Art reference

Global Community in Artist Ya La’Ford’s Ogden Contemporary Art Residency – The Daily Utah Chronicle

In April, multimedia artist Ya La’Ford will begin an artist residency at Ogden Contemporary Art, and Utahns couldn’t be more excited.

Ya La’Ford: the artist

With her impressive and multifaceted background, including a law degree as well as an MFA, La’Ford’s art comes in many shapes and sizes. Whether you’ve seen it growing on murals, exterior facades, or sculptures, La’Ford’s artistic imprint is remarkably iconic in its recognizable, almost topographical style. “The abstract geometric patterns that I create, although they have this maze-like complexity with bold overlapping lines, each installation has this distinct modernity,” La’Ford said.

“I think [my work is] informed by our history, our culture and our place. This rings true as La’Ford has lived across the United States and traveled the world. Combined with her background as a first-generation Jamaican, her globality had a huge impact on her art. “I grew up in the bronx, and when you’re born in the city, it’s kind of connected to your soul. Everywhere I’ve travelled…or lived…it’s imprinted on this piece of art,” La’Ford mentioned.

La’Ford’s art is often focused on community engagement, particularly inspiring younger generations. “I think kids are really our future, and I really do,” La’Ford mentioned. In the past, La’Ford has integrated youth programs with organizations such as the Florida Orchestra and the Sarasota Museum. “I have an exhibition called ‘Rooted.’ I asked these kids to plant a tree that was really the physical manifestation of what it means to me to have an installation done through our roots,” La’Ford said. citizens and all mankind.”

A stretch of interconnected geometry, La’Ford’s art style is a physical approach to human experience, especially when community-based. “It’s more of a language that I’ve been creating since I was very young through these geometric designs and symbols,” La’Ford said. Fortunately, La’Ford’s artistic language is one that Utahns will be speaking to very soon.

OCA Residence: Western Expansion

“As soon as my mother handed me pencils intended for coloring books, I needed a bigger canvas, which was the big white walls of our house,” La’Ford said. Similarly, La’Ford is illuminated by the vastness of the West, inspiring his plans for the OCA exhibit. “It’s such a great honor”, La’Ford mentioned on his residence. “I couldn’t be more honored, humbled and excited.”

La’Ford expressed his excitement about following the footsteps of the west and how it would allow him to connect more deeply with a global community while exploring Utah’s frontiers. “Being so close to the Spiral Jetty and the earthwork created by Robert Smithson will have a direct impact on the work I create, as well as the dark skies of Utah and the connection to astrology and the universe and the inspiration that is found through the massiveness of our planetary growth,” La’Ford mentioned.

What to expect

La’Ford will travel to the OCA in April and will culminate with a solo exhibition of her work in June. “I plan to turn this exhibition into a multimedia show that uses interactive exhibits, paintings, sculptures and videos and I think the work will really reference linear, cyclical and geometric geometry that will explore the metaphysical relationships that you don’t can only find in the West, with this light, this sound and this space”, La’Ford mentioned. “I’m so excited about this.”

The OCA Lofts Artist-in-Residence program will allow La’Ford to reside and produce creative work in Utah in addition to creating a piece of public art in Ogden. “I will actively engage with this next generation through this opportunity, and I just hope the art inspires and provides access to everyone in [the Utah] community.”

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