Local artists take matters into their own hands and host an exhibition on the Westside of Long Beach, CA.
On July 31st, residents of Long beach, CA gathered at what was simply titled “A Photo Show” by WALDO, Local film photographer and artist. The showcase included work from Julian Cohen, Yew, Angela Piazza, Morgan Rindengan, PLEASE DON’T GO TO HELL, Jeremy Gray, Gilbert Terrazas, Chris San Nicolas, and WALDO himself. LBMedia Spoke with WALDO on how the event all came together.
“We’re having a photo show, it’s collaborative so nine photographers and one painter”, He says. “We just try to get the community together so that we can showcase folks whose work may be under represented. Maybe not even that just artist that I like”.
Curating an art exhibition has been an idea of his for over 2 years. Realizing he’s leaving for college up north shortly he decided the time was now or never. “I DM’d the photographers whose work I really enjoy and wanted to get them here as a community and say ‘you know let’s go out with a bang and let’s make this happen’”.
When we asked how he was able to pull such an amazing showcase off WALDO explained the process was organic. First, he needed a place.
“I said you know what, I gotta figure out the spot. My buddy Joey Ready from Awesome Cameras told me about this spot, I talked to the owner Eric, got it together, and everything else just kind of fell in place. It was more work putting up the pieces and all that jazz”.
The aesthetic of the exhibition was clean and direct, showing off both color and black and white imagery from all around the area and beyond. Images like ones in “Downtown Downer” by Chris San Nicolas awaken memories in one’s mind that almost seem from another time and place separate from this reality, such as scenes from protests last year and national guards in the downtown area. We talked to Chris about his involvement in the exhibition.
“This is my first show on this scale. I’ve done smaller shows, pop-ups also, and the project I’m showing [Downtown Downer] is still a work in progress. It’s like a documentation of Long Beach for the past two years encompassing the pandemic before and hopefully after”.
We went on to talk about the importance of the event and the example it sets for other local artists. San Nicolas commented on the fact that many artists use paid institutions like colleges to network and build their names while others that can’t afford school need opportunities like this to establish themselves.
“People who don’t have that opportunity or the means to get into that club are kind of on their own”, He says. “So I think it’s really important for events like this, grassroots, is sort of like getting in at the entry level where you don’t need to know somebody to get a gallery sell, you don’t need to have gone to school with somebody or like have connections already set up”.
With that same sentiment in mind we asked WALDO if he planned to continue curating events in the city of Long Beach, CA after he returned from studying at Berkeley. We were glad to know he doesn’t plan to wait long.
“What I’m thinking is since Berkeley is not that far, if I can do one every three months and you know, take notes from what I’ve done correctly and what I need to improve from here, I think it’ll really pan out for like a good weekend show”.
The show went on with a breeze including great food, drink, and an eclectic crowd of all ages. With his first showcase set in stone, no telling where WALDO & Friends go from here.
You can find out more about WALDO at WALDO’S THE NAME (@thewaldocreates) • Instagram photos and videos