Nikolai Garcia grew up in South Central Los Angeles; currently works with homeless youth in East Hollywood; and has been sleeping in Compton for the last 15 years. His poems have been published in various journals and anthologies, and his first chapbook, Nuclear Shadows of Palm Trees, was released by DSTL Arts. He’s co-host for, "Trenches Full of Poets," a reading series in Long Beach. Sometimes he makes friends on social media: @hellokommie
Curator's Message: "Photography and poetry are cousins. They are related in that, when done correctly, both can capture a moment in time that leaves an impression on the viewer/reader. To me, the task of co-curator was the opportunity to help facilitate a big family reunion of relatives that have never met each other before. The reward is in enjoying two art forms complement each other, making them stronger, and hopefully leaving the viewer/reader, with a lot to think about." -Nikolai Garcia
Brian Dunlap (he/him) is a native Angeleño who still lives in Los Ángeles. He explores and captures the city’s stories that are hidden in plain sight. He is the author of the chapbook Concrete Paradise (2018) from Finishing Line Press. Dunlap is the winner of a Jeff Marks Memorial Poetry Prize from december magazine judged by former Los Ángeles Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodriguez. His poems, book reviews and nonfiction have been published in PacificREVIEW, CCM-Entropy, California Quarterly, Dryland, and L.A. Parent, among others. He runs the blog site losangelesliterature.wordpress.com, a resource to explore L.A.’s vast literary culture.
Ellie Lopez (she/her) is a storyteller from Tracy CA. Her writing has been featured in Dryland Issue 9, Marias at Sampaguitas, Resurrection Mag, & Brown Girl Travels. When she's not ear hustling for the best chismes, she's writing stories on her blog mexicanahermosa.wordpress.com
(photo by Courtney Coles)
Nica Aquino (b. 1990, Tongva Land) (she/her) is a practicing visual artist and curator. She received her BFA in Photo from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland, OR) and her MA in Contemporary Visual Culture from the School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom). Her work has been shown locally, nationally and internationally, and she has been awarded grants by the California Arts Council and Eastside Arts Initiative for her curatorial and community engagement programming. She is currently living and working in Northeast Los Angeles.
Michelle Anna Boire (she/they) is a Bay Area native, who currently lives in Redwood City. She received her BA in Fine Arts from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and her MFA in Photography at San Jose State University. She currently teaches art and photography at an independent high school. Michelle's artwork focuses on the concepts and psychology of personal memory. She is interested in exploring the way in which one's perceptions and means of negotiating memory work to form and foster an individual's identity. Michelle is currently researching her family’s history and its connection to transgenerational trauma.
For over a decade, Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin (he/him) has been photographing the urban environment. His work blends elements of landscape, documentary, and street photography to present a side of the city life that’s foreign to the unfamiliar. The experience of growing up in Los Angeles is the foundation for his photo essays, sharing a perspective that is often missing from the mainstream narrative.
VALERIE J. BOWER (she/her) (b. 1986) is a Los Angeles based photographer. Her dream-like, monochrome street photography show a softer, feminine point of view on street cultures and everyday life, primarily in Los Angeles. Her work also includes a collection of self-published books, zines, and other printed items such as letter writing and postcard sets. In 2017, Valerie's photography book "Homegirls" was archived into the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
my name is courtney bianca coles, and i’m a photographer and writer born and raised in los angeles. i received my bfa in photography from the pacific northwest college of art and my mfa with an emphasis in photography & media from calarts. my practice is rooted in my fascination with the multiple ways i consider people, places and memories “home” and my desire to preserve it. i am enthralled by making photographs that are soft and sincere because the world has been anything but to Black queer women like me. i extend grace first to myself, as seen in my self-portraits, and then to my loved ones who so graciously invite me into their lives. where the world has failed in protecting me, i have stepped in to make the quiet photographs that soothe me.
for a number of years i have made intimate photographs in the music industry and four years ago i co-founded to the front, a traveling art show and collective for women and non-binary artists working in the industry.
Animus J. (she/her) is a lens-based visual artist, making mostly portraits, still life and conceptual art. She started the journey from a film-making background, but rooted in photography. Recently she's keening on making physical art books, visual poetry and photo installations.
Based in Taipei, Taiwan.
Semantha Raquel Norris (she/her) is a photographer and documentarian based in Los Angeles. She received her BA from New York University with a concentration in International Development and Photography. Her work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, and Havana.
Christopher Anthony Velasco (he/him) is a photographer and performance artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. He emphasizes the queer brown body incorporating horror and camp aesthetics. Christopher received his Master of Fine Arts from UC Santa Barbara in 2019. He received his BFA from California Institute of the Arts. As a Getty Marrow Undergraduate Intern, Velasco interned at the Santa Monica Museum of Art (Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) and UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center and Library. Velasco is an instructor at CSSSA (California State Summer School of the Arts). Velasco’s work has been featured in exhibitions at Art Center College of Design, AD&A Museum, Avenue 50 Studio, California Institute of the Arts, Hibbleton Gallery, the Getty Museum, and the Vincent Price Art Museum. In addition, he has also performed with Harry Gamoba, Jr., with Virtual Verite, Los Angeles Union Station, UC Santa Barbara, and LAST Projects.