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Beacon Arts Presents

The Optimist’s Parking Lot 

An Exhibition Curated by Suzanne Adelman & Keith Walsh

Saturday, August 13, 2011- Sunday, September 25, 2011



Beacon Arts is proud to present its summer show, The Optimist’s Parking Lot , a group show curated by Suzanne Adelman and Keith Walsh with artists:

Lisa Anne Auerbach, Aaron Brewer, Kristin Calabrese, Mason Cooley,

Young Chung, Dorit Cypis, Mark Dutcher, Doug Harvey, Steven Hull, 

Steve Hurd, Charles Irvin, Ed Johnson, Vincent Johnson, Molly Larkey, 

Amy Sarkisian, Kyungmi Shin, Jen Smith, Thaddeus Strode, 

Suzanne Adelman, Keith Walsh, Chris Wilder, and Aaron Wrinkle.


The Optimists’ Parking Lot runs from Saturday, August 13, 2011 to Sunday, September 25, 2011.  Exhibition special events include an opening reception on Saturday August 13, 6:00 – 10:00pm, an artists’ panel discussion on Sunday, August 28, 1:00 – 4:00pm, and a closing reception on Sunday, September 25, 1:00 – 4:00pm, which will include a catered pancake brunch by Ihop and a curators’ panel discussion. 

Beacon Arts is located at 808 N. La Brea Ave., Inglewood, CA 90302.  Regular gallery hours are from 1:00pm to 6:00pm Thursday through Saturday, Sundays 1:00pm – 4:00pm.  All events are free.  For additional information please call 310-621-5416 or visit For additional The Optimist’s Parking Lot photos, please see

The Optimist’s Parking Lot   

Curators’ Statement


The Optimist’s Parking Lot exhibition is a meditation on the poetics of optimism, as examined and expounded upon through the lens of sculpture, painting, video, and mixed media by 22 Los Angeles-based artists.

The Optimist’s Parking Lot proposes a state of being that metaphorically draws upon the provisional or transitional status of this zone, which may be a stop within a journey, the location for a political sit-in, or possibly even one’s home.  In this way, a parking lot is much like a gallery:  a way station for art objects, and a zone for expectation, contemplation, deferment, anxiety, advocacy, and exaltation.   

Optimism is, in fact, a noun.  Common definitions of the word also often cite Gottfried Leibniz’s 17th century philosophy that the existing world is the perfect world as it was conceived through God the master architect. This notion has given way in the last four centuries to a humanist sensibility and, as embodied through artistic production, realizes phenomenological zones of self-empowerment. The decision to create, and the will to do depend upon a certain optimism—and may also be considered utopian gestures.  Inevitably, optimism evokes its counterpart, pessimism and dystopia.  This expressed struggle is often enfolded into the various processes that transpire during the making of art, and may find its reification in the work’s formal aspects, or its manner of response to external conditions.  How might the work acknowledge, filter, or avoid references to our larger contemporary context of economic malaise, corporate capitalism, geopolitical unrest, environmental catastrophes, and conservative social mandates?  How might art help us better imagine our individual and collective futures? The relationship of form to content also brings about the question of whether art functions well as evidence of optimism or not.  Can art be a more reliable indicator of the complexities of optimism than a smile or an upbeat spiel? 

The poetics of The Optimist’s Parking Lot attempts to remind us of the multifaceted nature of optimism: the challenges of considering a sense of future and possibility–along with its potential detours, waiting, and endgames in the context of current events.