RORY WHITE email@example.com CAREER POINTS:
OIL PAINTER, PHOTOGRAPHER, ACTIVIST, designer and founder of Art Projects for the Marginalized
FOUNDER AND COORDINATOR OF "ART WORKS CONTINUUM" serving Marginalized Artists with MFA model Program
2018 Main Subject of "PASSING THROUGH" on Skid Row Artists feature length documentary by Dektor Film Group
2011 AILEEN GETTY FOUNDATION Sponsorship/Seed Grant for:
2011-2014 ART WORKS project with Housing Works, and Aileen Getty, Serving Skid Row & all L.A. from E. Hollywood studio location.
2008 "PERSON OF THE DECADE" ELI LILLY Welcome Back Award for Courage and Service
2008 "HUMBLE BEAUTY: SKID ROW ARTISTS" Major subject mentor in film about Skid Row Artists, Los Angeles, CA
1998-2008 LAMP ART PROJECT: Designed implemented and for its first decade, original MFA studio project serving Skid Row.
1987-1997 FULL COMMITMENT TO RESPONSE TO AIDS/HIV, INCLUDING EARLY BUDDY PROGRAM, IN MONTEREY COUNTRY, BIG SUR, CA. AND ALSO APLA'S S.CALIF HIV/AIDS HOTLINE.
1980-1993 HISTORICAL ART RESEARCH AND DEALING, One of key art historical art dealers involved in the major revival of collecting and museumological focus on Early 20th C. Calif Impressionists and Modernists, and added focus on Female Impressionists and Modernists on the West Coast.
1974 & 1975 ANSEL ADAMS "FIGURE IN THE LANDSCAPE" Seminar at Ansel's Yosemite Studios: Worked as Model, as well as working on personal photography with photographers, Imogen Cunningham, Jack Welpott, Judy Dater, Robert Heinecken, Eva Rubinstein, Lucien Clergue, Eikoh Hosoe, and co-model Twinka Thiebaud.
1974 and 1975 SANTA CRUZ PRISON PROJECT: One of few male instuctors asked to be involved: Designed, Implemented and Taught Studio Art and Art History course at Maximum Security facility (functioned as Death Row, then as Special Security Unit), California Institution for Women, Frontera, CA. Course gave students full University of California credit through University of California Extension Program in Liason with Women's Prison Project
1975 B.A. in Art: Printmaking, University of California at Santa Cruz.
1967-1969 University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Focus on Studies in Asian Languages and Culture Department.
1968 AWARDED "REGENT'S SCHOLARSHIP" Highest Academic Achievement Honor, University of California, at UCLA
Nominated for Regent's Scholarship by Dr. Thich Thien-An D.Litt, Dr. Ensho Ashikaga Ph.D, Dr. Alice Matsunaga Ph.D.
-SKID ROW MON AMOUR, PHOTO-DOCUMENTATION OF SKID ROW 1998-2008
-took over 100,000 photographs in Skid Row, taught oil painting, and created my own oils and drawings in that period. including accomplishing a massive photographic coverage of the thousands of arrests in the star-crossed and ultimately horrific "Los Angeles Safer Cities Initiative".
I have worked in Art and Social Justice my entire life, my first most visible involvement being one of the few male course instructors through the Santa Cruz Women’s Prison Project through which i designed and taught a combined Art History and Studio Arts course at California Institution for Women's Death Row (SSU/Special Security Unit) in 1973-74. Program directed by Dr. Karlene Faith Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus Simon Fraser University School of Criminology, author "Unruly Women: the Politics of Confinement and Resistance”).
One of my initial premises in doing art projects for outsiders was that creative genius is extremely high in persons that do not fit into the tight linear tracks of this country’s educational, and societal fine arts systems and structures. I never embraced the ludicrous notion that the Skid Row inhabitants “needed culture brought to them” but that the culture of the people of Skid Row was radically spiritual, intelligent, brave and exquisite. I sought the honor of offering simple resources considered normal in the rest of societal niches, that is a Master’s Level studio space and materials for the fine arts, to the peoples of Skid Row.
