DSN: Do Something New

DSN: Do Something New

Montalvo Arts Center

August 27, 2007

DSN: Do Something New
with Mario Ybarra Jr. and Karla Diaz
Through September 30, 2007

Montalvo Arts Center’s
Project Space
15400 Montalvo Road
Saratoga, CA 95070
Information: 408.961.5814


Los Angeles-based artists Mario Ybarra Jr. and Karla Diaz did something new at Montalvo Arts Center: they collaborated with eleven teens to facilitate the development of the Center’s first teen program. The culminating installation, DSN: Do Something New, is presented in the Project Space through September 30 and tells the story of the teens work with the artists. On view is media created by the DSN teens, including t-shirts, sound pieces and publications, as well as an oral history project capturing the stories of 10 members of the Montalvo Service Group, an auxiliary that has supported Montalvo since the 1950s. The installation includes a studio area where visitors can
create their own art.

Commissioned by Montalvo to develop a series of teen programs and an installation addressing the theme Concerns of Our Times, Ybarra and Diaz served as collaborators/mentors to the DSN while they were in-residence at the Center’s Lucas Artists Programs. “Our goal for the first half of the DSN project was to give the students an opportunity to develop their skills and learn to collaborate with each other and with the community,” said Ybarra. “Every student has different strengths and ideas to bring to the group and it has been very interesting learning what these students see as concerns of our times. The second half of the program focused on giving the students sounding boards for voicing their concerns and what they wanted to learn about, then creating projects that focused on these things.”

Like most artistic projects, Montalvo’s DSN group has evolved since its execution. Originally the group was just called Teen Council, but Ybarra, Diaz and the students wanted the name to represent their mantra for making decisions and creating projects that meant something to them — the name Do Something New was born. Four main themes surfaced from the DSN Teen Council — friends, family, technology and violence. Ybarra and Diaz tailored their ten weekly sessions to include different artistic exercises that allowed the students to create projects that included these themes.

“Aside from having the students create their projects, we also wanted them to experience real-world applications,” said Diaz. “We’re hoping the students will develop a sense that what they are producing in class can be transferred to their experiences outside of the DSN.”

Robert Sain, Executive Director, noted, “The next generation is an important part of Montalvo’s new initiative for thematic programming. It is important for young people to see Montalvo as a place where they can learn about art as well as express themselves.”
Montalvo’s Project Space is open Fri-Sun, Noon-3 p.m.
Mario Ybarra Jr.’s work has been featured in a number of institutional exhibitions, recently including Alien Nation at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, Uncertain States of America, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and the 2006 California Biennial, at the Orange County Museum of Art. This year, he is participating in The World as a Stage, curated by Jessica Morgan at the Tate Modern, and the Prague Biennial 3 in the Czech Republic. He is a founding member of the artists collective Slanguage.
Karla Diaz is a poet, performer and art critic. She has read her work and exhibited projects in venues including the Getty Art Museum, REDCAT and the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles; the Serpentine Gallery, London, and at the Zocalo in Mexico City. She is a founding member of the artist’s collective Slanguage. She lives and works in Los Angeles where she is associate director for the New Chinatown Barbershop gallery.
About Montalvo Arts Center
Montalvo Arts Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to forging meaningful connections between art, artists and the communities it serves through creation, presentation and education in extraordinary ways and settings.

Photo caption: DSN: Do Something New opening held at the Project Space, June 10, 2007. Artists Karla Diaz (far left) and Mario Ybarra Jr. (far right) with 9 of the 11 DSN teens that they mentored while in residence at Montalvo’s Lucas Artists Programs. (Photo by Jakub Mosur)

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August 27, 2007

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