Slanguage ‘funifies’ making art at home

Compound, the new art, dining and community space slated to open in Long Beach’s Zaferia district in the fall, announced it will be partnering with Wilmington-based art collective, Slanguage, to host a series of virtual educational workshops, the first of which will take place Friday, July 3.

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Rooted in the idea of “Use What You Have,” the art, wellness and family workshop series is meant to instill new, creative ways of thinking in participants young and old. Students will likely leave with a fresh perspective on the creative process, as well as social issues, community and education.

Friday’s 30-minute workshop, “Quarantine Printing Cosmos,” will be led by artist, writer, teacher and Slanguage co-founder Karla Diaz. Geared toward kids of elementary school age and their families, participants will learn how to use household items, from cups to sandals, to make patterns and other drawing and printing techniques through the lens of interpreting the cosmos.

Upcoming workshops throughout the month of July will include “Gotta See it to Be it” for ages 18 and over, involving artist interviews diving into practices for professional development. On July 10, “Developing your voice” is the topic.

For high schoolers, a writing and poetry workshop will take place on July 17 and focus on using found materials to build an artwork based on a poem or other writing. On the 24th, “DJ, Art and Lunch” will discuss the intersections between music, food and art, also for high school-aged participants.

Mario Ybarra, Jr, and Karla Diaz, curators of the exhibition and founders of Slanguage Studio at the University Art Museum, Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Slanguage co-founders Mario Ybarra Jr. and Diaz have, since founding the collective in 2002, cultivated a thriving community of artists around their studio in Wilmington.

Funified” is a word Ybarra often uses to describe Slanguage’s approach to organizing exhibitions throughout Los Angeles County and beyond that, while still addressing contemporary social issues, tend to offer a playful, inviting experience for the viewer to learn about and contemplate complex topics.

If two people could change your mind about a topic, or teach you to think creatively, it would be Ybarra and Diaz.

For information on all upcoming workshops, visit “Quarantine Printing Cosmos” runs from 11 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, July 3. To join, email [email protected]

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.