This summer, exhibitions by contemporary Irish artists Amanda Coogan and MASER will form the centerpiece to the debut program of the newly established Contemporary Irish Arts Centre, Los Angeles.
The program will also feature theatre, dance, music and film events, as well as workshops and community events in Contemporary Irish Arts Centre, Los Angeles's (CIACLA) new home – Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.
CIACLA is run by Matthew Nevin & Ciara Scanlan – artists and curators who have been presenting Irish contemporary artwork in the US for almost a decade through their Dublin-based organization MART. CIACLA represents a step toward the establishment of a permanent space for the Irish arts on the west coast.
“After eight years of curating exhibitions in Los Angeles for MART,” says Nevin, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to oversee CIACLA. It will be the only center of its kind on the west coast of USA, which we will use to provide a crucial resource for Irish Artists and creatives by granting them an entry into new audiences and a fresh art market, while also supporting the Irish diaspora based in California.”
The center’s summer program will kick off on June 15th of this year with the opening of The Ladder is Always There by internationally recognized and critically acclaimed artist Amanda Coogan – who will present this site-specific installation involving collaborative live performances with local and visiting artists. The title of this exhibition is taken from a line in the Adrienne Rich poem 'Diving into the Wreck' —a significant source of inspiration for the work, which speaks to a metaphorical journey whereby Coogan and the other performers dive into an obstacle or attempt to overcome it.
Renowned post-graffiti artist MASER will also create a site-specific work for his exhibition Mirror Door – transforming CIACLA’s main exhibition space into a fully immersive hand-crafted installation. Taking inspiration from one of the great natural beauties of Ireland – Glendalough Valley in County Wicklow – the installation will reinvent the valley’s expansive landscape for visitors to the gallery. Opening on July 22nd, this show will run until 24th August.
A key tenant of CIACLA was to widen the scope of the center far beyond the limits of visual art to encompass the diverse range of artforms alive in Ireland today. Central to this aim, two theatre productions – by Lords of Strut (July 12th) and InHouse Theatre (August 10th) – will allow CIACLA to become an alternative space for accessing innovative Irish experimental theatre.
CIACLA has also teamed up with Dance Ireland to host Luke Murphy who will produce new work titled Carnivore (July 17th) as part of his Dance Residency and showcase of contemporary Irish dance.
The program wraps up at the end of August with an evening of new work by the inspiring composer Eímear Noone on August 17th. Noone is responsible for some of the most enduring soundscapes on World of Warcraft and other best-selling videogames. She has conducted orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic, Pittsburg Symphony and The Philadelphia orchestras and has worked on scores for directors such as Gus Van Sant and Joe Dante, orchestrating for Oscar nominee Javier Navarrette (composer of Pan’s Labyrinth).
To help with sustainability, operation and programming costs CIACLA has also launched a Membership program, where visitors and supporters can become a CIACLA Member to assist in providing a creative platform which supports artists through creative innovation and a compelling arts program. Members have access to Priority Booking, VIP Donor Showcases & Events, Exclusive Offers and much more.
CIACLA is an artist-run, not-for-profit initiative. In order to ensure that this project is a long-term success, running programs like this one in Los Angeles for many years to come, they will rely on the support of this membership program. By supporting CIACLA, members will contribute to the ongoing goal of making the arts available and accessible to new audiences.
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