by Isabelle Lutterodt, Director of Angel's Gate Cultural Center
Angels Gate Cultural Center (AGCC) emerged from a group of San Pedro artists in the 1970s that created artists’ studio and exhibition space within the 1940-era Army barracks of Angels Gate Park. These artists’ spaces were used by a variety of professional artists, art and cultural classes and art exhibits for the community.
Today, AGCC is a place of creative discovery, exploration and enlighten-ment, providing the Southern California community and visitors from around the world with opportunities for enrichment and education. It has expanded from a local artists’ district into a renowned cultural center, providing high-quality exhibits, interactive classes, engaging events and educational programs.
ABOVE: Invitation to the Angel's Gate exhibition year “Into the Wilderness: The Journey Within.”
In the 2012/2013 exhibition year Into the Wilderness: The Journey Within, artists and curators explored how contemporary notions of ‘wilderness’ or ‘wildness’ define our relationship with ecology from multiple perspectives ranging from ecological to introspective and from allegorical to the sublime. The Community Gallery, Project Space and Main Gallery provided a platform for people within the South Bay/Harbor community, regardless of their understanding of art discourse, to actively engage and participate in the exhibitions. Each new exhibition cycle was identified as a “trip” and in total there were seventeen different trips into the wilderness. Each gallery had a role in providing visitors with different layers of understanding the notion of wilderness.
Wilderness Mind: Dissolving Duality curated by Deborah Thomas as part of the first “trip” was installed in the Main Gallery. The exhibition featured the work of fourteen artists form the Southern California Women's Caucus for Art's Eco-art Collective. This group, embracing collaboration, believes that "wilderness" is a state of mind that defies location, either geographical or imaginary—one in which social structure relaxes, logic slips away and time and space collapse. The exhibition provided an alternative experience to more traditional strategies of agency through domination, and allowed the possibility for anyone to experience "wilderness" in any number of settings, not just in uninhabited nature.
Isabelle Lutterodt is an artist, curator and educator. She has co/curated exhibitions at various spaces including the Armory Center for the Arts, Watts Towers Art Center and the California African American Museum. She holds a M.F.A. in Photography from CalArts and an M.A. in Art Museum and Gallery Studies from the University of Leicester, UK. She is currently the Director of Visual Arts at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, California.
Director of Visual Arts
Angels Gate Cultural Center