Art Works Blog

Art Talk with 18th Street Arts Center

The mission of the Los Angeles-based 18th Street Arts Center is simple: to provoke public dialog through contemporary artmaking. This happens through a few different channels, one of which, the Artist Lab, is specifically desgined for mid-career LA artists. The Artist Lab artist must be someone who is open to the likelihood that, while they are in the act of creating, they will also be interacting with the community. Anu Vikram, the 18th Street Arts Center artistic director says, "The Artist Lab artist has to be open to the idea that dialog with people is actually part of their creative process. Most of the time as a non art-maker, you are presented with work that is finished, and if you're hearing from an artist, you're hearing an artist talk about finished work. Part of Vikram's job is to translate "all of the interesting things that happen in [an artist's] head when [he or she is] producing work. So you'll see if you walk through how the thought processes of the artist are often visual and that's something that I work with each artist to do." But the Artist Lab experience is just one part of a three-tiered residency program that encompasses a short term international and national component where the artist actually lives on-site for one to three months. Today, we get to meet one of those artists, Hao Ni. Hit play to hear executive director, Jan Williamson, in conversation with Anu Vikram and Hao Ni. 

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