In Conversation: Lava Thomas and Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle. Monumental: Public Art and Protest 2020

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Date(s) - 11/02
6:30pm - 8:00pm

Free and open to the public; online only.

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Presented by the UC Berkeley’s Department of Art Practice and Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Series.

During this pivotal time of civil unrest and the continued questioning of violence inherent within existing monuments dedicated to conquest, supremacy and subjugation, interdisciplinary visual artists, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, and Lava Thomas will be in conversation concerning dismantling the hegemonic factors within public art selection and who determines what monumental is. They will unpack the problematics within public art commissions, artwork removal, and the lifelong impact that these cycles of commissioning have upon communities that live within proximity to the work and beyond. How do these monuments impact the psyches of the geographies in which they are placed? What narratives do they continually assert? How does one create a monument that is reparative or is a means to begin the balancing of the scales of history? How do we stand in solidarity with re-imagining the possibilities for monuments in the face of an insistence upon historical amnesia/purposeful forgetting?

Whether creating memorials to victims of racial violence, illuminating the labor of women in the struggle for equality, or stretching the conventions of portraiture and representation, Thomas’s practice amplifies ideas that center visibility, resilience, and empowerment in the face of erasure, trauma, and oppression. Her oeuvre spans drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and installation, exploring the events, figures and movements that inform and shape our individual and collective histories.

Hinkle is an interdisciplinary visual artist, writer and performer. Her practice fluctuates between collaborations and participatory projects with alternative gallery spaces within various communities to projects that are intimate and based upon her private experiences in relationship to historical events and contexts. A term that has become a mantra for her practice is the “Historical Present,” as she examines the residue of history and how it affects our contemporary world perspective. Hinkle is currently an Assistant Professor of Painting at UC Berkeley’s Department of Art Practice.


Arts + Design Mondays is organized and sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Arts + Design Initiative. The series is co-curated by African American Student Development in the Division of Equity & Inclusion; Arts and Innovation Advocates at Berkeley Law; the Arts Research Center; the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Berkeley Center for New Media; Cal Performances; the College of Environmental Design; the Department of Art Practice and the Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series; the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; the Graduate School of Journalism; and the Richmond Arts and Culture Commission. Technical support and presentation offered by UC Berkeley College of Letters & Science, Division of Arts & Humanities.

The 2020 series of Arts + Design Mondays is made possible thanks to the generous financial support of Nancy Olson and Buzz Wiesenfeld. In-kind support provided by BAMPFA.

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