Beyond Sunsetting: Common Field’s Collection

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Los Angeles Contemporary Archive
709 N Hill St #104-108
Los Angeles, CA 90012

from the depth of the furious piling up of appalling dreams
new dawns were

from Beyond by Aimé Césaire

The Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA) and Common Field are glad to invite you to join us on the arrival of the Common Field archival collection at LACA. Common Field has worked to support a nation-wide network of independent artists and arts organizations. Following an organizational audit and an internal financial survey process in 2021, Common Field announced its decision to intentionally sunset, or close, as an organization in 2022. (Information on the sunset process is available here.) Common Field believes that their struggles are not novel ones and have generously agreed to share their vulnerabilities and learning with us through their archival collection. The evening's aim is to engage the collection with questions so that we may all better know ourselves.

We will be having a group discussion led by writer, curator, and educator Anuradha Vikram, with gloria galvez, artist, organizer and co-director in the art program at the California Institute of the Arts and Sheetal Prajapati, Executive Director of Common Field. Together we will reflect on larger institutional concerns within the arts nonprofit sector, including the challenges of sustainable fundraising and the exclusionary structures of whiteness in leadership.

LACA Executive Director Hailey Loman and Common Field Archives Transition Coordinator and LACA Archivist Zach Whitworth will share an overview of the collection with insights from their engagement with these materials.

Materials from the archive will be available to browse, along with free zines relating to the collection to take away as a gift. We invite you to bring questions, comments, and suggestions to the discussion in order to help us develop the collection further in the coming months and years.


gloria galvez is Los Angeles based and maintains a practice of cultural work committed to creating and expanding access to physical and abstract spaces of possibility, imagination, and self-determination. She has organized with community organizations like the Youth Justice Coalition and Mutual Aid Action Los Angeles. She has exhibited at Chuco’s Justice Center, Los Angeles Municipal Gallery, The Feminist Center for Creative Work, the Radical Mycology Convergence, The Mistake Room and other art and community centers throughout Los Angeles. galvez is currently a faculty member and a co-director in the art program at the California Institute of the Arts.

Sheetal Prajapati is an educator, artist and advisor and served as the Interim Managing Director and then Executive Director of Common Field from December 2020 to December 2022. Sheetal is a field consultant and advisor through her agency Lohar Projects, focusing on public engagement, special projects, artist development and organizational planning. She also works with artists one-on-one for advising and mentorship through her agency and with places like Creative Capital, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Kresge Art in Detroit fellowship program.

Anuradha Vikram is a Los Angeles-based writer, curator, and educator who has guest-curated exhibitions for the Craft Contemporary (formerly CAFAM), Shulamit Nazarian, Mills College Art Museum, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, ProArts, and the DeYoung Museum Artist Studio, and held curatorial positions at 18th Street Arts Center, UC Berkeley Department of Art Practice, Headlands Center for the Arts, Aicon Gallery, Richmond Art Center, and in the studio of artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. Vikram is the author of "Decolonizing Culture," a collection of seventeen essays that address questions of race and gender parity in contemporary art spaces (Art Practical/Sming Sming Books, 2017). She is faculty in the UCLA Department of Art, USC Roski School of Art and Design, and Otis College of Art and Design. Vikram serves as an Editorial Board member for X-TRA and as an editor for X Topics, a subsidiary of X Artists’ Books.

Zach Whitworth is an art historian from the Umpqua Valley of the Pacific Northwest. He likes books, long walks, and a good bagel.