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Solidarity, Love, and Acceptance From an Indigenous Perspective

Artist River T. Garza explores the voice of Tongva individuals and the narrative of what it means to be an Angeleno (for Be the Change LA)

By Jewish Arts Collaborative

Published Jul 26, 2023

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Collection

This Curation is part of Be the Change.

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Hello All My Relations

Above: (3 min) Be the Change 2023 | Los Angeles | Hello All My Relations with River T. Garza. Video by the Jewish Arts Collaborative.

 

ABOUT THE ART:

Hello All My Relations is a mixed-media piece by artist River T. Garza in partnership with LA vs. Hate. The artwork addresses solidarity, love, and acceptance from an indigenous perspective, using graphic imagery, phrases, and traditional basket motifs. A visual element in the piece is a snippet from the Los Angeles County seal, featuring a Tongva woman holding a basket. The collaboration with LA vs. Hate is viewed as an essential step in enhancing the voice of Tongva individuals and promoting the narrative of what it means to be an Angeleno. Garza hopes the piece inspires viewers and fosters connections across different communities.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

River T. Garza is a Los Angeles-based artist of Indigenous and Mexican descent, a paddler, and a member of Ti’at Society. Garza’s work draws on Tongva and Mexican cultures, traditional Indigenous aesthetics and graffiti, as well as Southern California Indigenous maritime culture. He uses his work to critique settler capitalism while exploring how the literal and metaphoric layers of colonialism add weight to contemporary Indigenous identity, which is a source of both pain and creativity.  

 

Learn more about Be the Change and explore more tzedakah boxes from Be the Change L.A. 2023.

Hello All My Relations

Above: “WE ARE MORE ALIKE THAN YOU THINK” – One side of the Hello All My Relations large-scale “tzedakah box” in Plummer Park, West Hollywood for Be the Change L.A. 2023. Photo by Brett Erickson.

Hello All My Relations

Above: “WE CAN BUILD COMMUNITY TOGETHER” – One side of the Hello All My Relations large-scale “tzedakah box” in Plummer Park, West Hollywood for Be the Change L.A. 2023. Photo by Brett Erickson.

Hello All My Relations

Above: “MY HEART IS WITH YOU” – One side of the Hello All My Relations large-scale “tzedakah box” in Plummer Park, West Hollywood for Be the Change L.A. 2023. Photo by Brett Erickson.

Hello All My Relations

Above: “WHEN WE GATHER TOGETHER WE HEAL” – One side of the Hello All My Relations large-scale “tzedakah box” in Plummer Park, West Hollywood for Be the Change L.A. 2023. Photo by Brett Erickson.

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JArts’ mission is to curate, celebrate, and build community around the diverse world of Jewish arts, culture, and creative expression. Our vision is of a more connected, engaged, and tolerant world inspired by Jewish arts and culture. Learn more at jartsboston.org.

Reflections

1

River T. Garza's work encourages a sense of connection and community among diverse populations. How does the simplicity of the artwork combined with its powerful phrases elicit this feeling of unity and belonging? How might these aspects of the artwork influence the viewer's perceptions of inclusivity and acceptance in their own communities?

2

Hello All My Relations prominently features elements of cultural heritage. How does the incorporation of these symbols impact your understanding of the themes that the piece aims to promote?

3

The artist collaborates with LA vs. Hate and the Skirball Museum to enhance his artistic vision and amplify his voice. How does this collaboration contribute to the artwork's overall message and impact, and what role do you believe such partnerships play in the broader context of art and social change?

 

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