And Who Is My Neighbor? Stories from the Margins

And Who Is My Neighbor?


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Featured Artists


The Parable of the Good Samaritan

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Luke 10:25-37 (NIV)

Exhibition Statement

AND WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR: STORIES FROM THE MARGINS, brings together a diverse group of artists who respond to division and injustice by highlighting the stories of oppressed and marginalized people. At times these stories point to differences among us and the very real struggles faced by outsiders in our society; at other points the work focuses on our common-ground despite difference in an effort to bridge the divide. The exhibition title references an exchange between Jesus and another religious leader in the biblical story of the Good Samaritan. As the religious leader seeks to narrowly define who is covered by the command to “Love your neighbor,” Jesus instead tells a moral tale that centers on the love shown by a Samaritan man (a cultural outsider) to a man who had been beaten, robbed, and left for dead. At the end of the biblical encounter Jesus instructs us to, “Go and do likewise” — show mercy and love to all those in need.

Nery Gabriel Lemus & Jeff Rau, exhibition curators


Don’t Judge Me, 2013 As a Korean-born adoptee raised in an inter- racial family, Weiser challenges us to rethink our constant stereotyping of others. Her etched mirror pieces contain words and slogans that challenge us to confront our own biases; using the mirror she forces the viewer to become part of the work, amplifying the effect of words now seen written across their face.

Dana Weiser Don’t Judge Me, 2013 Etched mirror 36 x 21” Courtesy of the artist and Walter Maciel Gallery, LA

You Speak Good English, 2013-14 I Have Two Friends Who Are Korean, 2013-14 Drawing on her own experiences as a Korean- born adoptee raised in a Jewish family, Weiser’s work highlights the varied culturally insensitive assumptions and stereotypes that she faced growing up in an inter-racial family and the inherent cultural tensions of wealthy American families seeking to adopt poor children from orphanages overseas.

Dana Weiser You Speak Good English, 2013-14 Gouache, gold leaf, Swarovski crystals on vellum 21 x 17” (framed) Courtesy of the artist and Walter Maciel Gallery, LA

Dana Weiser I Have Two Friends Who Are Korean, 2013-14 Gouache, gold leaf, Swarovski crystals on vellum 27.5 x 21.5” (framed) Courtesy of the artist and Walter Maciel Gallery, LA

Shell Middens Bolsa Chica Sacred Site (Acjachemen) Huntington Beach, CA, 2012 “Shell middens are scattered through-out the Bolsa Chica: testimony to the abundant seafood availability to early inhabitants. A series of radio-carbon assays indicate that the site was occupied from about 8,000 to 2,000 years ago. The shell middens can provide the information needed to trace environmental changes, and study the corresponding changes in natural resource exploitation by the early inhabitants of the Bolsa Chica” – Bolsa Chica Land Trust Alfred at Bolsa Chica Sacred Site (Acjachemen) Huntington Beach, CA, 2012 Bolsa Chica is a 9,000 year-old village, cemetery, and ceremonial site that is the oldest prehistoric village in Orange County. Human remains, evidence of house-pits, and thousands of artifacts have been excavated at this location. The descendants of the Tongva and the Acjachemen consider this place to be the home of their ancestors and a sacred ceremonial site. They are fighting to save these cultural sites from destruction by wealthy and influential developers with little regard for their history.

Isabel Avila Shell Middens Bolsa Chica Sacred Site (Acjachemen) Huntington Beach, CA, 2012 Lightjet archival print 31 x 31” Courtesy of the artist

Isabel Avila Alfred at Bolsa Chica Sacred Site (Acjachemen) Huntington Beach, CA, 2012 Lightjet archival print 31 x 31” Courtesy of the artist

Kent Anderson Butler The Passage, 2004 Standard definition video Duration: 4 minutes 6 seconds Courtesy of the artist

The Passage, 2004 Butler’s work often straddles between video and performance. In this piece, the artist is confronted by an anonymous stranger in the middle of the street. The slow motion video and high camera angle give the impression that we are perhaps reviewing security footage in the aftermath of some incident. But as the figures meet, their recorded encounter breaks from expectation and rather than violence, their brief meeting culminates in embrace before the figures continue on their separate ways.

