Artists transform crumbling newsroom into art


Perla Lara

Art created out of broken left behind electronic pieces created during the two-day Foundation for Art Resources Bazaar held at Cerritos College on Saturday, Jan. 28 and Sunday, Jan. 29. Summercamp’s ProjectProject collective took over the once journalism class’ breakroom and turned it into an artist run live-work space, were people could break, assemble, and display their creations. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Benjamin Garcia

“I mentioned this to the artists; growing up, my dad pulled things from the recycling center and let me tear them apart in similar ways as I did here.” freelance art documentarian Ian Byers-Gamber said about “Break Room,” one of the many installations at the Foundation for Art Resources (FAR) Bazaar.

Among other art collectives such as Biomythography and DH Arts Collective, Summercamp ProjectProject took to the once Talon Marks break room FA 42C and made it into a workshop space for people to interact with their surroundings in a pun-ridden way as an installation for F.A.R. Bazaar, the alternative art fair and art collective festival held on the Cerritos College campus Saturday, Jan. 28 – Sunday, Jan. 29.

Employee at a commercial printer and binder Joel Freeman explained, “They invited us to destroy the parts room (like the shelves) )and construct art work to hang on the walls in their gallery space here. We constructed an intercom that has a MAC keyboard hanging from it.”

Byers-Gamber added, “Bringing the old together with the new. It’s deep commentary on the changes in technology.”

According to art collective gallery curator Janice Gomez, Summercamp Projectproject was invited by art director James Macdevitt by way of Concrete Walls Gallery and a personal connection with graphic design instructor Devon Tsuno. She explained that since MacDevitt took over, they’ve worked with FAR.

“Some of my work was shown in exhibitions, and Fatima [Juan co-director of Sumercamp Projectproject] and I organized one of their events. It was a non-PST event.” Gomez stated.

The currator explained the inspiration for the work, saying that co-director of Summercamp Projectproject Elonda Norris took the initial tour with MacDevitt and brought back images of the several possible spaces available to them,

“We learned that this was the break room. The three of us work in our […] art-making […] consider space a lot, taking into consideration the history of how whoever worked in here used the room, with the addition of the building getting demolished,” Norris said.

“It was kind of just came together,” Juan interrupted.

Gomez described the similarities between the journalism break room and the Summercamp Projectproject facilities: “Our home-base is our home. Our house has passthroughs. My studio has a shelving unit that looks like this. We have an intercom system that doesn’t really work. It just seemed obvious for us to choose this space.”

Juan added that this particular space seemed the most intriguing out of all the spaces available to them as well as other added inspiration for the work. He said the exhibit is based around journalism, and that they gravitated toward the idea, especially given what’s going on with journalism particularly in the last few weeks; given the political scene, truth and “alternative facts,” and how journalism is “broken,” and so they thought “break room.”

Gomez concluded, saying that it is up to the visitors of the space as to how the exhibit will look at the end of the festival; explaining that as the journalism class is interactive, so is the exhibit. It was completely possible for the old break room to go unscathed.

“The idea of how people can interact with art and push their own curiosity and comfort level. In a way it’s an invitation,” Gomez said.