In late January 2017, just one week after the Trump inauguration and the Women's March, Cerritos College, in partnership with the Foundation for Art Resources (FAR), presented FAR Baazar 2017, an alternative art fair and art collective festival.
2017 marked the fortieth anniversary of FAR, one of the oldest non-profit arts advocacy groups in Southern California. Throughout the last quarter of the twentieth century, FAR helped to produce some of the most significant alternative art events in Los Angeles. From the monthly Art Talk Art lecture series of the 1980s to the massive FAR Bazaars of the 1990s, FAR was blazing trails for today’s LA art community.
In February of 2017, after over 55+ years of use, Cerritos College retired and demolished its existing Fine Arts complex. For a brief period of time, this crumbling mid-century modernist gem sat side-by-side with its replacement, a massive new Fine Arts complex. Before the old building was torn down, however, Cerritos College, with the help of FAR, transformed every abandoned classroom, faculty office, and administrative space into temporary exhibition spaces, each guest-curated by local art collectives and alternative art spaces, as well as the graduate programs from regional universities and art schools. Because the building was slated for destruction immediately after the end of the event, there was ample opportunity for these various groups to explore alternative methods of installation and even transform the individual spaces into walk-in tableaus that directly engaged with the pedagogical nature of the environment.
January, it should be noted, is normally the month for the region’s major commercial art (af)fairs, in particular the Los Angeles Art Show and Art Los Angeles Contemporary. The FAR Bazaar, as a non-commercial alternative art fair, highlights the significant contribution that art collectives, artist-run spaces, and local art schools have on the regional art scene overall. Much like the art fairs provide access to disparate commercial galleries from across the globe, the FAR Bazaar allows the various art communities that are physically spread far and wide across the megalopolis of Southern California to come together temporarily in one place for easy access and for productive exchange.
At the same time, in the new Fine Arts building, there were a series of scholarly panel discussions covering issues such as the history of artist collectives and artist-run spaces in Southern California and the growing plight of aging mid-century modernist architecture. In the newly-relocated Cerritos College Art Gallery, there were two exhibitions debuting the same weekend as the FAR Bazaar, one featuring the work of that year’s Cerritos College Art+Tech Artist-in-Residence (Stephanie Deumer), and the other highlighting work by former FAR board members, amongst them current professors and administrators from Otis, Occidental, UC Berkeley, Scripps, and Art Center.
The event also included food trucks, ongoing musical performances, video screenings, and an art book/print fair.
Participating Collectives & Artist-Run Spaces:
Adjunct Positions | Association of Hysteric Curators | Ave 50 Studio | Biomythography | Boys of Summer | Concrete Walls Projects | D-Block Projects | DH Arts Collective | Durden & Ray | Earth Like Planets | Elephant | FA4 Collective | Finishing School | Freewaves | Hinterculture | Improvised Alchemy | JAUS Gallery | KCHUNG | Machine Project | Monte Vista Projects | Motherboy | Newtown Arts | Rough Play | Shed Research Institute | Six Pack Projects | Slanguage Studios | South Bay Contemporary | Summercamp’s ProjectProject | TILT Export: | Transit Republic
Graduate Student Artists from Participating Universities:
Art Center | CalArts | Claremont Graduate University | Otis (Fine Arts and Public Practice) | UC Irvine (Critical/Curatorial Studies and Fine Arts) | UC Los Angeles (Design Media Arts and Fine Arts) | UC Riverside | University of Southern California
For more information, please visit https://www.cerritos.edu/farbazaar/.