Carpoolers (#2, #12, #18, #23), 2011-12 Photographing from a freeway overpass near his hometown, Cartagena captures images of laborers laid down or huddled in the back of pickup trucks on their way to and from work. As a fast growing city with booming construction, Monterrey, Mexico, is essentially a stand-in for all cities, offering us a chance to reflect on the extensive labor force behind the building of our urban centers—picturing a global issue from a local perspective.

Alejandro Cartagena Carpoolers (#2, #12, #18, #23), 2011-12 Pigmented inkjet print 23 x 15” (each) Courtesy the artist and Kopeikin Gallery, LA

Alejandro Cartagena Girl Coming Home to Suburb in Juarez from a Night Out in the City, 2009 Pigmented inkjet print 35 x 29” Courtesy the artist and Kopeikin Gallery, LA

Girl Coming Home to Suburb in Juarez from a Night Out in the City, 2009 Juarez has a very violent reputation. Located on the US/Mexico border, along major drug smuggling routes, Juarez was recently the epicenter of a years-long drug war that earned the city the title of “the most dangerous place on Earth.” But Cartagena challenges our assumptions of this border town by focusing his camera not on the violence, but on the suburban class that has been steadily growing for decades attracted to Juarez by good jobs.

Ramiro Gomez untitled cardboard studies, 2015 Acrylic on cardboard 8 x 10” or 10 x 10” (each) Courtesy of Charlie James Gallery, LA

untitled cardboard studies, 2015 Gomez paints images of typical Southern California landscapes and architecture, but always populates his scenes with laborers working to maintain the space: landscapers, cleaners, maids, etc. Often drawing on visual references to advertising imagery and quintessential L.A. artists (such as David Hockney), the artist reminds us of the typically unseen low-wage labor that is always at work all around us maintaining both the public and private spaces we enjoy.

Tali Weinberg “I want to have health care for my family. I want my daughter to be able to explore arts

and science and all the things that they are taking away.” 2013/16 Print on paper with poster edition | 42 x 30” with 17 x 11” poster edition Courtesy of the artist

“I want to have health care for my family. I want my daughter to be able to explore arts and science and all the things that they are taking away.” (with Gina Acebo, February 4, 2013 in Berkeley, CA), 2013/16 “That’s some of what solidarity means: that ongoing struggle to make things visible.“ (with Zara Zimbardo, April 23, 2013 in Emeryville, CA), 2013/16 Weinberg presents a series of prints where text serves as the thread to generate woven structures. The lines of text are in fact quotations excerpted from conversations with women activists, artists, and scholars throughout the Bay Area. As the economic recession has placed increasing pressure on the already tenuous experience of many in lower-income communities, Weinberg set out to hear their stories. The conversations unfold in people’s homes, often over a shared meal, and the process continues as each woman recommends several others to participate. Intimate exchanges about political action and daily life become the raw material for the production of new systems embodied both on the page and in a social fabric.

Tali Weinberg “That’s some of what solidarity means: that ongoing struggle to make things visible.“ 2013/16 Print on paper with poster edition | 42 x 30” with 17 x 11” poster edition Courtesy of the artist

St. Nicholas of Myra, 2015 Wiley systematically re-stages traditional icon paintings and classic paintings from Western art history, replacing the mostly white/Euro- centric figures with all contemporary African, Afro-Caribbean, and African-American protagonists. The artist regularly uses ordinary people he meets on the street as his models, rewriting the Western art canon to include a more inclusive spectrum of heroes. This image re-imagines Saint Nicholas of Myra as a young black man from the streets of Brooklyn.

