3601 South Gaffey Street
San Pedro, CA 90731
Angels Gate Cultural Center is a place that unites art, community and culture through creative discovery, exploration and enlightenment. Angels Gate Cultural Center brings art and culture to the community through interactive classes, gallery exhibits, professional artists' studios, art education programs in the schools and cultural events.
The galleries at AGCC are a place for discovery and wonder. The three galleries, located inside Building A, promote cross-cultural and cross-generational understanding by using the Arts to provide new perspectives and insights to topics that enrich our lives. The galleries collectively operate under a yearly theme from which artists, designers and performers are selected to interpret. Thus creating fresh and innovative programming that is unique within the South Bay and Harbor region.
The Main Gallery features large group exhibitions, extensive in scope, that explore those themes investigated throughout the year. The Project Space is a smaller gallery that focuses on solo projects that are in sync with the conceptual framework of the year and allow the viewer a nuanced understanding on a particular point of view. The Community Gallery, a collaboration between the Education and Gallery programs, breaks down the formal divisions between viewer and curator by providing the greater community with an opportunity to actively participate in the exhibition through the solicitation of art works, objects, and opinions.
Programs are made possible by the generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, California Community Foundation, California Arts Council, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
Gettin' off the Ground: Contemporary Stories from an American Community
In her book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston writes: 'There is a basin in the mind where words float around on thought and thought on sound and sight. Then there is a depth of thought untouched by words, and deeper still a gulf of formless feelings untouched by thought.' (Hurston, p.23). It is in the 'gulf of formless feelings', where layers of consciousness move from fantastical to real and from sensory to literary, that communities create fables, parables, myths and folktales to connect with each other and understand the super/natural elements that exist in our world. These stories, told and retold, shape our perceptions regarding ourselves in relationship to identity, culture, place and fellowship. Collectively, these perceptions shape how we exchange ideas and engage with each other, in addition to defining our communities' beliefs and moral systems.
As dynamic social media platforms continue to emerge, our ability to share stories has also changed. Suddenly, notions of community and 'coming together' have shifted as people turn to the nebulous territory of the Internet to exchange personal information with friends and strangers (i.e. Facebook, Vine, and YouTube). On these sites we tell stories that often blend reality and fiction. We learn intimate details about strangers and loved ones that occasionally challenge us and sometimes reinforce unconscious bias we already hold.
For the next few years, Angels Gate Cultural Center's (AGCC) gallery invites the community to share their stories with us. We are interested in how these stories shape the collective consciousness in San Pedro and the South Bay area. AGCC will partner with local organizations to produce short-term artist residencies that capture the stories of different people in the community. The residencies will culminate in exhibitions in the Main Gallery. The Main Gallery serves as an anchor for the supporting galleries that will delve into issues such as loss, migration, love, immigration, location, and port culture through participatory art making stations; curated roundtable style conversations featuring artwork by emerging and mid career artists primarily from the Los Angeles area; solicited community-based projects; and a film reel that features interviews with people in the community sharing their stories. Throughout the exhibitions visitors are asked to consider their lives, the lives of younger and older generations, and how a healthy community's well-being is sustained through the quality of relationships individuals form in their community (Block, p.5).
Angels Gate Cultural Center hopes that by participating in the conversation, people in the community will create artwork in the gallery, submit artwork to be displayed in the galleries and return again to discover something new. As the community 'gets off the ground' and visits the galleries we hope they experience a slice of Americana that is unique within our nation and particular to Los Angeles.
Hurston, Zora Neale, and Henry Louis Gates. Jonah's Gourd Vine ; Mules and Men ; Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Quality Paperback Books, 1990. Print.
Block, Peter. Community: The Structure of Belonging. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publ., 2009. Print.