El Huateque

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  • Artists of Color Appropriate Art as Ritual In Eastside LA

     Saturday, November 28 from 7 to 11pm at Mi Vida in Highland Park, Mapache Jewelry will release a jewelry collection called “Dreamers and Seekers” accompanied by its own ritual and art display by a selection of young influential Eastside artists. Inspired by the words of emerging arts organization The Applied Mythology Project (AMP), for the exhibition Dark Paradise, Eastside artists will explore art as ritual--a title intentionally appropriated as a statement about the impact inequity has on spiritual space. Eastside artists will reflect on the realms of spirit, politics, and identity while challenging the absence of such space in the gentrified neighborhood off York Boulevard.

    The community of Highland Park, where pockets of upper class neighbors invade longtime working class neighborhoods, is the ideal location for the reclamation of spiritual and cultural validation, as intended by the artists. To read more about gentrification in HP check out our piece Gentrification's Storefront  The jewelry collection release called “Dreamers and Seekers” consists of healing crystals and Mexican milagros (traditional Mexican folk charms) which blend the traditional with the occult and new age spirituality. The stones featured in the works are intended to guide individuals who are seeking to take themselves to the next level artistically, spiritually, and mentally byinstilling them with self-confidence, clarity and intuitive energy.

    After a summer of teaching jewelry in South Central, I was left with a sense of urgency to pose this question to fellow artists, ‘Who is allowed the space to practice creative meditation?’ and ‘what does our spiritual awakening say about the detriment and violence plaguing our city?” explains Rochelle Martin, creator of Mapache Jewelry and curator of the Art as Ritual show.


    Art as Ritual in Highland Park will invite its attendees to participate and witness the conjuring of creative energy, not only for self-serving purposes, but to reclaim the cultural values of the gentrified corner on York Boulevard. The art accompanying the altar of jewelry is intended to reflect the self-healing and artistic process of each of them influential Eastside artists featured. Each relic points to a story of inequity and survival of residents from across the city. Ritual performers will harness their own awakening through a series of song, spoken-word poetry, and ceremony that aims at provoking its audience to realize its own power; starting with the recognition of its ability to change and transform a corner store gallery into a sanctuary.

    You can learn more about Rochelle by listening to our podcast with her. 

    Instagram: @mapachejewelry

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