Kehinde Wiley St. Nicholas of Myra, 2015 Oil on canvas 82 x 70” (framed) Collection of Howard and Roberta Ahmanson

Cheryl Pope, performed in collaboration with Just Yell poets Between the Lines, 2014 High definition video Duration: 5 minutes 47 seconds Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago

Between the Lines, 2014

Collaborating with youth from inner-city schools in Chicago, artist Cheryl Pope and the Just Yell poets staged a series of performances entitled Poetry as Self-Defense in response to the escalating gang violence on the streets of Chicago. This video captures some of the responses offered by students living in communities racked by violence.

Patrick Martinez Justice For All, 2015 Neon sign 32 x 36” Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery, LA

Patrick Martinez Daniel Kevin Harris, Michael Brown, and a young man being slammed to the floor while handcuffed in the Midwest, 2016 Acrylic on panel 30 x 24” Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery, LA

Justice For All, 2015 Martinez utilizes the visual language of advertising signage to recontextualize and reimagine slogans and phrases relating to current issues of social justice. The line “…and justice for all.” quoted from America’s Pledge of Allegiance, claims to be a guarantee for all, but in the face of deep racial division, and unequal treatment evident every week in the news, the line suddenly rings hollow—as if the neon slogan was only an empty promise from a slick advertising campaign. Daniel Kevin Harris, Michael Brown, and a young man being slammed to the floor while handcuffed in the Midwest, 2016 Martinez riffs on the classic design of Pee Chee portfolios for students. The original folders depict small groupings of Caucasian-looking young people engaging in sports and leisure activities; here the artist upends this care-free vision of youth with more sobering images of young men who have been killed by police and scenes of rough encounters with police taken from current events. This painting features portraits of Michael Brown (Ferguson, MO) and Daniel Kevin Harris (Charlotte, NC), and a young man being slammed to the floor while handcuffed.

Lauren Halsey Black Money Matter, 2016 Acrylic on corrugated plastic 21 x 24” Courtesy of the artist

Lauren Halsey FUBU, 2012 Screenprint on paper 35 x 23” Courtesy of the artist

Black Money Matter, 2016

This painting was initially one piece in a larger installation that Halsey created as a full- throated celebration of locally owned small businesses in South Central Los Angeles. In that original context the painting served as a clear statement of empowerment, a call for local business owners and entrepreneurs to take ownership of their own communities. On it’s own, the painting now may offer an alternate read, perhaps suggesting that within a capitalist economy it is the power of money that seems to matter above all else. FUBU, 2012 Halsey’s drawing represents a systematic accounting of all the business signage in the artist’s home neighborhood—a predominantly African-American area of South Central Los Angeles. But her image only includes the signage of businesses owned by those from outside the community. This exclusive focus on outsider presence highlights some potentially positive opportunities for cross-cultural interactions (note the many beauty salons and Asian restaurants) but it also calls attention to the abundance of businesses that capitalize on the weaknesses of lower-income neighborhoods, exploiting the community’s limited resources for financial gain.

Blatant, Blat, Drip (left to right), 2015 Brackens has responded to on the ongoing flood of news stories recounting violence in African- American communities by weaving these symbolic wounds/bandages. Serving alternately as covered wounds on flesh, or as remnant stains, the work points to the real pain and grief experienced within these communities and the longing for healing.

Diedrick Brackens Blatant, Blat, Drip, 2015 Woven tea-dyed cotton, acrylic & nylon yarn on muslin 35 x 7” (each) Courtesy of the artist and Steve Turner, Los Angeles

Amitis Motevalli 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL (Here/There, Then/Now), 2010 Embroidered velvet flag 130 x 72” Courtesy of the artist

16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL (Here/There, Then/Now), 2010 Motevalli, an Iranian-American, created this work in response to the 2009 presidential election in Iran. That election is now widely seen as a charade designed to give the illusion of a democratic process while reporting fraudulent results to reinforce existing government control. The entire Here/There, Then/Now project was exhibited in Tehran, and therefore could not directly critique the existing regime. Instead the artist used the images and stories of the African-American civil rights struggle as a stand-in for the current fight of the Iranian people against an authoritarian regime. The image stitched into this banner depicts the shattered stained glass windows of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham that was bombed by white supremacists in 1963.

