Book Launch: South of PICO with Dr. Kellie Jones

Portrait and book cover image of Kellie Jones

DPI is excited to host a celebration of the newly published SOUTH OF PICO: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s, by Dr. Kellie Jones. DPI Chair Deb Willis said this of Jones's work:

"A gifted and original scholar, Kellie Jones offers unique and stimulating insights into the role of L.A.'s close-knit African American artists and communities played in creating art spaces in museums, cultural centers, and storefronts. South of Pico is broad in scope, tracing the narratives of oft-neglected artists, exploring the contributions of women artists and feminist visual theory, and highlighting the history of collecting by Hollywood movie stars and entertainers." 

The book explores the vibrant, productive, and engaged activists arts scene of black communities in 1960s and 1970s Los Angeles. Jones attempts to understand how these communities formed, even in the face of structural racism, emphasizing the importance of African American movement and the politics of housing and employment in L.A. Jones analyzes the work of artists such as Betye Saar, Charles White, Noah Purigoy, and Senga Nengudi, in their reference to the urban renewal in Los Angeles, the dislocation of migration, and restrictions on black mobility under the thumb of institutionalized racism. South of Pico expands on the understanding of black arts and creativity in the history of Los Angeles and beyond. 

RSVP is recommended but not required.

Dr. Kellie Jones is Associate Professor in Art History and Archaeology and a Faculty Fellow with the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University. Her research interests include African American and African Diaspora artists, Latinx and Latin American Artists, and issues in contemporary art and museum theory. Dr. Jones has received numerous awards for her work from the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University; Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and a term as Scholar-in-Residence at the Terra Foundation for American Art in Europe in Giverny, France. In 2016 she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. Dr. Jones’s writings have appeared in exhibition catalogues and such journals as NKA, Artforum, Flash Art, Atlantica, and Third Text. She is the author of two books published by Duke University Press, EyeMinded: Living and Writing Contemporary Art (2011), and South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s (2017). Dr. Jones has also worked as a curator for over three decades and has numerous major national and international exhibitions to her credit. Her exhibition “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980,” at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, was named one of the best exhibitions of 2011 and 2012 by Artforum, and best thematic show nationally by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). She was co-curator of “Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the 1960s” (Brooklyn Museum), named one the best exhibitions of 2014 by Artforum