“Propagate Progress” by Artist Renae Barnard – Final Installation of Bergamot Station’s NEA Our Town Project

The City of Santa Monica with support from the NEA Our Town program, will debut a temporary artwork installation by local artist Renae Barnard at Bergamot Station on December 15th, 2016. The artwork is located within People’s Park at Bergamot Station Arts Center, and will be on view daily until January 15th, 2017. People’s Park will not be accessible to the public for the duration of the installation, though the artwork remains visible and activates the park space. This project is the last of a series of six temporary projects funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Santa Monica as part of the City’s Our Town program grant received in 2013.

Propagate Progress is a participatory community-building event that culminated with this sculptural installation. Barnard states that “the project explores and memorializes our community’s diverse visions for society's future progress.” According to Barnard, much of her work grapples with what progress means, including changes in our environment, as well as changes in equality for women, LGBTQs and people of color. This paper sculpture is not intended as a permanent monument.  Rather, it is a “progressive” and, therefore, ephemeral gesture of community and will deteriorate with time and weather.  In the same way “progress” today becomes history tomorrow, this sculpture is about transformation and change.

The NEA Our Town grant, which the City received in 2013, supports temporary public art interventions in and around the Bergamot Station Arts Center in celebration of the arrival of the Expo Line – a new, multimodal transit hub. Previous activities for the program included Amir H. Fallah’s Perfect Strangers Art and Performance Festival and Kate Johnson’s Everywhere in Between, an all-encompassing installation of video and light projections with live dance and music. Both projects were curated by 18th Street Arts Center. Two additional components of the Our Town program were Ed Moses, an installation by John Cerney, P2S, a projection piece by local artist Alia Malley, and most recently Because It Has A Peel, a sculptural installation by Joy Taylor.

Renae Barnard is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Los Angeles. Barnard’s work has been shown at Harriet & Charles Luckman Gallery, Annenberg Community Beach House Gallery, Berkeley Art Center, SOMArts Gallery, Pete & Susan Barrett Gallery, Grace Albrecht Gallery, Los Angeles Municipal Gallery, Peggy Phelps Gallery as well as screened at U.S. and international film festivals. Barnard has been the recipient of many awards including but not limited to Outstanding Experimental Film, Sue Arlen Walker and Harvey M. Parker Memorial Fellowship, Armory Center for the Arts Teaching Artist Fellowship, Ahmanson Annual Fellowship, Christopher Street West Art & Culture Grant, Lincoln Fellowship Award and the Pasadena Arts Council Fiscal Sponsorship.  Barnard has spoken about her work at the Open Engagement Conference at the Queens Museum, NY, The Long Beach LGTBQ Film Festival, Shoshana Wayne Gallery and Los Angeles Municipal Gallery.

The Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division brings the City’s art scene to life for residents and visitors each year by supporting engaging and accessible cultural events for all ages throughout the year. Cultural Affairs nurtures local arts organizations, promotes artist involvement in the community, manages the landmark Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and presents and produces innovative programs citywide at the Annenberg Community Beach House, the historic Miles Playhouse, 1450 Ocean and in the city’s parks, enriching Santa Monica’s reputation as an international cultural destination. For more info visit smgov.net/arts.
Image Captions
Renae Barnard
Propagate Progress at Bergamot Station, 2016. Photo courtesy of Abby Sin.
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Laura Elizabeth Becker | Cultural Affairs Supervisor | Cultural Affairs Division
City of Santa Monica | 310.458.2220 x5622