CSU campuses unite for collaborative virtual art series

Art galleries throughout California State University campuses are collaborating to launch ConSortiUm, a virtual event series featuring artists, curators and collectives to unite the community through the shared appreciation for art. Cal Poly Pomona will partner with CSU Long Beach and CSU Northridge to host the first event of the series on Sept. 24.

 The two featured speakers for the panel will be Beatriz Cortez, an artist and professor at CSU Northridge, and Erin Christovale, associate curator at the Hammer Museum. They will be discussing their involvement in the art scene, their inspirations and life journey.

 According to Michele Cairella Fillmore, curator for the W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery and the Don B. Huntley Gallery, 175 artists were considered for the first event but were narrowed down to the top 10. The final artist was selected through a voting system.

Beatriz Cortez, an artist and CSU Northridge professor, will feature on the first event of the virtual series. (Photo Credit: Carolyn Cole | Courtesy of Commonwealth and Council)

 We felt like it was important to use our voices to give power to those who are voiceless and those who are more marginalized,” Cairella Fillmore said. “We need to act here. We need to take a stand. We chose artists who are dealing with issues that can really make a difference right now.

 Cortez is recognized for her art that explores the different stages of life based on cultural and social experiences. Her art pays tribute to those who are struggling with memories of war, loss and migration, planting hope with reimagined futures.

 Many people think that my work as an artist and my work as a professor are separate things, but they are connected,” Cortez said. “My work is about the experience of migration. I imagine immigrants as having this special power to be two places at once, to exist in two different realities at once and to translate culture and technologies.


Erin Christovale, an associate curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, will be speaking at the first event of the virtual series. (Photo Credit: Paley Fairman)

Christovale inspires the community by curating art that reflects her passion for historical legacy, race and identity. Christovale is also the co-founder of Black Radical Imagination, an experimental film program that discusses the limitations historically given to people of color in the realm of cinema.

 After choosing Christovale to be her collaborative partner in this lecture, Cortez said, “I’ve learned a lot of things from speaking with her. I know that she will be able to ask insightful and interesting questions that might not come to mind or be visible to me.

 Angelica Matute, a first-year biology student, expressed her anticipation of the upcoming virtual event. “I’m glad that the importance of art events continues to thrive in CPP,” Matute said. “As a freshman, it makes my first year of college better knowing that our campus puts effort into having online events for us.”

 This event will be the first of the six occurring throughout the school year — three during the fall semester and three in the spring semester.­ Each series will be hosted by different universities in the CSU system. The lectures will include conversations about the artists’ work, inspirations and experiences.

 The free event is open to the public. Although the number of attendees will be limited to 3,000 people, CPP plans to live stream the event through the university’s YouTube channel and the  Kellogg Gallery’s Facebook page.

To register for the ConSortiUm webinar on Sept. 24th, visit https://www.cpp.edu/platform-csu-art-speaker-series/. To see more of Cortez’s work, visit https://beatrizcortez.com.


Feature image courtesy of Beatriz Cortez, Tzolk’in I, 2018 | Commissioned by Clockshop | Courtesy of the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles | Photo Credit: Scott Lynch

Corrections were made to this story at 1:25 p.m. on Sept. 22.

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