The Los Angeles Public Library announced a new creative residency program Wednesday in partnership with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles to engage creative locals from various disciplines.
The program’s first residents are photographer Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin and interdisciplinary visual artist River Garza. The LAPL said both artists’ work explore ideas of community and identity using broad guidelines to promote public dialogue and maximize the works’ impact.
“The Los Angeles Public Library is excited to support creative Angelenos as they develop projects that not only will be inspired by our libraries, but also will result in creations that reflect LAPL’s mission to enrich, educate and empower every individual in our city’s diverse communities,” City Librarian John Szabo said.
Each resident, whose projects are expected to be complete by fall, will receive a $25,000 honorarium. Library patrons can interact with the work in exhibitions, public programming and through other forms, the library said.
Boyd-Bouldin primarily focuses his photographs on urban environments and changing places with meaning to him and his community.
He documented “Black Space in LA,” the changes occurring in his Hollywood neighborhood and how the coronavirus pandemic has affected L.A.’s landscape, according to the library. He was one of Time Magazine’s top 12 African American photographers to follow, and one of the New York Times’ top 5 essential artists to follow.
Garza — an interdisciplinary visual artist of Tongva and Mexican descent — is a member of the Ti’at Society, which is dedicated to traditional Indigenous maritime culture, according to the library.
His work finds inspiration in graffiti, Mexican culture and low-rider culture. His art — which includes paintings, murals and mixed-media works — has themes of identity, memory, tradition and a quest for visual sovereignty, the library said. His work was recently displayed at Fowler Museum at UCLA, the Fullerton Museum Center, Descanso Gardens, and the Soul Center for the Arts in Genoa, Italy.
Library officials said they hope the program will both support local artists and inspire art that is informed or enhanced by its collections and services.