Internationally recognized artist set to speak

Art speaker Kim Abeles will be speaking at Pierce College Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. in the Art 3300 classroom.

According to Abeles, social issues are the main focus and inspiration for her artwork.

Her work includes sculptures, painting and photographs.

“I like to do things the hard way. My basic quest in life is to reinvent the wheel,” says Abeles.

During her speech she will be focusing on her artwork.

However, she said she will be focusing on her work that coincides or collaborates with fields of study outside of art.

Including institutions like the Natural History Museum, Santa Monica Bay Restoration Project and the Bureau of Automotive Repair.

Abeles was born in 1952 in Richmond Heights, Miss. in 1969.

As an American Field service student to Utsunomiya, Japan, Abeles was introduced to traditional Japanese art by Buddhist Priest Kosai Kobari.

By the time she was in her 20’s she was living in a converted grain silo in Ohio.

It was there that she wrote and illustrated her book, “Crafts, Cookery and Country Living.”

A Los Angeles studio apartment became her home in the late 70’s and provided the perfect backdrop,

The apartment inspired her to focus on the social issues happening right outside her door.

“I typically approach social issues through ‘portraits’ of individuals transformed into broader themes; or, I create sculptural contraptions to collect visual or auditory data over an extended period of time…the urban environment, feminism, aging, HIV/AIDS and labor are some of the specific issues I have engaged through my work,” she said.

She uses the environment to get her point across.

For pieces in “The Smog Collection” she placed a tablecloth outside with stencil images on it and let it sit for 20 days.

The acid in the air darkened the silk and left the stencil images as an outline.

“Since the worst in the air can’t be seen, Smog Collectors are both literal and metaphoric depictions of the current conditions of our life source,” said Abeles.

“They are reminders of our industrial decisions: the road we took that seemed so modern,” she said.

Abeles recieved national and international attention with “The Somg Collector.”

Other projects include “Biographical Structures”, self-portraits, “Habeas Corpus,” “Social Furniture” and more.

Abeles has been awarded grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Peter Norton Foundation.

She was awarded the Best Regional Museum Show category for 1993-94, by the International Association of Arts Critics for her work, “Encyclopedis Persona A-Z.”

Her artwork is currently being displayed in more than 20 museums, universities, libraries and businesses.


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