CORE: Defining Ourselves is a longstanding annual tradition of Able ARTS Work. Beginning in 2005, with the first ever CORE exhibition at the George V. Deneff Gallery in Long Beach, Able ARTS Work has built an art community that celebrates creatives not only across the nation but the globe. This annual juried exhibition has grown and evolved through the years to include artists of all abilities, exhibitions at venues across the Los Angeles area, and ADA components to create a fully accessible and inclusive showcase of the arts. As we look back on the past 16 years of CORE, it’s time to transform our traditional format with an exciting reinterpretation of this iconic exhibition.
Participating community artists from the LA art scene were invited to create a collaborative body of work with our resident artists over the course of several months in 2019-2020. Disability influencer Lolo Spencer and AAW resident artist Brian Corder were invited to co-curate solo artwork by artists, further integrating the element of community collaboration into the curation process and the exhibition. This multi-dimensional community exhibition originally had been planned to open at Bergamot Station in May 2020. The world came to a screeching halt in March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe forcing a total shut down. The future of CORE became uncertain; all plans were put on an indefinite hold.
In early 2021, the exhibitions team began to piece the show back together little by little with hopes of sharing the original message of community and collaboration with a world in desperate need. Although everything seemingly stopped the past year, time had continued on - through the process of putting the show together changes arose. Changes in venue, in artist participation, in curation, and of artwork included. Although the journey involved some unexpected changes, the essence of this exhibition has not. CORE 2021 is the culmination of this journey. This exhibition explores the praxis of collaboration and community, highlighting the unique creative relationships built every day through the artistic process. As past CORE shows have established a passionate art scene inclusive of all abilities, we build upon that strong foundation to bring these revolutionary ideas to a broader audience. CORE 2021 aims to unify the larger LA art scene with a narrative on the power of community and the need for continued collaboration among our greater society. The relationships formed between all participating artists is as much a part of the exhibition as the physical artworks created from these collaborative explorations. This evolved exhibition redefines what it means to work together in the contemporary art world in the midst of a global pandemic and beyond. Able ARTS Work acknowledges and celebrates the process of artmaking and growing creatively as an arts community. We invite our audience to think about the connection between the practice of collaboration and how this translates into making our communities more inclusive, accessible, and unified.
I LIKE IT A LOT
Jesus Quiroz (left) &
Leonardo Moleiro (right)
The collaboration of Jesus Quiroz, a resident artist of the CECA studio in Hawthorne and Leonardo Moleiro, a Pasadena based artist, ignited the flame of inspiration for the annual CORE exhibition in 2020. The two were both participants of the Weekend Warrior Residency, hosted by Able ARTS Work (AAW) at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles in winter of 2019. During the residency, an AAW resident artist and community artist were selected to work side by side to provide opportunities for the exchange of ideas, skills, and a chance to learn from one another. Both artists were very dedicated to their work from the start of the residency. Every Saturday, both artists journeyed to San Pedro to work for several hours on solo and collaborative art works. Jesus chose to begin a garden themed series of drawings. He often completed his small nature studies in the gardens located at Crafted. Leo painted abstract geometric figures on canvas hanging on the studio walls. Each artist often would stop to check in on the other and provide critique, feedback, or a word of positive encouragement on works in progress. The culmination of their residency is a collaborative painting combining the geometric abstract shapes utilized by Leo into the organic garden landscape created by Jesus.
This collaborative relationship did not end once the residency concluded. Both artists were asked to participate in CORE 2020 due to their successful artistic relationship and exemplary community collaboration. CORE 2020 was intended to highlight the importance of collaboration with the community. The artists took on a pen-pal style collaborative process due to distance. Jesus began paintings that Leo would pick up then complete. In the process of the pen-pal collaboration a mix up occurred with the artwork intended for Leo and artwork intended as solo pieces for Jesus. Then the COVID- 19 pandemic occurred turning everyone’s world upside down. The exhibition, paintings, and collaboration were put on an indefinite hold. As CORE 2021 began to take form again, the exhibition team began to piece the various parts of the exhibition back together after more than a year. In this process a happy accident was revealed. Leo had unknowingly collaborated on Jesus’s personal artwork instead of the paintings originally intended for collaboration. Leo combined their styles in a way that honored Jesus’ artwork without overtaking it. He found the perfect balance to complement Jesus in this most unusual collaboration. This “happy accident” exemplifies what the collaborative process is truly all about.
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CORE 2021 Episode 1
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Virtual Gallery Below
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Need a closer look? See below.
Jesus Quiroz & Leonardo Moleiro
Solo and collaborative work.
Me Gusta Food
An collaborative installation by Jazmin Urrea & EPI Studio Resident Artists
Carlos Arredondo & Jazmin Urrea
Solo and collaborative work.
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HELp US RENOVATE
A HOME OF OUR OWN!
Nearly 41 years ago, three courageous adults with developmental disabilities and a visionary music therapist charged a clear path for inclusion. Inside a small, run of the mill Long Beach Parks and Recreation classroom, music and art was used as a vehicle to overcome social stigmas, claim autonomy and make lasting contributions to society. Today, more than 3,000 children and adults throughout Southern California seek out Able ARTS Work’s unique approach to using art and music as a tool for positive personal and social change. While we have grown since our early days in the parks and rec’s room, it’s time for a Home of Our Own. The purchase of a building is symbolic of our purpose and will make sure meaningful services are accessible to people with disabilities, at-risk children and youth and other members of marginalized communities. By having a Home of Our Own, we come together with our community to build a kind of culture where everyone belongs.
We did it! With a $1 million grant from The John Gogian Family Foundation and fundraising from our Board of Directors and staff, we purchased a building in Long Beach in April 2022.
The 7,000 sq. ft. building, which will replace our current Long Beach rental that houses our Adult Day Program and administrative offices is 3,000 sq. ft. larger than our rental and in a safer neighborhood. However, the 1946 building needs $1.5M in renovations. The renovations include a new roof, new flooring, an updated exterior, a gallery space, an HVAC system, ADA bathrooms, Adult Day art and music therapy rooms created, administrative offices built, spaced cleared for a community center, a music therapy room built for the children’s clinic and an observation room connected to train health professionals. With a larger building, AAW will expand its community outreach services by using integrative creative art therapies and wellness activities to promote social cohesiveness in Los Angeles County. The building will serve the Adult Day Program from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday. After 3:00 pm, it will be a high visibility community space offering free art and wellness workshops, community center use, clinical music therapy services and training, networking, and professional development opportunities for other non-profits and community organizations.
Help us raise funds by donating yourself, helping us connect with potential donors for room naming opportunities, and spreading the word on social media.
With a physical space to call our own, the communities we serve can count on a safe, inclusive space where they are valued, respected and encouraged to express themselves.
Today, we ask you to help us renovate our building so we can establish an accessible home in the heart of our community.
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Please consider donating to Able ARTS Work's, Home of Our Own campaign. This company has been providing inclusive, person centered creative arts services and therapies to individuals with and without disabilities within an environment of growth, warmth and compassion for nearly 41 years.
The work that Able ARTS Work does is important, important for the communities they serve as well as important to the community as a whole. With a Home of Our Own, Able ARTS work can build a place where everyone belongs.
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With tax deductible donation, together we can do great things one step at a time.
Donations of $100,000 and above will receive name recognition opportunities in the main room.
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With your contribution and support we are one step closer to a home of our own.
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