neighborhoods and ourselves. As the digital world feeds our need to connect through sight and sound, we are experiencing a severe disconnect from the other sensory functions of touch, taste, and smell, yearning for experiences that happen through tactility, sensation, randomness, and place, which are currently only possible in real life.

Here we are.
The artists in the exhibition have chosen unorthodox alternatives to a traditional gallery setting, using a wide variety of media interventions in neighborhood alleyways, yards, trees, bushes, on rocks, fences, telephone poles, and other publicly accessible areas, while honoring social distancing mandates. The works in We Are Here / Here We Are are ephemeral in nature: vulnerable to the elements and to those who might destroy or confiscate them. Their resilience shows an innate desire to be present in the real world and to be seen as an individual amongst a larger collective peer group, despite all odds.

To experience the exhibition: Click on the link to Durden and Ray’s personalized Google Map, which displays the coordinates of each work, a photograph of the piece in-situ, as well as a brief description that provides some context. A small placard is available at each site and provides some information about each piece, as well as a QR code that links to the map with more information about the show and other works in the neighborhood.

Opening: Saturday, May 16, 2020, starts at noon
On view: May 16-June 20, 2020
Hours: Dawn-dusk, every day, unless noted
Various locations: Please consult the Google Map
Facebook: @DurdenAndRay
Instagram: @DurdenandRay
Twitter: @DurdenandRay

Long Beach Artists are:

Tracey Weiss
36 x 36 x 24 inches
TP rolls and twine
(The piece is in a tree between main Lakewood Blvd and frontage road, pull onto frontage road to view)

Our society is consumed right now with needs vs wants. What are our “essentials”? Who are the “essentials”? While some are fighting and hoarding, others are slowing down and reflecting. Funny enough, all through our first month (or more) the essential on everyone’s mind was toilet paper. A simple everyday item that we couldn’t fine, never thought of much before, and became obsessed with all at once. Using a material that brought us so much joy when we finally found it in the stores, I’ve created an installation that will hopefully bring a little joy, wonder, and maybe laughs.

Cody Lusby
A place for play
2020, 72 x 720 inches, paper, acrylic and oil on wood
2913 E 6th St, Long Beach, CA 90814 (The artwork is located down the alley along the fence on the right hand side)

The increasing density of L.A. County’s population has deprived its youngest residents of sufficient, accessible public space to play in. This is especially true in Long Beach, in which a large swath has very limited public parkland. In less dense areas, children often play in the immediate streets near their homes, but the intensity of traffic forces them to a playground of last resort, the alleys and a handful of parking lots. As a resident living adjacent to one of these spaces I feel a steward to keeping the alley safe and clean for our neighborhood youth.
www.codylusby.com Instagram – @codylusbyart

David Clark
Seventy Three
2019, 84 x 4 x 4 inches (3 pieces each), Mixed media
2483 Eucalyptus Ave, Long Beach, CA 90806 (Can be found in his front yard)

Seventy Three is an ecosystem piece to be found within the outdoors.

Dave constructs mixed media “sculptural things” that might tell a story, cause one to think of a story, serve some practical purpose, or maybe none of these.
www.daverclarkdesigns.com Instagram – @daverclark55

Stephanie Han
The Font
2020, 23″ x 24″ x 3″, acrylic on canvas
2714 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90814

4th St is the main commercial hub in my neighborhood in Long Beach, a small but mighty collection of independent shops, bars, and restaurants. Of these, the bookstore Page Against the Machine really stands out for being one of the very few independent bookstores in Long Beach, and the only one on 4th St. It’s a place I wanted to highlight in my neighborhood because of its uniqueness and value. My painting of the owl, a symbol of wisdom, with a font of what could be seeds of knowledge springing up behind it, seemed like an appropriate imagery for this place.
www.steph-han.com Instagram – @steph_han_art

Jennifer Celio
Sad bangers
2020, 15 x 15 x 5 inches, speaker component, artificial flower, soil.
(The sculpture is technically on Atlantic Ave, close to 215 Atlantic Ave and 525 Broadway)

In assemblage sculptures and sculptural installations, I utilize materials that create a tension between natural and artificial, organic and constructed, nature and human civilization. While they are created from trash, scraps, and personal affects to minimize the use of new materials, I’m intrigued by how the history of these objects contributes meaning.

I’m interested in exploring how the natural world factors into the daily human experience while provoking conversation about rampant consumption and waste. Through the lens of the aesthetics and culture of 1970s/‘80s Southern California, this sculptural work intertwines with my own history to weave stories that are simultaneously personal and universal.

Curtis Stage
This Night Has Opened My Eyes
2020, Dimensions variable, Video on monitor
3569 Karen Ave, Long Beach, CA 90808

This Night Has Opened My Eyes is a series of animated photo video sequences on the collision of growth and decay.

