By Jane Hart, Art and Culture Center of Hollywood
The Art and Culture Center’s tremendously successful series “Hot Topics” concluded on June 9 with a presentation by internationally acclaimed artist Nathan Sawaya – during the opening weekend of his show “The Art of The Brick.” Nearly 600 visitors attended Sawaya’s “Live Day Build,” during which he created an original work of art while doing an informative open discussion period with scores of the children and adults in attendance. This was a dynamic and engaging experience for all here at the Center. The event was partially funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as a part of its Knight Arts Challenge. Sawaya’s interactive experience was added to the roster of five presentations composing the “Hot Topics” series when Julie Kahn and Hayley Downs had to cancel their screening of their film “Swamp Cabbage: A Dark and Sweaty Survival Guide” due to unforeseen circumstances.
On May 12, the Center hosted its “Hot Topics” lecture by renowned curator and critic Dan Cameron, who gave a nearly two hour talk and visual overview of his curatorial career. Cameron’s curatorial practice and concurrent arts writing has spanned over three decades with museum and gallery exhibitions done around the world, from New York to Istanbul, New Orleans to Beijing, and beyond. Cameron’s presentation was a tour de force showing what tremendous accomplishments the curator has realized over the years, which began with him curating various exhibitions at New York City’s New Museum. Cameron more recently was the Founder and Artistic Director of Prospect New Orleans, an international biennial exhibition of contemporary art that debuted in November 2008. Prospect 2 opened in October 2011 and ran through January 2012 featuring such artists as Nick Cave, William Eggleston, Sophie Calle, and several other major artists from around the globe. Cameron also spoke a bit about his exciting new position as Chief Curator at the Orange County Museum of Art, which is one of Southern California’s leading museums for modern and contemporary art.
The total of five “Hot Topics” presentations was extremely well received. Each presentation had very high attendance for the speakers, who included Shamim M. Momin, Marvin Heiferman, Jerry Saltz, as well as Cameron and Sawaya. The Center wishes to gratefully acknowledge the support of Lou Anne and Mike Colodny who were partial sponsors and Co-Chairs of the “Hot Topics” series. The Center also thanks everyone who attended, making this special program a success.