Nery Gabriel Lemus Hypocrite’s Prayer, 2013 Cotton tapestry 41 x 54” Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery, LA

Hypocrite’s Prayer, 2013 Adopting the form of kitschy home décor one might expect to find in any Christian bookstore, Lemus disrupts the rosy and upbeat tone of such designs and replaces the typically feel- good quotation with a difficult challenge to re-examine our hearts. By confronting us with such a provocative prayer, we are reminded of our own brokenness and challenged to reassess our own attitudes toward the marginalized and oppressed people of our contemporary society.

Guest Responses

I honestly don’t know hoe to verbalize the response I’m seeing, but this was a deeply impactful show. Each piece taught something new, whether to feel with someone else, or to feel my own pain. Thank you for this. - MT Thank you for putting pictures to this incredible topic. I appreciate this deeply. - TH As someone who has faced the same prejudices and stereotypes I would like to thank you for giving that hurt a face. Love your work. - E

On my way! - E

Powerful art work that hits deep. Great job; - JPC

This was hands down the best Art Show/ Exhibit BIOLA has ever had. This is gave me so much to reflect on and it was refreshing to see these images posted upon these walls. - Anonymous This is dope, more BIOLA students need to see this and apply it to their lives. - Anonymous

I don’t know what to say, but I know that I feel and need to change. - ATM

Beautiful - K

Heart Breaking. Beautiful. I hope BIOLA allows the powerful messages of these pieces to permeate our community and as an institution. - DS

I am tired of being told I’m too loved, too passionate, most important because I am not the majority, THANK YOU

I am not too loved BIOLA IS READY IT WILL BE Uncomfortable - Anonymous No words. Amazing - A

Grateful for this experience to reflect and EMPATHIZE for people who have different stories than I do, Thank you for your hard work. I know the Lord is using this. I have frustrations and pains. I want to learn MORE - TH Thank you for this exhibit. It brings together so many aspects of American society that I have been able to ignore because of privilege. Seeing art like this is challenging for minorities because they see it on a daily basis, but it’s challenging for the majority, because we’re too comfortable to acknowledge the truth. It will continue to be uncomfortable and Biola needs to be awakened to injustice and prejudices. Thank you for being bold and sharing pieces of your experiences with us. - PK (I’ve) never been to an art gallery before. I was really amazed to see how beautiful (their) work is and how in depth it is. I love how they’re using Modern situations to make something beautiful and truthful. - RB To be honest, I’m trying to see where I fit in the conversation of diversity. I’m a white, middle class, heterosexual woman. I have a lot of privilege. Sometimes I wish I didn’t, because I want to better listen and hurt with those who are hurting thanks for letting me better do that. - Anonymous

Making me think, thank you for helping me love others - Anonymous

Love the message of the mirror & Justice for all. Very interesting & beautiful. - SS These images will remain with me and help me to understand what other people experience. I am only recently aware of the white privilege I have. Thank you for your work and influence! - Biola Parent

About the Gallery

The Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery presents a program of rotating contemporary art exhibitions on the campus of Biola University. Located in the greater Los Angeles area, the Green Art Gallery is well positioned to represent a vital Christian worldview within the critical dialogue of contemporary visual art and to produce engaging exhibitions that grapple with issues concerning the intersection of faith with art and culture. The Green Art Gallery also provides professional development opportunities for Biola art students through gallery exhibitions and internships.

For more information please visit:

Unless noted otherwise, all documentation photographs by Jeff Rau, from exhibition in the Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery.

Title: And Who Is My Neighbor: Stories From the Margins (exhibition catalog) Editor: Jeff Rau Contributing authors: Nery Gabriel Lemus, and Jeff Rau

Copyright © 2016 Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery All rights reserved.

First Edition. Design by Soren Iverson. Published through

Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery Biola University Art Department

13800 Biola Ave., La Mirada, CA 90639 562.903.4807 •

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