A is for Zebra

Charles White Elementary School Gallery | 2401 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90057
December 2, 2011–March 29, 2012

As part of Art Programs with the Community: LACMA On-site, LACMA presents A is for Zebra, an exhibition about alphabets making sense and non-sense. The exhibition, installed at the Charles White Elementary School, features works from the museum´s collection by John Baldessari, Mel Bochner, Guy de Cointet, and Hans Grohs, as well as facsimiles of Francisco de Goya's Caprichos and the Aztec codex Tira de la Peregrinación.

LACMA also commissioned new works by Michele Dizon and Camilo Ontiveros, Kirsten Mosher and Stephanie Taylor as part of the exhibition. Dizon and Ontiveros created a mural, inspired by those in East LA. In video and installation work, Mosher introduces gumheads, a set of characters who dwell in overlooked areas of the gallery, assembling an unconventional alphabet. Taylor designed an alphabet with objects that sound like letters and composed a song, imagining a story told by these objects. The exhibition also includes a room dedicated to Stripsody, a song made of mostly onomatopeic sounds and comic strips composed by singer Cathy Berberian.

Visitors to the gallery are invited to don special glasses that allow them to read text and labels throughout the exhibit in either English or Spanish.

Charles White Elementary School opened in 2004 on the former campus of Otis College of Art and Design. The school is named for the artist Charles White (1918–1979), who lived in the area and who taught at Otis for many years. LACMA has been programming exhibitions at the school since 2007.

This exhibition was made possible through the Anna H. Bing Children's Art Education Fund.  Education programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art are supported in part by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the William Randolph Hearst Endowment Fund for Arts Education, and Rx for Reading.

LMNO Gumhead
Kirsten Mosher
Cathy Berberian
Music score for solo voice originally composed in 1966
Stephanie Taylor
Charles White Elementary students
Exhibition Text

A is for Zebra

We sat down with Jose Luis Blondet, associate curator of special initiatives in the Education Department, to ask him about A is for Zebra, the latest LACMA-curated exhibition at the Charles White Elementary School Gallery, on view through March 30...

A Day at LACMA… in MacArthur Park

Every Thursday and Friday at 2:15 pm, I have my typical routine. I walk across Carondelet Street to the sounds of students at the end of their day. I pass parents sitting on benches and street vendors selling ice cream. The neighborhood is historic MacArthur Park. The school I visit every week is Charles White Elementary School, the former site of Otis Art Institute. Every year, the school’s art gallery becomes the venue of an Education-driven exhibition project. This year, we worked with New York-based artist Shinique Smith to show her work alongside selections she curated from the museum’s Costumes and Textiles collection...