From the Bay to LA: West Coast Art Now

Course Description

During this course, students will learn about the cultural history of Los Angeles — from its roots in indigenous and Latino cultures to the arrival of the film industry in the early 20th century—as a way to better understand the presence of the entertainment and contemporary arts climate. Students will participate in a variety of art practice exercises spanning photography, sound, creative writing and movement that will prepare them to more intentionally engage of the ideas that are essential to the fabric of LA. Guided by Stanford Arts faculty, staff and L.A.-based alumni during a one-week immersive trip to LA, students will experience the arts and entertainment industries of Los Angeles first-hand thinking critically along the way about what narratives are being told? How are these narratives being told? And by whom? From Disney Imagineers to the Getty, they will spend a week seeing performances, visiting museums and galleries, exploring nonprofit arts organizations, going behind-the-scenes at film studios, and meeting alumni in the arts. The final week of the course will be spent back on campus collaborating on creative ways to reflect on the experiences.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Victor Yañez-Lazcano

Victor Yañez-Lazcano’s practice explores the various factors associated with assimilation narratives, particularly as they pertain to language, labor and notions of visibility. His work engages with how these components have contributed to the formation of his family’s identity as it transitions into a second and third generation of U.S. citizens. Inspired by first-hand experiences and oral histories his works find root in sculpture, photography, performance and installation. His practice further gestures toward an understanding of how his own perception of identity formation has often resulted in the internalization of systems of oppression.

Yañez-Lazcano received his MFA from Stanford University and his BFA from Columbia College Chicago. While in Chicago he balanced a freelance career in both commercial and fine art photography. During this time, he also established himself as an arts educator through the Museum of Contemporary Photography and Columbia College’s Project AIM(Arts Integration and Mentorship). Yañez-Lazcano also helped to co-found LATITUDE, a non-profit community digital lab for photographers in Chicago. His work has been exhibited at numerous spaces including Royal Nonesuch Gallery(Oakland), Natalie & James Thompson Art Gallery (San Jose), Harrington College of Design, Columbia College Chicago’s A+D Gallery, and Riverside Arts Center, as well as Mind/Matter Gallery (Rochester), Aviary Gallery (Boston), and South Haven Center for the Arts(Michigan). Past residencies include SOMA Summer (Mexico City) the Industry of the Ordinary’s Summer School Residency(Chicago), ACRE(Stueben,WI), and Ox-Bow(Saugatuck, MI). Victor is currently a visiting lecturer in Art & Art History at Stanford University.