Art, exploration and activism with Los Angeleno Carolyn Castaño
Carolyn Castaño's piece, Heroine (After Policarpa Salavarrieta Jose Maria Espinosa), featured in her most recent solo show at Laband Art Gallery.
Summer is Carolyn Castaño’s season. We’re saying that partly because the LA-based visual artist’s bright, passionate color palettes and energetic compositions feel warm-weather apropos, ebullient like a newly opened summer bloom. But we’re also saying that because we know Castaño was looking forward to the summer months and finally having more time to spend in her studio—which means more art we can ogle (always a good thing). We hear she’s hunkered down near MacArthur Park, experimenting with colors, patterns, and textures, focussing on the relationship between the production of textiles and its effect on the environment. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with!
Dedicated studio time is a serious blessing for this artist after an awesome but exceedingly busy fall and spring. Besides becoming a mom for the second time (!!), Castaño had a lot going on art-world-wise. She participated in a handful of artist talks and panels, including at appearance at Azusa Pacific University and a visiting artist lecture in painter Mary Anna Pomonis’ class at Cal State Long Beach. Her art was part of fundraising efforts for two projects close to her heart: AMBOS, a project using bi-national art as a means of generating healthier cross-border relationships, and SASSAS, an organization that highlights music and art. Activism is entrenched in Castaño's artistic ethos. Similarly, her work was shown in The Art of Protest: Epiphany and the Culture of Empowerment at the Church of the Epiphany, an Eastside LA Episcopalian congregation and designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument that’s been a hub for various Chicano social justice movements since the 1960s. The exhibition, which ran through March 29th, brought together an incredible range of work by more than 60 artists, culminating in a beautiful cacophony of artistic voices. Take a look at what the Los Angeles Times had to say about it and you’ll also catch sight of one of Castaño's artworks pictured in the article.
An inside look at Castaño's retrospective at Laband Art Gallery...
She has been (in her own words) “recovering” from her busy streak and a wonderful retrospective of her work that absorbed most of her attention through the fall of 2017. From September 23rd through December 10th, the Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount exhibited the first career survey of Castaño’s art. Curated by Laband Director Karen Rapp, Carolyn Castaño: A Female Topography 2001-2017 featured more than 40 of the artist’s artworks spanning Castaño’s fifteen-year career. “I am drawn to her bold juxtapositions, especially in her most recent body of work, ‘Ventanas’ (Windows), that illustrate her facility for blending multiple visual traditions,” Rapp said. It’s from that same body of work that we handpicked Castaño's debut 20x200 edition, Ventanas (Desert), a freshly vivacious, ferociously colorful piece that juxtaposes sharp geometric shapes with an organic, blended botanical scene. Read more about Castaño's limited-edition and her deeply personal, inquisitive style over here, and keep your eye on this artist for the go forward. We certainly will.
With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman + Team 20x200