Landing in sunny California was no joke for us this past week in Los Angeles. As we sat, eating breakfast in 60-degree weather, the sun beat down on our legs, almost burning the way the Chicago sun does in the middle of the summer.
We had finally landed on the West Coast in an effort to build collaborations between our Chicago community and the LA community, of which so much of what we knew to be Latino culture had emerged.
Months in planning, EXPO Collective decided to push forward and start a cross-country tour in order to do what we set out to do once we had our legs under us: accelerate community through art. Community is defined in multiple ways depending on who you are and where you lie within a larger community. But our focus as we knew it was in the artistic world.
The plan started late last year. We wanted to host a tour around the country, dedicated to artwork and community building. The idea initially came from our creative director Erick “ROHO” Garica, who had always wanted to tour his personal work. So, as EXPO Collective does, we jumped and took the risk to make this happen in the name of community building and collaboration.
This past weekend, we saw it come to fruition. The Capital One 360 Cafe team in LA was a dream to work with. Being just as excited as we were to be there and host this exhibition, we had no qualms with the set up and everything worked out as if we had been planning it for hours. The open space and mobile furniture gave the space a life of its own once the paintings were up and displayed for everyone to see.
We were also able to display a six minute video on a large monitor displaying ROHO’s process in creating the 13 beautiful pieces of work. By the time the tour continues, there will be a total of 15 pieces. You can read about the explanation of the process, works and tour in general here.
The exhibition itself drew out friends and friends of friends who trekked across the large city in order to make it to the west side, a neighborhood called Westwood off of the 405 on Santa Monica Boulevard. The DJ for the night, who we’re planning on having as our resident DJ for the rest of the tour, was DJ Ricky Guapo, a friend of mine who’s been a contact since 2009. It was great to finally be able to work with him on a project this big.
We couldn’t have asked for a better night or a better space to exhibit in. As our first out-of-state exhibition to take place, we felt accomplished that we could achieve such a feat. Our next Red Tour showing will be in our sweet home Chicago on May 27, 2016. We hope to see everyone out and having a blast.