February 1, 2020 - March 28, 2020
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Tuesday - Saturday by appointment New Exhibition Hours: now open on Saturdays!
970 N Broadway, Suite 208, Los Angeles, CA 90012


Duel, a film and conversation by Jade Charon
Fellows of Contemporary Art (FOCA) is a non-profit, independent, and membership-based organization that supports contemporary art in California.The Curators Laboratory Exhibitions greatly enhance FOCA’s mission of supporting emerging and mid-career California artists by reaching out to emerging curators who will present exhibitions in support of a curatorial thesis. In keeping with FOCA’s historical goal to provide documentation of each exhibition, records of the curator’s process of conceptualizing and organizing each exhibition will be posted on FOCA’s website. Over time this series of curatorial projects and associated web support will generate - for students, artists, curators, and the public - a valuable archive resource. Tel: (213) 806-1008


Magician: The Black Body and Portraiture is an exhibition which addresses the depiction of the black form through modern day eyes. It shines light on how contemporary black art and artists simultaneously use and defy the oppressive notions of the past and create a new reality for the depiction of blackness. It brings the past and the present into one space, by showing the ways in which we have created new narratives and visuals in our present, while also highlighting the relationships between spirituality in everyday interactions. The artists in the show highlight aspects of spirituality, originality, and depth, which not only exude from the black body, but fully represent the black community. The artists in Magician use the nuances of color, medium, and their own identification of the black experience to exhibit the spirit of art.

Duel is a film created by Jade Charon which discusses the identification with blackness, the body, and spirituality.  It will be previewed and followed by a discussion led by curator Jasmine McNeal.  The event will analytically examine the spirituality of the black body as presented through movement, culture, and presence. Participants will be invited to learn about the ways in which understanding the black body involves not only process, but ancestral trust and experience within the self.



Kayla Sheltonis a mixed media visual artist based in Los Angeles, California. Through her work she aims to spark meaningful discourse around the stereotypes that surround black femininity and beauty within our culture. Her paintings, drawings, and collages contain themes of identity, womanhood, and representation as well as notes of religious and sacred iconography.
Valerie Asiimwe Amaniis an artistic explorer based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She has won awards in fashion and has a background in graphic design, writing and creative direction. Both an Economics (Rhodes University) and Fashion graduate (FEDISA), she combines her skills to create multimedia visual art pieces with narratives around the challenges surrounding Neo-colonialism and identity through the eyes of a millennial African woman.
Kayla Salisbury’s work promotes stimulating and uncomfortable conversations about inclusion, race, assault, misogyny and micro aggressions. Her mission is to spark one united consensus of self reflection, inner submission, acknowledgment, empathy, compassion and evolution of heart, mind and soul in her audience. Her focus is to shed light on social faux pas and taboo subjects that hurt and damage, but nevertheless happen in every household to normalize discussions about pain and promote open communication and growth.
Gozie OjiniIn Portal, Gozie Ojini’s piece is an interactive work that deals with access, safety, memory, and psychological tension. The artist became interested in the metal detector as a subject because of its imposing structure, its visual placebo, and its link to many schools and government/public spaces across America. In relation to Magician, the works speaks to the relationship between the black body and oppressive structures which have altered the black experience. For Portal, there is an interaction between two physical realities, the black body and the object. Viewers will experience the metal detector being used as an object of aggression for many members of the black community.

Curated by

Jasmine McNealis a Los Angeles based curator since 2016. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in World Arts and Cultures from UCLA and a Masters of Arts in Cultural Studies from KU Leuven University in Leuven, Belgium. She has curated exhibitions abroad, including Ghana and Belgium. Magician: The Black Body and Portraiture is McNeal’s first solo exhibition she has curated in Los Angeles.

More Information

Noriko FujinamiFOCA Curators Lab Chair
Tressa MillerFOCA Curators Lab Chair

Public Events

MAGICIAN: Opening Reception

February 1, 2020
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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MAGICIAN: Special Event

March 1, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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