Arts are Essential | What’s Up 6/18-6/25

PHOTO: Provided by SPARC | News | Moore #9 Landscape by Mark Billy
Here’s what’s happening in the arts, be sure to support local arts and culture and enjoy as the state reopens!
SPARC Gallery reopens with “BREATH”, an exhibition of works by artist Mark Billy.

“Breath,” a solo exhibition of vivid collage and illustrative works by multimedia artist Mark Billy, launches the public reopening of the South Pasadena Arts Council’s SPARC Gallery on Saturday, June 19, 2021, with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m.

A fine artist and California-based architect, Billy, whose artistic style “combines both that of the happenstance of a found object and that of a studied gesture,” creates collage, woodcuts, and drawings. His inspirations, he states, are as disparate as “an Iowa landscape, a bird in the LA River, or an adopted baby elephant.”

Curated by Richard Blue Trimarchi of Art Works Fine Art Publishing, “Breath” will run through August 14, 2021

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Juneteenth Freedom March & Block Party Celebration

Starting at 4:30 p.m. at Charles White Park, 77 Mountain View St., Altadena. This free event, sponsored by My TRIBE Rise, includes a march, live music and dancing, speakers, guided meditation, art and poetry. Food will be available for purchase.

Center Theatre Group

Marking the ninth anniversary of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) with “WET: A DACAmented Journey” written and performed by Alex Alpharaoh and directed by Brisa Areli Muñoz. Alpharaoh’s deeply personal work will be available online; free to Center Theatre Group subscribers and supporters throughout the run and cost $10 for all others.

“WET: A DACAmented Journey” is a true story of what it means to be an American in every sense of the word except one: on paper. Award-winning actor, director, spoken word artist and teaching artist Alex Alpharaoh knows firsthand the emotional and psychological hardship of this unending process and risked his own freedom to share his story in a nationwide tour. Now captured at the Kirk Douglas Theatre for a presentation on Center Theatre Group’s Digital Stage, “WET” rockets between hilarity and heartbreak to capture one man’s travels to a home country he’d never known as part of his relentless journey toward becoming a documented citizen of the United States.

The Fountain Theatre‘s Juneteenth Celebration

Starting at 7:30 p.m., directly after the sold-out 5 p.m. performance of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ play “An Octoroon” on the theater’s new outdoor stage, at 5060 Fountain Ave. in East Hollywood.

The after-celebration includes dancing with DJ Earry Hall and food and handcrafted items by Black artisans available for purchase. Admission is free.

Portraits of Freedom: Building a Life in L.A

Grand Park, powered by The Music Center, will magnify the culturally rich and diverse communities that comprise L.A. County with a month-long public art installation that applies an artistic lens to celebrate home and freedom, themes often associated with July 4th observances. From July 1–31, 2021, Grand Park’s Portraits of Freedom: Building a Life in L.A. will feature photography and video exhibitions as well as a nighttime projection installation. Located throughout different areas of Grand Park between Grand Avenue and North Broadway, the on-site programming will illuminate Los Angeles through civic pride, identity and engagement while narrating cornerstone stories of the American experience.

Portraits of Freedom: Building a Life in L.A. will take place in lieu of the annual Grand Park + The Music Center’s 4th of July Block Party; the county’s largest free Independence Day celebration will return in 2022. Grand Park will remain open on July 4th for Angelenos to enjoy the installations as well as the park’s lush gardens and grassy areas. However, there will be no live events, including the traditional fireworks show, occurring that day as the County finalizes its master reopening plan that will allow the park to resume more large-scale events.