Feb. 23 - Apr. 4, 2015

Mario Ybarra Jr.‘s art practice inhabits the intersection of the globalized “art world” and the specific cultural experiences of Mexican-Americans living in Southern California. His work has adopted many forms—including sculptural installation, painting, photography and performance—extending to the socially-engaged activities of the collective Slanguage, which he co-founded with Karla Diaz in 2002. Based in Wilmington, California, Slanguage embraces what the group calls “a three-pronged approach to art-making,” including education, community-building, and interactive exhibitions.

Mario Ybarra Jr. is Pasadena City College’s annual artist in residence for 2015. In keeping with his expansive attitude toward his role as an artist, Mario Ybarra Jr.’s residency at PCC will include two gallery exhibitions and the premier performance of a new work by Karla Diaz. 

At the Boone Family Art Gallery, “Like a Cow Visiting a Butcher Shop…,” features a new series of paintings by Ybarra Jr.; these emerged from a 2013 project of the same name that he presented at the ARCOmadrid contemporary art fair in Spain.  When finding himself in the role of an artist at a large international art fair, Ybarra Jr. has remarked, he felt something like the cow in his title.

In Gallery V-108, seven collaborators in Slanguage — Yadira Agredano, Armando Cortes, Carmen Maria Hernandez, Antonio De Jesus Lopez, Monica A. Martinez, Gloria Elisa Margarita Sanchez and Emilio Venegas Jr. — present their recent work in an exhibition titled “Noise/Light.”

In the Center for the Arts Theatre (one night only, February 26), Karla Diaz presents “Fearless (Except when Riding a Roller Coaster),” a series of vignettes about fear based on dreams, newspaper clippings and Karla’s memoirs. 

A brochure accompanies the exhibitions.


Mario Ybarra Jr. is Pasadena City College’s annual artist-in-residence for 2015.  The college launched an ambitious program in 1987 that brings prominent artists for a weeklong stay on campus, where the artists interact closely with students, faculty, and the larger campus community. In addition to his exhibition in the Boone Family Art Gallery, Casey Reas will spend the week of February 23 – 27 on campus, during which time he will present a public lecture and, with his collarborators, offer workshops and presentations to PCC students.

Through this program, PCC has hosted celebrated artists such as painters Wayne Thiebaud and Masami Teraoka; installation artists Alexis Smith and Alison Saar; quilt maker Faith Ringgold; eco-political art collective Futurefarmers; illustrator and “futurist” Syd Mead, graphic artist and comics author Gary Panter, artist and software designer Casey Reas and photographers Abelardo Morell, Eileen Cowin and William Wegman.  Each of the artists have donated works of art to the college; these are displayed in the college’s Shatford Library and Boone Sculpture Garden.

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