The Autry celebrates the American West, and the Autry After Hours series celebrates everything LA.
Once a month, the Autry opens its doors until 9pm, and opens a space for you to listen to a lineup of local poets, dope DJs, all while having a cocktail and taco from the taco bar. From 6:30pm to 9:00pm, the Autry also keeps its exhibitions open for you to browse during this series.
The draw for me for the May 22nd Autry After Hours event was Yesika Salgado. She’s a bomb Angeleno poet who’s work is the most truthfully written poetry about Los Angeles that I’ve ever read. It was an honor to see her live (on a random Wednesday), but the magic didn’t stop there. My friend and I walked to the back veranda to find the poet lineup, and although we saw Yesika Salgado Emceeing, Yaw Kyeremateng held the mic at the front of the packed balcony as he brewed and chanted, and took the hearts of the crowd (Later Yaw took Venmo from the audience, as people crowded him to get a signed booklet of his poetry).
I had already hit the high notes of the night (or so I thought), so my friend and I finished our wine as two female DJs animated the crowd between galleries. We still had several hours until the Autry closed, so we walked into the first of two galleries – which are 100% reason to visit the Autry during regular hours.
I was blown away by Harry Fonseca and David Bradley’s exhibitions. I think I had subconsciously strayed from the Autry for fear of under representation of Native artists, but Harry Fonseca’s Coyote Leaves the Res, and David Bradley’s Indian Country paints a complex and textured experience as a Native in a colonized 21st century.
Coyote Leaves the Res: The Art of Harry Fonseca. Paintings, sketches, and lithographs are used by Fonseca to tell a story of a creature perceived as a trickster, shape shifter, and storyteller who can move fluidly between worlds. Fonseca’s work is rife with double entendre and deeper underpinnings, particularly when you understand that Fonseca was a Nisenan Maidu, Hawiian, Portuguese man who identified as LGBTQ, and embraced a multitude of identities in contemporary times.
Indian Country: The Art of David Bradley is a dynamic, Santa Fe-inspired exhibition that unites Renaissance art and pop culture for a fun (yet thoughtful) contemporary body of work. As a Minnesota Chippewa, Bradley helped form the Native American Artists Association to combat misrepresentation of Native Artists. With a sense of humor tinged with serious reflection, Bradley mirrors work by Rene Magritte, Henri Rousseau, and many others, but with a personal flair that speaks his truth.
Fonseca and Bradley are two reasons to visit the Autry during regular hours, but the narrowly curated exhibitions are just two of many. While the galleries (and certainly poetry lounge) were packed, I expect the Autry After Hours to gain much more guests in the coming months.
Autry Museum of the American West
4700 Western Heritage Way – Griffith Park
Los Angeles, CA 90027
The Autry After Hours Series
$5 non-Members; Free for Members (Event)
Next Event Series:
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Coyote Leaves the Res: The Art of Harry Fonseca
Indian Country: The Art of David Bradley
Investigating Griffith Park
On Fire: Transcendent Landscapes by Michael Scott
Art of the West
Out of the Ashes: Snapshots of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
California Road Trip
Ted and Marian Craver Imagination Gallery
Western Frontiers: Stories of Fact and Fiction
The Colt Revolver in the American West
Four Centuries of Pueblo Pottery