This weekend, we joined Compound Long Beach for an exclusive VIP preview of the creative cultural space packed with diverse programs. Located in the Zaferia District of Long Beach, California, the long awaited complex will invite guests to explore the intersection of contemporary art, wellness, and community.
The VIP event commenced with a variety of visual and interactive experiences that make use of its expansive 15,000 square feet location which included an arts workshop by Slanguage and sound bath by Sabrina Rollo in the outdoor sculpture garden, along with crystal readings by Place 8 Healing and a ceramics pop-up with artist Jen King in the community space. In addition to art and immersive experiences, Compound will also have scheduled programming of classes and workshops focused on wellness. With a mission to provide a cultural sanctuary for its community, programming will also feature artist talks, farmers market pop-ups, breath work, sound baths, and meditation.
Sound bath by Sabrina Rollo
Art workshop by Slanguage
Long Beach native and creative Shelley Bruce opened the inauguration of the event, expressing the importance of inspiration and individual contribution our current state of chaos and uncertainty followed by an original poem. Artists Shauna Davis and Glenn Kaino were also in attendance to support the opening. Notable guests included artists Fritz Chesnut, Lita Albuquerque, Anna Sew Hoy, Robert Reynolds, actress Molly Shannon, gallerist Esther Kim Varet, and philanthropist Joy Simmons.
Accompanied by a soundtrack created in collaboration with Nosaj Thing and Jacques Greene, Glenn Kaino’s Tidepools is “a new sensory experience in between true science, science fiction, spirituality and art, each vessel is a unique spiritual, physical, and emotional lens for us to consider our life journey.”
The installation is the first to be commissioned for Compound, featuring cloud chambers that simulate a dream-like experience powered a particle detector, made in partnership with NASA designers, and also most notably the highlight of the exhibition, the bioluminescent wishing well developed with help from the Scripps Institute of Technology.
Organized by Compound Artistic Director Lauri Firstenberg, the inaugural show space named Radical Empathy showcases artists and artist-activists who are invested in both poetry and politics. Artists featured are Andrea Bowers, Noah Davis, Todd Gray, Leslie Hewitt, EJ Hill, Jenny Holzer, Mildred Howard, Isaac Julien, Jibade Khalil Huffman, Glenn Kaino, Rick Lowe, Narciso Martinez, Rodney McMillian, Jason Moran, and Tavares Strachan. The rotating art space highlights the confluence of art and activism and encourages social activism and cultural thinking.
Performance by Marcella Lewis and Shamar Watt
After a brief intermission of the day’s activities, Gxrlschool presented an interdisciplinary exploration of Afrofuturism co-curated by Shauna Davis live at Compound including the premiere of BLACK.ECO, a film by Shauna Davis, and a series of musical and dance performances by V.C.R & Chatwaka Jackson and Marcella Lewis & Shamar Watt. Following the showing, Compound held a conversation with Shauna David and AJ Girard on the merging of art, sci-fi, diaspora, and histories to tap into where we are, where we can go and places we can put ourselves.
Compound is now open. Reserve tickets at compoundlb.com.