I am interested, both as a curator and a border crosser, in the visual language of cultural memory and emotion. These visual references help us map the immediacy of our lives onto the cultural memories that sustain our communities and are the infrastructure of the stories we tell about ourselves and the world around us. When Cynthia Penna and I conceived of the Traveling Canvas project, we wanted to explore how artists communicate visually across cultures and wondered if these exchanges could enrich the literacy of viewers and therefore influence their understanding about other and othered peoples.

We invited five male artists from across the world to share five canvases, considering what are the most salient elements of their visual culture in practice and in the mores and memories they convey. As they began to work and ship canvases around the globe, I wondered if women artists would respond differently to conversing in visual cultural language in a confined, shared space. Cynthia and I again launched a worldwide search for artists to participate in this important and unique experiment in visual literacy.

The results of ten canvases circling the globe are aesthetically and culturally astounding. The depth, complexity and richness of the compositional interactions demonstrate that the artists we asked take this metaphoric journey with us were up for the challenge. Work ranges from polite respect and distance, to courting and communing, to demanding space to be seen, felt and understood.

Perhaps most interestingly, the men seemed to strive for harmony, showing themselves as the ambassadors of their respective visual cultures. I had predicted otherwise, that they would dominate the canvas, throwing down the gauntlet for their peers to find painterly ways around the through the canvas. Ironically, I was the first student in the literacy campaign we initiated with the Traveling Canvas. It was precisely these preconceived notions about gender, identity and aesthetics that the project sought to dismantle.

The women’s canvases were equally surprising. Each artist filled their originating canvas, centrally locating their visual memories, perhaps confronting long existing biases and slights. Subsequent artists literally piled on, creating layers of diverse brush strokes, color palettes and narrative composition that speak to the intricacies bridging women’s work and cultural storytelling. Both groups offer compelling ideas about inclusion and integration of visual styles and cultural metaphors.

The Traveling Canvas also succeeded in building a community from strangers. The artists did not know each other before the project began and the only clues to their respective identities were the address labels on the tubes that held the shipped canvases and the canvases themselves. Each artist had to read and study the canvas when it arrived, deciphering the polyglot languages and adding their own. In doing so, they discovered respect, tenderness and a longing to meet and connect with their cohort.

At the conclusion of this three-year project, we as curators and artists have grown and the canvases have taken on deeper meaning as our world retreats to big men, xenophobia and cultural hysterics. This work is needed now more than ever as evidence of the power of visual literacy to build community, compassion and cultural fluency.




    Indiana University Bloomington

    PhD, Cultural Anthropology

   1993 – 2003

    Indiana University Bloomington

    MA, Cultural Anthropology

    1991 – 1992

    PhD in Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis in visual culture

    Hawaii Loa College

    BA, humanities

    1987 – 1990




Date Dec 2015 – for 2 years

Roving Gallery

Quotidian means the everyday. The innovative energies behind this space are interested in working with the extraordinary: shaping, translating, cultivating and communicating the richness and power of ideas, aesthetics and beautiful actions until they become expected and ordinary. We create the space that builds the infrastructure of meaningful vision by giving agency to practices that inspire, uplift, unite and beautify. We see ourselves as guerrilla landscapers who identify space that can be imagined and incentivized in ways that fundamentally benefit and impact lives of residents.

Quotidian Gallery has a mission to bring extraordinary aesthetics into the everyday discourse of Los Angeles life. Curators Jill Moniz and Francine Kelly highlights artists and art often overlooked in the LA art scene. They are interested in abstract art made primarily by women and people of color who share her commitment to scholarship and passionate, beautifully executed work. Quotidian Gallery has already secured the estates of several important nationally recognized artists and has a premiere line up of shows for the 2016-107 season. After receiving a 2015 commendation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for her years of dedicated service promoting and providing access to the arts, Francine is in Culver City on an arts residency to bring the work of artists from other regions to the attention of Angelenos. Moniz is well respected in the LA arts community, among collectors, dealers as well as established and emerging artists.


Signifying Form at The Landing Gallery April 1 - July 1, 2017

Black women sculptors in and from LA

Work Over School: Art from the margins of the Inside, a group exhibition at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, September 2016

Mae Engron: No Date No Title September 2016


EXTENT: Exploring sculptural volume, Fall 2017

Man I Woman, Spring 2018

Mapping Memory: The Traveling Canvas with Art 1307 Naples, Italy September 2018


Transformative Arts

Artistic Director

Date Jan 2012 for 5 years

Culver City, CA

Steward independent arts projects with an emphasis and impact on community engagement.


Upcoming Projects:

Get on Board, LA art installation, March 2016

Local Motion, site specific installation, TBA

From David, with Love: the 40 year friendship between David Hockney and Dr Leon Banks, coffee table edition, 2016

Black Beauty: Kerry James Marshall's art of the feminine (TBA)

Past Projects include:

Village at Cabrillo Mural, Long Beach, February 2012

HEAVY METAL at the Garboushian Gallery, Beverly Hills, May 2013

Diverted Destruction Exhibition at the Loft at Liz's, June 2014

Water Works: Reflections of an American in Provence, Robert Hale's solo exhibition at the Reginald Ingraham Gallery, October 2014

Contenuti multimediali (4)

Dr and Mrs Leon O Banks Collection


Date Jun 2008 – for 5 years

Los Angeles, Stati Uniti

Manage the private collection of Los Angeles arts patron Dr. Leon O Banks.

jill moniz consulting


Date Aug 2000 – For 10 years


Created strategic plans, development plans, promotional and programmatic materials, including web content and design for nonprofit organizations.

Translated ideas into sustainable, innovative programs, visual marketing and fundraising deliverables.

Implemented organizational assessments, including feasibility studies


Executive Director

Date 2007 – for  3 years

Long Beach/Culver City

ARTS FOR GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP (AGC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to global transformation by providing arts exposure and education to women and children in oppressed populations in order to raise their critical consciousness, and create citizenship and provide healing through the arts.

California African American Museum

Curator, Visual Arts

California African American Museum

Date Jun 2006  for 2 years

Designed and curated in-house exhibitions. Managed and installed traveling exhibitions. Set the visual aesthetic of the institution. Edited Museum Notes, the museum's quarterly news letter. Represented the museum on panels, at lectures and to the press.

Contenuti multimediali (2)

Museum of Latin American Art

Senior Grant Writer

Date 2005 –   1 year

Long Beach, CA

Wrote grant proposals and reports to foundations for exhibitions, including exhibition context and rationale.

Created new educational programs and materials to attract donors and serve demographic.

Trained Docents in Visual Thinking Strategies for more effective school group interactions.

Efroymson Foundation

Arts Consultant

Date 2001 – 2 years

Indianapolis, Stati Uniti

Conceptualized a contemporary museum space with an interactive approach to the museum experience.

Rosemont College

Assistant Professor, Sociology

Date 1998 – 2 years

Rosemont, PA

Taught all levels of Sociology. Co-chaired the Freshmen Experience Committee. Advised students.

We use cookies to make sure you get the best experience on our website.
By using our website, without changing the options on cookies, you accept and consent to the use of cookies.