Curtis is a Durden and Ray artist and his most recent artwork is comprised of photographs and films that were shot in Los Angeles and the surrounding suburban cities of Southern California. Most of these spaces and objects are the mundane of the everyday urban environment. Seemingly around every corner, there is often a collision of aesthetic choices that were never “collaborative” in that time usually separated the development. This usually creates the very unplanned feel of the LA area where an organic dance of growth and decay are accepted. If we slow down and look deeper there is unique evidence of “the story” in each place. We have been there and left our mark.
www.curtisstage.com Instagram – @curtisstage

Katie Stubblefield
Poppet (for warding off fevers)
24 x 36 x 18 inches
Mixed-tree branches, wire, cloth, zip ties
420 Orizaba Ave, Long Beach, CA 90814 (The piece is suspended from the apex of the garage roof)

Katie Stubblefield’s wood cut prints, oil paintings, sculptures, and sight-specific installed projects explore order, chaos, and entropy. Stubblefield’s imagery is informed by site visits, forensic photography, first-hand accounts and evidence of changed/damaged/evolving environments caused by super-sized storm patterns and climate change.

Abel Alejandre
Street Fighter
2018, 11 x 17 inches, Print
601 N Olive Ave, Signal Hill, CA 90755

I look for problems and I leave them unsolved.

As with other artists, my work contains autobiographical elements. In particular, I frequently explore the public and private spheres of masculinity. I’ve spent some time examining the concept of masculinity, manhood, and codes of conduct through the lives of men in my life. Often, I make use of the rooster as a metaphor and symbol for manhood, valor, machismo, and patriarchy. As I interpret this beautiful, regal (albeit common) creature, its aim is to convince an opponent of its wisdom and prescience. Yet it is a fierce animal, possessing the primal instinct to fight until its enemy is dispatched. Similarly, some men embody this quality, this sense of cunning, this unique nature, making them ideal subjects of inquiry. At this stage, I’ve come across no definitive answers, and seek only to record, and to interpret, a lifetime of observation.
www.abelalejandre.com Instagram – @abelalejandre

Marla Smith
8 x 10 inches
Ink on paper

Instagram – @marlacsmith

Jennifer Gunlock
Metropolis II
2020, 44 x 44 inches, Mixed media collage and drawing on cardboard.
751 Alamitos Ave, Long Beach, CA 90813

Jennifer Gunlock’s work explores the relationships between the objects of nature and those imposed upon them by human activity. By layering photographs taken on her travels, decorative papers and drawing, she constructs tree-based forms which are awkwardly fused with architectural motifs. Each composition reflects a long passage of time in which buildings and trees stretch and crumble, each pushing against the other. The work is a commentary on humanity’s direct impact on the environment, as well as Earth’s interminable shapeshifting over the long history of its existence.
www.jennifergunlock.com Instagram – @jennifergunlock

Josh Friedman
2020, 3 x 4 inches, leaves, incense, fire
NOTE: This sculpture is only visible to the tenants at this apartment complex.

Residual accumulations of my small, repeated gestures that once gave thoughts formed and recorded my journey of becoming cancer free, now give the fleeting commodity of time palpability. Making the fragile, more fragile.
www.joshfriedmanart.com Instagram – @joshfriedmanart

Michael Nannery
I appreciate and respect you
2020, 9 x12 inches, Screenprint on watercolor
(Prints are posted on telephone poles at the intersection of Ocean and Cherry)

I came to know the phrase “I appreciate and respect you” from an interdisciplinary project at CSULB between the Linguistics department and the Puvungna Arts Empathy Production Project. As I would see the words on a regular basis, I began to feel it is a necessary mantra for us all. As a printmaker, I choose to propagate this sentiment.

Kiyomi Fukui
Apologetic Envelope
Originally 2015, revisiting 2020, 2.75 x 5 inches, gampi paper screen printed with colored rice starch, graphite and mustard seeds
(This is the intersection of Cherry Ave and 4th St in Long Beach. My envelopes are installed on phone polls on NE, SE and SW of the intersection.)

In 2015, I made Apologetic Envelope, which later turned into my other project, Apologetic Garden. Participants were asked to write a letter of apology, insert in the provided envelope along with a few seeds and bury it in a garden bed. The idea was to let a private thought transform into a living plant as a way of reconciliation. This time, my hope was to reveal my apologies in the public, treating the viewers’ eyes as the garden bed, a substrate of transformation. The apologies are only visible upon close examination, in hopes of creating a certain level of tension.
www.kiyomifukui.com Instagram – @kiyomimiz

Ryan Russell Ward
14 x 62 inches / 16 x 39 inches

These buried/planted Pews (close to the corner of Junipero and Ocean in between a few trees in Bluff Park) are reclaimed from Immanuel Baptist Church (1922) off 3rd and Obispo in Long Beach, CA which was renovated in 2015 to a Senior Living Home, represent not only life and death but the hope and love is these trying times. Please be encouraged to leave a note or prayer for loved ones.

Olga Lah
왕국 | Whangguk
Dimensions variable
Marking flags
5350 E Atherton St, Long Beach, CA 90815

I am interested in creating site-specific installations that raise a heightened awareness to a space. I seek to create a sensory experience that engages on multiple levels through color, form and size. My work is constructed from the accumulation and repetition of commonplace materials. I invite a behavioral reorientation to the material and to the context that my work inhabits. Ultimately, I explore the notion of the everyday and consequence of experience. Underlying in the experience is an idea of transcendence that invites a truer response of ambiguity over a precarious nature of what is considered as absolute.

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