October 19, 2019 - December 6, 2019
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Tuesday - Friday by appointment
970 N Broadway, Ste 208 Los Angeles, CA 90012 Monday - Friday, 9 am- 5 pmFellows of Contemporary Art (FOCA) is a non-profit, independent and membership-based organization that supports contemporary art in California. Curators Lab Exhibition Program is supported by FOCA and awards grants to emerging curators for presenting current and relevant group exhibitions of emerging California artists in our Chinatown office space.Contact  or call 213-808-1008


Is it Safe on the Moon? identification development with Clifford Eberly followed by an Astro Aerobics New Moon Workshop with Erica Ryan Stallones and Chelsea Rector.  Participants will be invited to learn and adapt body movements relative to their moon signs guided by video and live actions by the artists.

CODE WORD SAFE features a catalogue, designed by David Karwan, will accompany the exhibition and include an essay by Clifford Eberly, and a Safety Senses Q & A with the artists introduced by contributor Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick.

CODE WORD SAFE is an exhibition that brings together six Los Angeles based artists who use text, symbols and mixed media in their art works and performances to communicate social, political and personal messages that are spoken, painted, sewn and graphically produced.

The title, CODE WORD SAFE, relates to the idea that art can manifest in physical, mental and public spaces offering safe means for viewers to learn and enrich their lives powerfully and constructively.

Under the study of semantics, the sub category pragmatics identifies words and language understood through context.  The artists in CODE WORD SAFE use pragmatics in different forms to facture creative and new paradigms of communicating through visual and spoken revelations.

In our contemporary society, written and spoken language is analyzed faster and with the utmost scrutiny. As a group, the artists in Code Word Safe are different in their approach to issuing their messages through text and language. Through this exhibition the artists’ works will promote visual and textual connections that excite and inspire viewers to draw new conclusions through language and context.


Oscar David Alvarezuses performance and sculpture to bring his contemporary messages of societal economic disconnects to life. Oscar David Alvarez combines sculptural elements such as drywall, glazed clay tablets, video monitors mounted to scaffolds and fences to form installations that appropriate built environments in urban landscapes where relentless construction sites separate public from private corporate spaces and reinforce economic inequalities. In the videos that Alvarez produces, the protagonist is entrapped by the unseen narrator\'s taunting and condescending diatribes while attempting to navigate through expansive superstores and gridded streets. Where architecture should be publicly accessible, the players in Alvarez\'s scenes find themselves thwarted to attain intimacy with building surfaces by confounding barriers while moving on and around the facades.  Even in their protean guises, the actors cannot seem to penetrate public architecture’s sanctified spaces.
Alexandra GrantIn her current series, Alexandra Grant mirrors, masks, rubs and camouflages slogans like, “I was born to love not to hate” into her paintings. Reminiscent of the striped patterns painted on British Dazzle Ships of World War I, to disrupt the enemy’s speed and distance calculations, Grant uses the patterns to develop depth and contrast for her inspiring phrases to weave, extend outward into and below foreground space.
Kyla HansenAs a sculptor and painter, Kyla Hansen cuts and assembles fabrics, casts and molds materials to elongate and reform texts that when spoken or thought force the viewer to fill in the blanks or continue the title of the work into a sentence. For example, the title Now, Now has a multitude of meanings depending on who is speaking and what context. It could be spoken to calm someone down or in sarcastic condescension creating a power structure between speaker and recipient. The text in the works are either obvious or elusive which keeps the viewer present and ultimately creates a sense of wonder and a humorous vernacular central to Kyla’s practice.
David KarwanArranging words and letters in different size, symbolic and puzzle configurations, David Karwan’s graphic wall applications require visual deciphering and spatial recognition to decode the intimate quips and puns. A master of onomatopoeia, Karwan brings a personal history to his universal adages.
Erica Ryan StallonesFor her ongoing project STAR DECK Academy, Erica Ryan Stallones has researched symbols in astrology to create visual signifiers through color, shape and movement. The new watercolor paintings shown here also represent visual maps of the moon and astrological events that once decoded, describe specific solar system activity as experienced by the artist.  Since astrology is time based it is also tied to language. As the writer Peter Hoeg explained,  “Time is a sphere made up of language, colors, smells, senses, and sounds, a sphere in which you and the world coexist.”
Josh Paul ThomasJosh Paul Thomas’ graphic and provocative images are joined by vulnerable and confounding word puzzles that contrast with the hyper charged beastly and exhibitionist characters. A double take looped effect occurs while trying to make the relational connections between the pyramidal puzzles and the sexually charged scenes.

Curated by

Clifford Eberlyis an artist and curator based in Los Angeles since 2012. Prior to enrolling in the Masters program at Claremont Graduate University in 2010, Eberly curated monthly exhibitions at parlor gallery, a space inside his home in Lancaster Pennsylvania dedicated to presenting regional and emerging artists. Code Word Safe is Eberly’s fourth exhibition he has curated in Los Angeles. Eberly currently maintains a studio practice in the warehouse district in Downtown Los Angeles.

More Information

Noriko FujinamiFOCA Curators Lab Chair
Tressa MillerFOCA Curators Lab Chair

Public Events

CODE WORD SAFE: Opening Reception

October 19, 2019
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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CODE WORD SAFE: Special Event

October 27, 2019
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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