Artist Anna Bae’s Umbrella, 2014. Photos by Asia Morris.

In A Dream Within a Dream, an exhibition at Made by Millworks featuring works by the Arts Council for Long Beach’s 2016-2017 Professional Artist Fellows, artists grapple with distortions of time and memory.

Artists Angela Willcocks, Dave Van Patten, Norma Haas Rosen and Anna Bae contemplate through their works whether life is nothing more than a series of unreal events created in the mind—like a dream, what we hold dear to us as we watch time and precious moments slip away and how do we preserve these sentiments?

Bae’s Umbrella, 2014 is certainly the most attention-grabbing work in the room. The piece looks haunted, with its dilapidated, draped black throne set on a platform littered with wood chips, a fleshy pink umbrella stands out on the “ground”, forgotten and falling apart. You could be staring at a rotting memory, or sitting in a junkyard in an alternate universe.


Artist Angela Willcocks’ Babies Moma, 2016.

Drawn to strange items, Bae collects rubble, relics, debris, cast-off pieces and remains, and uses them in her works to expose the remnants of consumer society, clamoring to comment on the fragile narrative of humanity.

Van Patten’s work is expectedly morbid with a sense of humor, with his illustrated characters forever milling about in their own surreal slices of life, begging those looking through the glass to perhaps save them from themselves.

Willcocks’ Babies Moma, 2016 and Boy, 2016 take up one entire wall. The larger-than-life portraits depict “unseen” members of the micro communities Willcocks studies, her depictions displaying individuals that play a significant role in the local economy and culture, yet remain unnoticed or forgotten.


Image courtesy of the Arts Council for Long Beach by Norma Haas Rosen. Agbihiagha, 1985, 16”x20″. Agbihiagha, meaning Long Hair from the Spirit World, is seated before his EZIZA “The Whirlwind” Shrine in Oredo Local Government area in Nigeria.

While Rosen has a number of colorful pieces, including photography from time spent in Nigeria, on display from the 70s and 80s, her most recent works come from her residency at Watts Towers Arts Center. Rosen, as an instructor, teaches that all humans are “capable of capturing images eclectic memory bits and combining these jigsaw pieces to create new objects or performances outside of ourselves.”

“Our Professional Artist Fellows represent what Long Beach has to offer: diverse, dynamic arts that make statements on city life,” said Griselda Suarez, Arts Council executive director, in a statement.

A Dream Within A Dream, a project of the Arts Council in collaboration with Millworks, opened Thursday night, and will be on view at MADE by Millworks through October 29, with a closing reception from 6:00PM to 8:00PM.The exhibition is on view Tuesday-Thursday, 10:00AM to 6:00PM, Friday-Saturday, 10:00AM to 9:00PM and Sunday, noon to 6:00PM.


From left: artists Norma Haas Rosen, Dave Van Patten, Anna Bae, Arts Council Board President Tasha Hunter, Marketing and Grants Manager Lisa DeSmidt and Executive Director Griselda Suarez.

For more information, visit the Facebook event page here

MADE by Millworks is located at 240 Pine Avenue.

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Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her @hugelandmass on Twitter and Instagram and at [email protected].