We are pleased to announce our 2023-2024 cohort of Cultural Trailblazers. This grant promotes artists who are recognized as regional innovators. DCAa’s mission is to strengthen the quality of life in the City of Los Angeles by stimulating and supporting arts leaders. These peer-selected artists have been chosen for their contribution to the community and caliber of their work.
Margaret Griffith is a Los Angeles-based artist and Professor of Drawing and Painting at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, CA. Griffith received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI in Sculpture and her BFA from The Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland in Painting. Griffith works primarily with paper and metal to create her large-scale installations, public art, sculpture and works on paper based on manmade barriers addressing social and political issues.
Molly Larkey (they/them) is an artist and writer whose work creates openings for radical shifts in perception. Taking the form of sculptures, paintings, words, ideas, and structures that combine all of the above, their work suggests ways to imagine a world in which beneficial structures replace those based in alienation and control.
Lauren Lee McCarthy
Lauren Lee McCarthy is an artist having social relationships in the midst of automation, surveillance, and algorithmic living. She has received grants and residencies from Creative Capital, United States Artists, LACMA, Sundance, Eyebeam, Pioneer Works, Autodesk, and Ars Electronica. Her work SOMEONE was awarded the Ars Electronica Golden Nica and the Japan Media Arts Social Impact Award, and her work LAUREN was awarded the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction. Lauren’s work has been exhibited internationally, at places such as the Barbican Centre, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Haus der elektronischen K?nste, Seoul Museum of Art, Chronus Art Center, SIGGRAPH, Onassis Cultural Center, IDFA DocLab, Science Gallery Dublin, and the Japan Media Arts Festival.
Constance Strickland, founder of Theatre Roscius, is known for her experimental filmmaking, performance art, avant-garde movement, and visual installations. Strickland debuted This Grief Will Be of Use Parts I + II and the physical photography exhibition An Antebellum Theory at Art Share L.A. She recently premiered Mercy & A Black Women’s Liberation in cross-collaboration with Takesome/Leavesome’s The Shwang Out. She currently was in residency in The Getty Villa Theatre Lab for her new play, Medea Refracted and will continue developing in residency this Fall at the Baryshinkov Arts Center for a 2025 premiere. Her physical film, And Then They Swallowed Their Pain, is dedicated to women who have lost a child, premiering Fall 2024. She is currently in rehearsals for Helen. at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club and could not be more honored to be a part of this Supergeographics Prodcution.
Statement: I am interested in using material as surrealistic metaphors to re-imagine the relevance between current and colonized histories of Black and Brown people and the emotional terrains and cyclical circumstances that remain in place through time. In conceptualizing my sculptures, I believe that a kind of storytelling and time travel come into the work. The origins of my work stem from my nomadic existence as a child and my recollections of unclear ruminations surrounding racial divides and marginalization. Examining the connections between our original heritage, resilience and migrations is the overarching investigation in my trajectory as a sculptor and I use the materials of wood, organic materials, paper, plaster, glass, pigmented waxes and metals as ironic components that coincide with our historical experiences. My process involves a lot of twisting, charring, breakage, re-assemblage and layering and I align the unnatural colors within my sculptures as a reflection on the levels of phenomena and beauty within the world.
Bio: Regina Herod is a Los Angeles based artist and arts educator. Her works have been exhibited in California, New York and Oregon galleries and she has collaborated in performances at The Broad Museum and The Wende Museum.
Sandra Low is a Los Angeles-based artist. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California and completed her Bachelor’s degree double majoring in art and sociology at UC Berkeley. She has shown widely across Southern California, including exhibitions at Art Salon Chinatown, Los Angeles International Airport, Walter Maciel Gallery, the Chinese American Museum, and a public commission from L.A. Metro. She teaches drawing and painting at Rio Hondo College.
Kenji Liu (劉謙司) is a fiber artist, painter, book designer, and author of Monsters I Have Been (Alice James Books 2019), finalist for the 2020 California and Maine Book Awards for poetry, and Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. His writing can be found in literary journals, anthologies, and two chapbooks, Craters: A Field Guide (2017) and You Left Without Your Shoes (2009). An alumnus of Kundiman, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Olympic Valley Community of Writers, he lives in unceded Tongva land, Los Ángeles.
Minerva Garcia is a professional actor with an over 30 year career, having delved into writing and directing as well. Among her professional regional credits, Minerva has worked at the Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory, and Williamstown Theater in Williamstown, MA. Film and television credits include: This is Us, Beautiful Boy, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. Minerva made the semi-finals with her screenplay BEYOND REDEMPTION for the Latino Screenwriting Project, part of the Sundance Screenwriting Labs. As a director, Minerva has helmed projects at Cerritos and Fullerton Colleges as well as the Frida Kahlo Theater. Recently, Minerva has focused her art on issues deeply affecting the Latinx community, especially police violence. Her most recent plays PIECES OF V: A MEMORY PLAY and IMPACTED examine the personal toll negligent policing exacts on the marginalized and disabled. Minerva holds a Master of Fine Arts from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.