Monday, May 30, 2011

Woman Made Gallery - Transnational Artistic Collaboration: Shelly Jyoti and Laura Kina

Saturday, June 18, 2011 / 2 to 4 p.m.
Woman Made Gallery
685 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60642
312-738-0400 /

Join us for a conversation with Woman Made artists Shelly Jyoti, from Vadodara, India, and Chicago-based Laura Kina about their collaborative exhibition 'Indigo' which was featured in three venues in India in 2009-2010 (Red Earth Gallery in Vadodara, India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, Nehru Art Centre in Mumbai) and is currently touring the US in 2011 (ArtXchange Gallery in Seattle and Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts in Miami). Refreshments will be served.

Japanese American Museum - Mixed Roots Panel - Mixed Messages

Saturday, June 11 11:00 am-12:00pm

Japanese American National Museum
369 E. 1st St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012
Workshop location - National Center for Democracy, Democracy Lab

Mixed Messages – Mixed Race / Interracial representation in TV & Film & News Media

Moderator: Monique Fields

Panelists: Jennifer Noble, Thomas Lopez, Laurel Hoa, Laura Kina, Susan Straight, Heidi Durrow

Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC) and journalists and artist activists will discuss mixed race representation in reality TV and in the news media and its impact on the community.  Can monoracials tell our stories?  Do we want our “dirty laundry” aired?  And what is the impact and import of special reports on the Mixed experience in Ebony Magazine and the New York Times?  Is there a role we can play with media organizations to get our stories told to the mainstream with sensitivity, without appearing “tragic”? How can we advocate for mixed race and interracial couple stories in the creation of TV sitcom/reality/drama content?  Panelists discuss tips and tools for how to create and ensure non-exploitative representation.

Jennifer Noble
, PhD, is the current vice president of MASC and a full-time professor of Psychology at Pasadena City College.  She also provides psychotherapy for children/adolescents and their families at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center.  Jennifer is a past president of MASC, current board member and a part of MASC since 1999.

Thomas Lopez
is the Parent Liaison and Treasurer for MASC.  He is the leader of the MASC children’s playgroup, a past president and a member for over 15 yrs.  Thomas is a mechanical engineer working in the medical devices industry.  He is native to SoCal with parents from Mexican American and German-Polish roots.

Laurel Hoa
, PhD, received her PhD in Development with a specialization in Developmental Sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her dissertation was on identity development in individuals of Asian/European descent. She is interested in helping parents foster positive identities in their mixed race children. She and her Chinese-American husband recently had their first child.

Laura Kina
is an artist and Associate Professor of Art, Media, & Design and co-organizer of the inaugural 2010 Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University. She is a board member of MAVIN and is working to launch a journal on Critical Mixed Race Studies through UC Santa Barbara.

Monique Fields
is a journalist, teacher and blogger. She launched, and it draws 10,000 unique visitors every month. Her essays about interracial marriage and raising biracial children have appeared on,, the St. Petersburg Times, and

Susan Straight
Susan Straight
was born in Riverside and still lives there with her family. (She can actually see the hospital from her kitchen window, which her daughters find kind of pathetic; most days, she walks the dog past the classroom where she wrote her first short story at 16, at Riverside City College, which they find even more sad.) She has published seven novels and one middle-grade reader. Highwire Moon was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001; A Million Nightingales was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2006.  She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on Highwire Moon, and a Lannan Prize was an immense help when working on Take One Candle Light a Room.
Heidi W. Durrow (pictured to the left)

Co-Founder/Co-Producer Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival
Heidi W. Durrow (left) is a graduate of Stanford University, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and Yale Law School. Heidi has worked as a corporate litigator at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, and as a Life Skills trainer for the National Football League and National Basketball Association. She blogs at Light-skinned-ed Girl and is the co-producer and co-host of the award-winning podcast, Mixed Chicks Chat. She is an occasional essay contributor to National Public Radio. Heidi is the winner of writer Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize for Literature of Social Change.

Heidi’s debut novel, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky (Algonquin Books), about a young biracial girl’s coming-of-age, is currently a New York Times Bestseller . It was named as one of the Best Novels of 2010 by the Washington Post and a Top 10 Book of 2010 by The Oregonian. Ebony Magazine recently named Heidi as one of its Power 100 Leaders of 2010 along with writers Edwidge Danticat, Malcolm Gladwell and Ntozake Shange, and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Press and Pictures from Indigo @ Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts in Miami

May 14, 2011 Shelly and I traveled to Miami, FL for the opening of our show Indigo. This is the 5th stop for the exhibition. In 2009-2010 the show traveled in India and in 2011, we started touring the show in the US. It was wonderful to catch up again in person and I certainly don't mind Miami's sunny weather! The DLF Project Room features work by an artist from Philadelphia - Caroline Lathan-Steiefel. Here are some installation shots of our work at Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts as well as two press items that came out this week from El Nuevo Herald and Art Circuits.

Critic's Choice in Art Circuits - Miami, FL May 2011
Entrance of Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts, Miami, FL. The work shown here is by Shelly Jyoti
Installation view of my Devon Avenue Sampler series at Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts May14-June 30, 2011
Me, Diana Lowenstein, Shelly Jyoti in front of my new work "Devon Avenue Sampler: Pay to Park"
Laura Kina "Devon Avenue Sampler: Pay to Park" 2011
Laura Kina "Devon Avenue Sample: Alterations" 2011
Laura Kina "Devon Avenue Sampler: For Rent" 2011
Installation view of my work at Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts
Installation view of my work "Devon Avenue Sampler: Eye Brow Threading" at Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts
Shelly Jyoti

Diana Lowenstein and family
Installation view Shelly Jyoti
Installation view Shelly Jyoti
Installation view Caroline Lathan-Stiefel
Caroline, Shelly, me
Detail of Caroline's work
Caroline Lathan-Steifel in front of her work
Shelly, Juliana, Laurie, Diana, Chino, Caroline, me

Shelly Jyoti in front of her work

May 22, 2011 review in Miami's El Nuevo Herald
5/22/11 review in Miami's El Nuevo Herald
(translated from Spanish to English)

Indigo’s Journey

The color blue is enduringly associated with our common repertoire: navy blue, blue jeans, the blues, all of which share the controversial history of indigo. This natural dye from India figured prominently in United States history of the 17th century, when indigo plantations proliferated to satisfy the European hunger for the desired shade.

Two centuries later, indigo returned to India, and Bengal became the main producer in the world. Later, the discovery of a synthetic process would set indigo on a new course.
Indigo: Laura Kina and Shelly Jyoti, is the title of the traveling exhibition now presented at Diana Lowenstein.  The show creates a visual parallel between indigo’s journeys and the its cultural influence. The exhibition is composed of numerous crafted works such as embroidery on khadi and Sanskrit calligraphy.

The work of Shelly Jyoti, who lives and works in Vadodara, India, consists of study into the survival of this tradition in India, passed down from generation to generation.  Meanwhile, Laura Kina, who lives and works in Chicago, relies on the multicultural symbology associated with indigo, which the artist acquired on multicultural Devon Avenue in Chicago.

The result is an emerging poetry which, through indigo, allows us to travel by Japanese Kasuri textiles, boro patchwork quilts, Jewish tzitzi-inspired tassels and, of course, blue jeans.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Speaking on panel at NYU symposium "The Future of Asian Art" 5/13/11

I'll be speaking on Panel 2 which will start at 4:30pm on 5/13/11 at NYU.