The project was an amazing success, the artists producing thousands of museum level paintings and works of art, winning Frederick Weisman, Green Foundation, Annenberg and other awards. We were featured heavily in the just recently completed "Passing Through" and the multiple-award winning documentary “Humble Beauty: Skid Row Artists” and the unfinished “Ashes and Roses” and I myself was given the Eli Lilly Welcome Back Award “Person of the Decade” grant in 2008 to continue my work in art and social justice.
NOTE: WHILE I HAVE GENERALLY ABSTAINED FROM EXHIBITION AND PERSONAL ART CAREER FOCUS, I STILL HAVE BEEN IN A SMALL HANDFUL OF ART EXHIBITIONS OVER THE COURSE OF MY LIFE:
Outside the Inside Outside: Exibition of Skid Row Lamp Art Project Pharmaka Gallery, Los Angeles 2008 Initiated by Robert Shapazian of Gagosian Gallery and curated by Shane Guffog, director of Pharmaka Gallery. Annenberg Family Grant funded.
2005 & 2006 Venice Art Walk
1998-2011 CONTINUOUS EXHIBITING HALLWAY GALLERY
Lamp Community, Crocker & 6th Street, SKID ROW, Los Angeles.
COAST GALLERY BIG SUR 1994-95
(oldest extant fine art gallery big sur)
Big Sur Artists Annual Exhibition,
Henry Miller Memorial Library & Gallery
1993 and 1994
1973 Mermaid Tavern Exhibition, Topanga, CA
(two-person show with Christine Bernert following
Wallace Berman's exhibition that year.
ADDITIONAL WORK OF NOTE:
CARMEL ART ASSOCIATION 1981-2
(oldest continuing Artist's Cooperative west of the Mississippi)
Contemporary Central Coast Artists and California Artists from late 19th C. through 20th C.
PASQUALE IANNETTI GALLERIES 1980-81
Old Master to Modernist works on paper. Focus on Rembrandt, etched body of work.
Antioch Univeristy, Los Angeles: non-degree focused Graduate Studies in Social Justice, Social Psychology.
Goddard College: non-degree focused Graduate Studies in MFA Program, Interdisciplinary Arts
ADDITIONAL CRITICAL TEACHERS OF INFLUENCE UPON ME:
DR. MARY HOLMES, UC Santa Cruz, oil painter, art historian
JASPER ROSE, UC Santa Cruz, painter, art historian
DR. ENSHO ASHIKIAGA, UCLA (Chair, Asian Studies) educator and Sumi-e painter
DR. THICH THIEN-AN, professor UCLA (Asian Studies)
DR. ALICE MATSUNAGA, professor UCLA (Asian Studies)
DR. KARLENE FAITH, History of Consciousness/Prison Studies UC Santa Cruz
RENEE WHITE, oil painter printmaker: my mother and singlemost important teacher/influence.
(my mother studied with Richard Diebenkorn in figurative abstraction and Saul Bernstein in
Old Master thru Post Impressionist painting technology/technique/materials/creation and use of mediums.r
BOB GERBRACHT, oil painter: one of the best teachers of "painting what you see" (a type of naturalistic
realism) in figure painting,
or any other subject matter for that manner, and a downright wonderful human being.
ART WORKS CONTINUUM serves homeless, formerly homeless, and other marginalized persons with a master of fine arts model (1) Studio Program and an equally important (2) Archiving Function.
While the roots of the project go back to its design and initiation of a University of California Extension art class taught in a women's maximum security prison, in the mid 1970s and also include work done in East Hollywood, Los Angeles, and today's central location in San Pedro, Los Angeles, CA., nevertheless, it's identity and history were most highly shaped by its 10 years (1998-2008) in the tenderloin of Skid Row, Los Angeles, the highest concentration of homeless in America. The program's central location today is in San Pedro, California, and yet most of its artist-members still originate from their Skid Row involvement.
