IdeaFestival is an annual event that gives a platform to innovative and disruptive artists, designers and organizers who are changing lives in “ways that matter.” This year, we’re bringing artists Ken Gonzales-Day, Kelly Heaton, Andy Kropa and Miwa Matreyek for the Creative Capital presentation, and Titus Kaphar is also participating in a solo presentation. 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville is also presenting an exhibition of the artists’ work! Here’s a look at their current work.
For his Creative Capital project, Ken Gonzales-Day focuses on a history of lynchings and vigilantism that have been previously overlooked in American history. As he explained to us in an interview, Ken’s research brings to light “lynching of Mexicans and other people of color in California as a way of expanding our understanding of the history of lynching in the United States.” The work is not just a look on our past: it’s incredibly relevant to the political issues we are experiencing every day. His recent exhibition in Los Angeles centered around his film Run Up, a restaging of a lynching that occurred in 1920. The case has long been mischaracterized as simply an example of mob vigilantism, and anyone familiar with current events may not be surprised to learn that it probably included police involvement.
Kelly Heaton‘s practice seeks to draw us back into the fold of nature and the cosmos. Her work, largely sculptural, and sometimes weirdly disturbing, functions at that point where the man-made parallels natural processes. Currently, she has a solo exhibition at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, entitled Pollination. You can purchase the catalogue for the show on Amazon! The centerpiece (pictured at top) is a dynamic illuminated honeycomb, which Kelly describes as an “energetic self-portrait.”
Andy Kropa is a photographer, but when several of his family members were affected by Alzheimer’s, he began using his practice to find ways that could enhance the quality of life for people who suffered from the disorder. His Creative Capital project, Hacking Alzheimer’s, is a series of wearable devices that function as tools that can help people who have difficulty remembering things like where they parked their car. One wearable device, pictured above, will take a photo every few seconds, so that users can look back on where they’ve been, who they’ve met, and what they did.
In Miwa Matreyek‘s performance pieces, the artist uses her silhouette to frame and humanize vivid and imaginative layers of animation. Her Creative Capital project, This World Made Itself, merges film and theater to create something that is its own kind of spectacle. NowThis News recently profiled Miwa in a short Instagram video; watch it here!
Titus Kaphar‘s work uses the style and images of Classical and Renaissance painters in order to expose a deeper story of racism and struggle. His Creative Capital project, The Jerome Project, began when he googled his incarcerated father, only to find nearly a hundred other people in jail with the same name. His project will extend from a series of portraits of these men to public discussions and a documentary about his relationship with his father. Titus will present for a full hour in his own session, sponsored by artwithoutwalls, at the IdeaFestival!
To learn more about IdeaFestival and the upcoming presentations, and to find out how you can attend the festival, click here. Read more about 21c Museum Hotel’s exhibition, The Art of IdeaFestival, click here.