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Elana Mann "Year of Wonders, redux" // "Recovery Justice: Being Well"

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18th Street Arts Center (Airport Campus)

3026 Airport Avenue

Santa Monica, CA 90405

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Visit 18th Street's Airport Campus to view Elana Mann's "Year of Wonders, redux" and a series of projects, "Recovery Justice: Being Well."

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Come visit two exhibitions opening this Spring at 18th Street's Airport Campus - Elana Mann's "Year of Wonders, redux" and the series of self-organized artist projects "Recovery Justice: Being Well."

Public appointments will open March 29, and will end July 2, 2021.

These exhibitions are open by appointment only. Each time slot can accommodate groups of up to six individuals. All visitors are expected to check in at the front door, wear masks, and maintain a distance of 6 feet at all times from others who are not part of the same family group.


Year of Wonders, redux

Solo exhibition by Elana Mann

Airport Gallery

March 29 – July 2, 2021

Exhibition page:

Related exhibition panel “Hungry Ears” featuring Sara Daleiden, Naomi Okuyama, Elana Mann, and April Banks will take place on April 8 at 5pm.

18th Street Arts Center is pleased to present Year of Wonders, redux, a solo exhibition of works by artist Elana Mann in 18th Street Arts Center’s Airport Gallery, on view from March 29 - July 2, 2021. The exhibition consists of sculptural folk instruments, video, and works on paper, created by the artist as part of an ongoing series of sono-sculptures since 2014. As is common in Mann’s practice, and in the history of folk music, these works reflect the time period in which they are made. Year of Wonders, redux was born out of the nation’s unfolding political changes, passionate social movements, and the global coronavirus pandemic. They acknowledge the manifold obstacles to our ever-present desire as human beings to be together.

The sculptural works in the exhibition were first created and exhibited in the fall of 2020 at Artpace, San Antonio, TX. These pieces are intended for use in protest spaces, and although each instrument functions differently, they all prioritize a range of sounds and body types to amplify the human voice.

Our work is never done (unfinished business) is modeled on the “Mega-kazoo-horn” originally made by the legendary folk music figure Charles Chase. Chase, grandfather to the folk musician Ben Harper, was an active communist and brought the instrument to local protests in his hometown of Claremont, CA, in the 1970s. The horn features six speaking tubes, rather than only one, therefore harnessing the power of the collective voice. Mann started the sculpture over a year ago, but in the social-distancing context of COVID-19, the object’s meaning and function have shifted. Rendered temporarily unusable as a musical instrument, it currently operates as more of a symbol of collective action. Mann hopes to employ the horn in future demonstrations and marches when it is once again safe to share.

Unidentified Bright Object 11–60 consists of 50 rattles, each made with a distinct turned wood handle and a cast ceramic top containing different sound-making materials. The ceramic tops are individually adorned with a variety of phrases, such as calls to action (e.g., “Say His Name/Say Her Name”), statements (“Truth”), celebrations of the collective (“People Power”), or onomatopoeia (“SSSSSS”). Viewers may engage with the rattles however they wish, either visually or by touch.

New video (created in collaboration with Mann’s partner, designer Jean-Paul Leonard) and works on paper expand the breadth of the sculptural works, revealing other facets of Mann’s exploration into listening, vibrations, and the human voice.

Year of Wonders, redux invites viewers to contemplate the relationships between the individual and community, sound and silence, protest and performance, and how these dyads connect to resistance, equity, and social justice.

[Caption: Elana Mann, Unidentified Bright Object #11-60, 2020. Ceramic, wood, metal, and glass. Photo by Beth Devillier. Both works originally commissioned and produced by Artpace San Antonio. Courtesy of the artist. ]


Recovery Justice: Being Well

March 8 - July 16, 2021

North & South Galleries // Outdoors on Airport Ave.

18th Street Arts Center (Airport Campus)

3026 Airport Ave, Santa Monica

Online Exhibition Page:

Though our in-person appointments are closed until the end of February, we anticipate being able to open to in-person visits beginning in March, pending the latest public health guidance. Please visit the exhibition page for more details.

“Being Well” is what we seek together as neighbors, and recalls one of the central guiding principles of the City of Santa Monica, the notion of “wellbeing” as key to civic health. Recovery Justice: Being Well, aims to highlight the recent circumstances that have evolved during the pandemic (racial justice demonstrations and destruction, as well as social discontent and general disconnection) into a series of self-organized artist projects that merge the exterior and interior public spaces of City of Santa Monica property. 18th Street Airport Campus at Santa Monica Municipal Airport will be the site where artists reimagine the city and beyond in the midst of complex social unrest globally. Recovery Justice will recuperate through various means the digital and physical footprints left in a city that struggles to reclaim the seemingly peaceful environment it once had. Artists will develop a palette for making and sharing artworks responding to the street experience in safe, healing and expressive modes. This porous series is a point of departure to reconcile and redefine the concept of justice.

This collage of self-organized artist projects was organized around the common theme of Recovery Justice, facilitated as part of Sara Daleiden’s artist project and ongoing conversations nurtured through a series of online conversations with 18th Street’s artist community called “Creative Roundtables” over the past 8 months. These projects will manifest in outdoor presentations on the side of the building; sculptural, photographic, painting and video work in the galleries; and a series of online and drive-in events in Spring of 2021. The artists’ presentations will also be represented online and via a 360 tour for virtual viewing.

Participating artists include: Sara Daleiden, Nicola Goode, Susie McKay Krieser, Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, M Susan Broussard, Lionel Popkin, Yrneh Gabon Brown, Lola del Fresno, Debra Disman, Melinda Smith Altshuler, Gregg Chadwick, Luciana Abait, Deborah Lynn Irmas, Rebecca Youssef, and Dan S. Wang.

The artist projects as part of Recovery Justice: Being Well is generously supported by the City of Santa Monica’s Art of Recovery program. Sara Daleiden’s residency and facilitation work on these projects is generously supported by the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Bailiwik is also a supporting partner on this exhibition.

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18th Street Arts Center (Airport Campus)

3026 Airport Avenue

Santa Monica, CA 90405

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