VPAM launches new online community platform

By Melvin Bui

The Vincent Price Art Museum’s Virtual Roll Call is focused on bringing together the people of the community using art and media.

The first week of Roll Call had three events. Everything was posted on their Instagram page. It allowed people to socialize while learning about different forms of art and social practices.

“VPAM Roll Call is a digital initiative dedicated to hearing from the many people who form our community. Through online conversation, blog posts, activities, we check-in with artists, community members and students at East Los Angeles College in an effort to promote virtual wellness and dialogue,” said VPAM staff member Andrea Gonzalez.

Licensed psychotherapist and visual artist Edgar Fabian Frias is joining VPAM’s social media team to bring the people of the community Meditation Mondays. It is a free guided meditation session through their Instagram live to talk about mindfulness practices, selfcare and taking care of the community. 

Participants can join the meditation for advice on how to meditate and to socialize with like-minded individuals.

“May the spirit of the plant move through this video, may it offer you some grounding, some cleansing, some care may we honor our ancestors with this work, may this work be in our highest good and the highest good of our communities, may we build resilience through care,” Frias said, as they lit sage and waved it around the screen. 

The first Meditation Monday had about 20 participants. They all joined the session on Instagram live for half an hour. Frias started the group off with a closed eye meditation and told everyone to take a deep breath and to focus on the sensation of the air while breathing. 

Then, to allow attention to be focused on the body, taking a moment to notice how your body is feeling while meditating. Frias spoke about gratitude and accepting the inevitable, as radical acceptance because things don’t always go as planned.  

A Colombian visual artist based in Los Angeles, Carolina Caycedo took over the VPAM Instagram page to share some artwork for the first Wellness Wednesday. 

“My practice brings awareness on social and environmental justice, issues that mostly impact indigeneous and people of color communities across the Americas, including immigrant mothers like myself,” said Caycedo. 

She shared pictures of “Offering,” a project she did in the lower east-side of New York, where she collaborated with local religious, spiritual and social activist groups.

Wellness Wednesdays are aimed to allow artists to give insight into ways in which art practice and wellness are connected. 

Freestyle Fridays are focused on community building, revisiting the VPAM archives or inviting artists to help people stay connected through the weekend.  

The first Freestyle Friday shared snippets of a radio program that was a part of an old exhibit, Regeneracion: Three Generations of Revolutionary Ideology. It focused on the transnational exchange and circulation of revolutionary and activist ideas across generations between Mexico and the United States. 

Upcoming events and information about VPAM Roll Call is posted on their Instagram page, @vpam_arts. To support the VPAM community, students can add one of its tags to their images. Its tags include #VPAMRollCall, #MyMuseumMyCommunity, #MeditationMondays, #WellnessWednesday and  #FreestyleFridays.

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