Artist Laureate Katy Krantz to Open “Dear Culver City…” April 16 @ City Hall

The City of Culver City is pleased to present Artist Laureate Katy Krantz’s Dear Culver City . . ., a multidisciplinary project that includes the ceramic contributions of over a thousand Culver City community members. Dear Culver City . . ., an installation of the ceramic works, will be on display at the Dale Jones City Hall from April 15 to June 10, 2024.

Please join us in celebrating the project with an opening reception on Tuesday, April 16th, from 5pm to 7pm in the Dale Jones City Hall courtyard. Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin, Cultural Affairs Commission Chair Brenda Williams, Artist Laureate Subcommittee members Tania Fleischer and Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin will provide opening remarks. At the opening, local poets will read original poems inspired by words generated by community members.

For the project, Krantz led over thirty ceramics workshops across the city, engaging with residents and stakeholders of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. The workshops were comprised of two activities: a word brainstorm and a ceramics project. Krantz asked workshop participants to think of words that came to mind when considering Culver City’s past, present, and future. These words were collected on large sheets of paper. Participants then chose one word to stamp in wet clay, which Krantz then fired and glazed. All words written on paper were alphabetized and compiled into documents, which were then given to seven local poets who created poems inspired by the collected words. The poets who worked on the project were Topacio Althaus, Kate Burns, Karen Gibson-Roc, Janet Hoult, Leah Johnson, Brian Sonia-Wallace, and Bri Stokes.

Workshop participants also learned basic ceramics techniques, creating pinch pots and small sculptures that were then fired, glazed, and strung onto cables for the installation. Glazing assistance was generously provided by community volunteers and members of the Culver City Senior Center.

Krantz noted,  “I loved interacting with such a diverse range of Culver City community members. It was exciting to be able to offer free ceramics programming— people seemed to really enjoy taking part in the workshops, not only for the artmaking but also because the workshops offered an opportunity to relax and connect with their neighbors. The project also gave community members the opportunity to express how they feel about living here. I found it fascinating that the word brainstorm was able to capture such a wide range of perspectives. Lastly, it was so exciting to work with this group of talented poets and see the work they created from the community generated words.” 

After the installation comes down, Krantz will hold a one-day community “reclaim” day so that participants can come and pick up their work. 

The Artist Laureate Program is made possible by the City of Culver City and its Cultural Affairs Commission, with additional funding from the Culver City Arts Foundation.

City of Culver City

photo by Rene Mundo Croshere

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