You may have already seen the new Billie Jean King Main Library, but it was so crowded on opening day that you couldn’t really take in the art. Well, today you have another chance to not only view the Arts Council for Long Beach’s 2019 Professional Artist Fellows and Percent for Arts Fellows exhibition, called “Between the Divide,” but to meet and chat with some of the artists during a public artist’s reception from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“Between the Divide” is about finding common ground between conflicting subjects, whether it’s an inner struggle with identity or trying to find a balance between actually going to Yosemite National Park or looking at photos of Half Dome on Instagram, or as the press release states, “the conflicted relationship between human culture, digital interface, and nature,” the art in this year-long exhibition takes on a lot of tough topics.

Artist Diana Burbano’s work as a playwright, for example, attempts to reconcile her feelings of separation from being born in Colombia but living in the United States. Figurative painter Eric Almanza confronts the criminalization of immigrants in his works. Sandow Birk brings up social issues like city violence, graffiti and the prison system through his etchings.

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Brittany Ransom uses laser cutting, CNC milling, and 3D printing (woah!) to discuss the paradoxes between human, urban and natural ecologies (so it’s not quite about Instagram and Yosemite, but more about how we’re evolving as a species thanks, or no thanks, to these new technologies). Poet Nancy Woo plays with words in the tension between science and mysticism, modern technology and ancient mythologies.

Virginia Broersma paints somewhat abstract forms that look like body parts, which are haunting and beautiful on their own, but actually examine how the history of figurative painting has influenced our ideas about people. Jorge Mujica’s sculptures are “free standing paintings;” imagine taking a painting off its socially accepted resting place on the wall and sitting it on the ground to be moved about less traditionally, it’s a different way of looking at the art form.

Another great thing: The Arts Council also recently announced that its annual State of the Arts event will take place on Friday, Oct. 11. Attendees will get to support local arts, hear about new projects and celebrate awardees who enrich Long Beach’s creative community on the daily. Learn more about State of the Arts: ARTeries of the City here.

Giving us a moment’s pause: Art world jargon is one of the least understandable forms of communication and only makes sense to a niche audience. Do Mujica’s collaborative sculptures truly “rupture the panorama?” Their plywood, wiggly, vibrantly painted forms certainly stand out among the clean lines of the library’s new architecture, that’s for sure.

The reception for Between the Divide is on Saturday, Sept. 28 and runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Billie Jean King Main Library; 200 W. Broadway. 

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].