FRIDAY, JAN. 17
Remember “Emergence,” the Hi-lo Gallery’s first-ever show?! It served as the backdrop to the June 2019 launch party for the Post’s arts and culture section, the Hi-lo, and pushed the gallery into public view showcasing the work of local artists.
Enter the Hi-lo Gallery’s “Resilience,” which opens on Thursday, Jan. 23, and you’re invited to see the finished product, as long as you RSVP. Soon. Space is limited. We can’t emphasize that enough.
“Resilience” is a step back in time to the mid-90s, when local graffiti artists Rick “Rickster1” Vilchis and Jose “Steam” Martinez were coming up, creating community and making themselves seen through the competitive, albeit illegal, form of art. Luckily, there were safe spaces in Long Beach to paint at the time, where their creativity was able to flourish and they had the opportunity to mentor younger artists wanting to develop their own unique language of writing.
That’s where the two met Michael Petow and Resol and welcomed them into the family. The four artists have all spoken of graffiti, its competitive nature and, ironically, high-risk circumstances as what kept them going through life’s other difficulties. Pursuing graffiti also opened the doors to life-changing opportunities, including traveling the world, where despite language barriers, graffiti served as a common ground with which to learn about other cultures.
“For me, graffiti saved my life,” said Martinez, who decided tagging was more up his alley than what many of his friends succumbed to as adolescents; joining a gang.
“The aspect of doing as much as you can in as little time as possible, being efficient and as effective as you possibly can visually is a big thing for me, but also being weird,” Resol said, whose letters are somewhat abstract, a product of his own individuality, but also taking notes from the generation before him.
Another great thing: We don’t know of another newsroom that also has an art space. So, we just have to say that we’re beyond grateful to our publisher, David Sommers, for trusting our vision in creating what is essentially a physical extension of the Hi-lo, the Post’s arts and culture section. How cool is that?!
Giving us a moment’s pause: Space is limited! It is technically an office, after all. To attend the opening, an RSVP is required.
“Resilience” opens Thursday, Jan. 23 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will be on view by appointment through March 26. For inquiries please email [email protected] It’s a free event, but space is limited so RSVPs are required, which you can do here.
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