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In partnership with Tongva artists Kelly Caballero and River Garza, we installed “Yaangna Vive! an altar commemorating the original peoples of Tovaangar (Los Angeles County) featuring all California native plants used for their medicial qualities such as elderberry, sage, woolly curls, and others. In addition to honoring Tongva ancestors the altar includes our animal relatives such as the black bear, deer, red tail hawk, coyote, relatives with special relationships to the Tongva.

This beautiful altar, is sponsored by the Glendale Arts and Culture Commission through the Urban Art Fund, will be on display at Glendale Library, Arts & Culture Central Library through November 1st, then relocated to Artsakh Paseo for the Glendale Día de los Muertos Celebration on November 2nd (4pm-9pm).

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Last night (October 28, 2019) I curated a selection of activities for the Reimagining Justice: An Intergenerational Dialogue on Community Building and Healing which included Seed Ball Making with California Native Plant Specialist Nicholas Hummingbird, Essentials Oils by Daisy of Yerberia Mayahuel, Sprays by Olivia Perez Biera, Herbal Remedies by Mama Maiz, and two screen printing stations featuring a “Self Care is Self Love” bandana and a “fill-in-the-blank” Heals Me designs by me with lettering by Mike Bravo. Live printing by the Meztli Projects team of Gabby and Kenneth.

The dialogue was organized by The Alliance for Boys and Men of Color (ABMOC), California Conference for Equality and Justice (CCEJ), and Youth Justice Coalition (YJC) in partnership with The California Endowment.

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Dreaming of Food Sovereignty in LA with Metzli Projects, Toypurina Youth Arts & Action

BEADING WITH ACORNS AND SEASHELLS The #acorn 🐿 #elderberry 🌳 and #abalone 🐚 hairpin making workshop honors the ancestral relationship between the #Tongva Peoples and the land. Come learn about the reciprocal relationship between us and our non-human relatives and the important steps we need to take to get back into alignment with all the living beings around us. Free #tongvaland poster!

Capacity is limited; RSVP preferred, space given on a first-come, first-served basis. You are invited to bring your own pillows blankets and chairs for this outdoor event around a fire. Please dress in layers as we are outside the whole time.

courtesy of @artchangeus on IG

courtesy of @artchangeus on IG

This past weekend was spent working alongside a brilliant group of artists, arts administrators, creatives and cultural workers from across the nation who are pushing for real authentic strategies to bring cultural equity to all our communities. Learn more about the Cultural Community Benefits Principles at the link below. FYI this is still in draft form.

  • Principle 1: Build Inclusive Organizations

  • Principle 2: Honor Indigenous Peoples and Lands

  • Principle 3: Commit To Cultural Equity

  • Principle 4: Create Local Economic Benefits and Value

  • Principle 5: Contribute to Field Wide Change


Join Monument Lab for our first annual meeting featuring panels and workshops with our National Fellows and guest collaborators from around the country. The daylong gathering ends with a Town Hall focused on the momentum, milestones, challenges, and next steps for the critical monument movement today.

Motivated by recent debates and upheavals in cities such as Charlottesville, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Richmond, the Town Hall centers around a guiding question: Who Decides the Fate of Public Space? In conversation with our national fellows, whose groundbreaking work has sparked new possibilities for monuments in these cities and beyond, attendees will explore approaches for those seeking to tackle, topple, and reframe history in public space. Together, we will investigate power and process through stories of social justice and equity.

Monument Lab National Fellows: Arielle Brown (Philadelphia), Cheyenne Concepcion (San Francisco), Free Egunfemi (Richmond), Joel Garcia (Los Angeles), Gina Balamucki and Maya Little of Take Action Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill), Kayinsola Anifowoshe, Zhahna Bryant (Charlottesville), and Anaya Patrice Frazier, Danielle Nolen, and Aliyah Young of A Long Walk Home’s Girl/Friends (Chicago).

Monument Lab Town Hall is presented with support from the Surdna Foundation and in collaboration with the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Heim Center for Cultural and Civic Engagement at Parkway Central Library.


We Rise

We Rise (May 18-27, 2019) was a 10-day pop-up immersive experience that brought together LA’s diverse community to explore our collective power to live lives of purpose and engagement. Through powerful programming, performances, immersive workshops, and a world-class art exhibition, we sought to embolden individuals and families to find help, reach out to help others and demand systemic change in order to address the critical need for early intervention, treatment and care for mental wellbeing.

To view the full exhibition click here!


2 Degrees Exhibition

Artist Statement: Current Climate Change efforts have spiked within less progressive circles so much so that the current Presidential administration has pushed back against this narrative. The push back and subsequent policies and actions such as withdrawing from the Paris climate agreements is primarily framed by Americans centering themselves and their experience within this context. Standing Rock and the #NODAPL struggle was triggered by white people deciding they didn’t want a pipeline running through their community and effectively pushed policy to move the pipeline into the Standing Rock Reservation. In short, Climate Change is now important because it’s affecting Americans.

But this framework is flawed. We need to realize that there are places in the world that already live in a Post-Climate Change reality. A short drive south of Los Angeles is the Cucapa community near the city of Mexicali, capital of Baja California where the agriculture industry in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys have swallowed up the water from the Colorado River that used to empty into the Colorado River Delta. These humxn-made changes to the environment have caused flooding and droughts in the area going as far back as the early 1900s. This print captures a day during the moon-tides which take place between late February through early May in which the Cucapa community fish the delta and attempt to capture enough corvina fish to sustain them for a full year. After being displaced and the ecosystem of land-based animals pushed to extinction levels, the Cucapa have been relegated to only fishing for survival while also being criminalized for practicing their ancestral traditions of fishing.

Climate change efforts need to de-center both the American and humxn-experience and take leadership from Indigenous communities already living in a Post-Climate Change reality.


13th Annual California Centered: Printmaking Exhibition

Merced County Arts Council 13th Annual California Centered: Printmaking Exhibition will feature work by Joel Garcia. The juried group show highlights and exhibits the best in recent California printmaking. The show opens April 16th and runs through June 1st at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center.


TATEWARI (Transformed Through Fire)

A serigraph portrait-based series uplifting members of Los Angeles' Xicano/Indigenous community who have survived street-violence and addictions to become agents of healing.

Joel is a 2019 National Association for Latino Arts & Culture Fund for the Arts grant recipient, for more information please visit NALAC.



The Decolonial Initiative Task Force (DITF) plans to include engagement with the Tongva, Tataviam and Chumash people, Indigenous experts in cultural art practices, the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission, and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission to create just and communal processes to address the inequities and lack of inclusion of Native Peoples of Los Angeles in civic art that upholds white supremacy.

Joel is an inaugural fellow of Monument Lab chosen through a national open call, these civic practitioners and youth fellows confront the inequity and injustice in our nation’s monuments and provide bold, creative approaches to public art, history, and memory. Some of the fellows have been working toward these ends for decades. Others began only recently, but have already made impressive, vital contributions. Together, they represent a new guard who are radically redefining what it means to engage public spaces, sites of history, and monuments today.



Homie II Homie is a initiative by individuals impacted by street violence and the prison industrial complex for the purpose of providing those individuals a space and network to heal, develop and maintain professional skills and build self-sustainability through entrepreneurship and incubation of dreams and ideas.