Studio Program: This provides art supplies, full instruction, or specific tutoring, or support of fully independent work to its artist-members, according to their individual goals. It supports both contemporary non-orthodox, and multiple orthodox traditions, in thematic and stylistic studies, dynamics and output, and furthermore offers strong foundational to advanced teaching and support in drawing and oil painting. Its largest output over the years has been oil painting. It stresses non-toxic and green practices in oil painting. No petroleum based solvents, nor turpentine, are used in the studio, itself.
The founder, Rory White, has created numerous art projects over the years, including founding and running the afore-referenced first decade the original Lamp Art Project in Skid Row 1998-2008, Art Works Project in E. Hollywood, 2011-2014, and again has its origins in projects he designed and ran in the mid 1970's through the Santa Cruz Women's Prison Project teaching high level and University of California accredited classes in the maximum security unit of California Institution for Women, founded by Dr. Karlene Faith Ph.D.
Some project members have continued for over 17 years and continuing to this date from their involvement in Skid Row. It is notable that our current hub is San Pedro, CA, the extreme southernmost tip of the City of Los Angeles, with San Pedro having similar dynamics to Downtown Los Angeles: Beautiful Cities and yet with both the poverty of the street people and yet the parallel extreme cultural richness and diversity of the inner city domain. It likewise faces the oncoming effects of gentrification.
The project focuses on quality, and a high one to one mentoring relationship, not quantity of members, and yet uses oil painting, photograph, printmaking, and then WEBSITE AND FILMS to broadcast its efficacy and replicable nature nationally and internationally. The projects have, in fact, become nationally replicated models.
The work has been featured in the many award winning documentary "Humble Beauty: Skid Row Artists", the in post-production "Ashes & Roses", and is currently the focus of the recently completed "Passing Through".
"Passing Through" is a sophisticated and seriously funded hour long documentary film, directed by Leslie Dektor who is now set to begin filming on the 7 years in the making theatrical motion picture, "Lange", on the depression era great photographer Dorothea Lange. The "Lange" film is done in conjunction with David Fincher as Executive Producer, and "Passing Through" is exclusively directed and produced by Dektor Film Group.
A major exhibition is being planned, and fundraiser, in conjunction with a premier of "Passing Through". It is important that Art Works Continuum has Fiscal Sponsorship in advance of this event.
The parallel between the huge body of photographic work done on Skid Row over the last 19 years by Rory White, project founder, and the work of Dorothea Lange, is what led to Rory White and the project artist-member becoming the focus of "Passing Through".
This "subject-of-films" dynamic exemplifies how the purposely small one-on-one qualitative project which has a core group of artist-members of 6 to 12, and serving an additional 12 to 50 visiting artists per year, can nevertheless have national impact though web, film, and printmaking.
The project has never had its own 501c3 status but instead has worked with and under the umbrella of other large nonprofits like Lamp Community in Skid Row. However, this has caused us to have to change our name over the years according to each nonprofit and hence the desire to seek Fiscal Sponsorship from Fractured Atlas so that we can continue our work as ART WORKS CONTINUUM.
Also this exemplifies the major parallel dynamic of the project to raise funds for the printing and publication of the 100,000 image archive Rory White has made photographically of the streets and amazing people of the intense Skid Row and related areas.
In parallel, yet again, to this is to further perfect and stabilize an archiving function for the work produced by all the artist-participants of the project. The works, already produced, including those in the possession of the project itself, and then those in the collections of the individual artists, as well as collectors, represents hundreds of significant oil paintings and other works of art. It contains one of the most important visual depictions of the streets and people of Los Angeles' Skid Row, in existence. Simultaneously, it represents, without argument, a critically valuable part of the history of the country in relation to the ironic, but powerful, intersections of the spheres of homelessness and alienation, and that of creative genius. It is a testament, and documentation, of the radical perseverance in the most fiery crucibles of society, of the human's need and manifestation of their humanity and high levels of creativity in Community.