Opening today, January 19, Couriers of Hope brings together ten local museums and galleries in Long Beach, with artists including Yoskay Yamamoto, Aaron De La Cruz, Rosanne Kang Jovanovski, Christina Catherine Martinez, and Kristofferson San Pablo, among 90 others.
Presented by Port City Creative Guild, “the initiative focuses on fostering art appreciation and art collection in young people. We want to instill that supporting art and artists is not an act of charity,” explains Julia Huang, the CEO and Founder of Creative Class Collective, interviewed below.
In addition to the show being on view in downtown Long Beach (following Covid requirements), it will be held virtually on the website of Port City Creative Guild.
What can you tell us about the upcoming exhibition Couriers of Hope?
"Couriers of Hope" is an art exhibition that brings together ten local museums and galleries in Long Beach with over 120 pieces of original small-scale art from over 80 artists.
It is in line with Port City Creative Guild’s mission to nurture art appreciation, raise awareness of art organizations, and connect artists to communities.
Where did the inspiration come from for the theme of creating new work on new or used envelopes?
Our inspiration came from the mail art movement of the 1960s with pieces being made on new or found mailing envelopes. It also reflects the importance of finding ways to form physical connections with each other in a time when physical interaction is rare and so much of our relationships now happen through screens.
The prompt given to both the artists and LBUSD students revolves around hope, why is hope so important in our world today?
Now more so than ever, the concept of hope feels deeply personal yet at the same time it is a universal human experience. After a year full of reasons to feel hopeless and fearful, we want to recognize that hope is still there to keep us going. The artists in the show have creatively responded to these questions and we anticipate the students will also have their own interpretations.
All works in the show are only available for acquisition through trading with LBUSD students, how did this initiative come about? How do the students benefit from it?
This initiative focuses on fostering art appreciation and art collection in young people. We want to instill that supporting art and artists is not an act of charity. Nor is there a barrier to collecting and appreciating art. Port City Creative Guild is working in collaboration with high school teachers so that access to resources isn’t a barrier to involvement.
The exhibition brings together ten local museums and galleries in Long Beach, a historical first for the local community, how will that look like?
We have always said the number of collaborating partners we’ve brought together for “Couriers of Hope” is one of the most inspiring parts of this upcoming show. Together, we’re declaring that art should be affordable and accessible for everyone. That on its own is a powerful statement.
What are the next steps for this type of exhibits?
We are hoping that this is just a beginning of hybrid art exhibitions—virtual and physical. Our hope is to start “touring” this type of exhibition to other regions in the U.S. and even internationally.
What other projects/exhibits is Port City Creative Guild working on for the future?
Together with Creative Class Collective, we are already planning to support a waterfront installation exhibition this summer called “ArtWave Long Beach” and “PowWow Long Beach,” which would be in its sixth year. And of course, our next “Couriers of Hope” exhibition.