Art in Conversation
Art in Conversation is an arts engagement series where we host events, workshops and exhibitions. We collaborate with artists to create original interdisciplinary works that feature topics centered around culture, identity, spirituality and social justice. The series include facilitated discussions for viewers to engage with artists and learn more about the creative process. Art in Conversation is also an opportunity for us artists to interact with viewers and ask them questions that invite them to respond to the work as it is being created, adapted, performed and/or showcased.
Art in Conversation: SHE is Divine at Oceanside Museum of Art, 2019
Featuring Continuum Junior Company at one of the works in progress showings.
Latest Art in Conversation Series
Art in Conversation: Art as an act of resistance and collective healing
For 2022's Black History Month, Continuum presented Art in Conversation in partnership with the Oceanside Public Library and North County African American Women's Association. Local artists Alyssa (Ajay) Junious and William BJ Robinson share how art served an act of resistance and collective healing in their lives. They also premiered new works inspired by Gordon Park's book, A Choice of Weapons. Recordings of the AIC event, new works and Q&A discussion are available OnDemand. Proceeds will go towards future Art in Conversation projects.
Artists in Collaboration
Alyssa (Ajay) Junious
(pronouns She, Her) Alyssa “Ajay” Junious is a choreographer, theater artist, arts educator and pilates practitioner from Oceanside, California. She received her BFA in Performance, Choreography, and Certificate of Arts Management from the University of California, Irvine. She is the founder of Continuum Arts & Pilates and Co-founder of Soultry Sisters Arts + Wellness Collective. Her work explores the intersections of culture, identity, spirituality and social justice through dance, theater, music and film. For the past 10 years, she has worked professionally in the commercial, concert dance and theater industry. As a socially conscious artist, she is dedicated to creating work that serves to initiate conversation and inspire change.
(pronouns He, They) is a music director, arts educator, composer, and performer throughout San Diego County, as well as the host of KPBS Arts, a weekly TV program about arts & culture on KPBS. BJ is also the creator and host of Tough Talk, a virtual platform for conversations that focus on "getting comfortable with the uncomfortable" in daily life. Most recently, BJ joined Christ United Presbyterian Church in South Park San Diego as their Choir Director.
Art as an act of resistance and collective healing
Art has always been an act of resistance and collective healing for Black people. We have a history of using music and dance to: communicate secret messages while enslaved, protest and advocate for our human and civil rights, cultivate joy and honor our ancestors. We invite you to celebrate Black History with us as we present this Art in Conversation series. We want to remind all that Black History is American History. Beyond this month we will continue to make work that celebrates our culture, identity and spirituality as Black people. We encourage you to continue to support our work because art is a form of activism.
As you engage with this work, we encourage you to to reflect on how art has played a role in your life as a form of resistance and collective healing. What does that look like for you? We aim for our work to be a vehicle to build empathy in us all. May the communal practice of making, sharing and appreciating art helps us create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive community.
A word from Mr. Gordon Parks
Featured Work in Conversation
Artists Alyssa (Ajay) Junious and BJ Robinson will be premiering an original work inspired by their readings of Gordon Park's autobiography, A Choice of Weapons. This interdisciplinary work will include original choreography by Junious and compositions by Robinson. Their individual artistic responses to the book will be combined and shared in the form of a short film. This will be their 3rd Art in Conversation collaboration.
“I SAW THAT THE CAMERA COULD BE A WEAPON AGAINST POVERTY, AGAINST RACISM, AGAINST ALL SORTS OF SOCIAL WRONGS. I KNEW AT THAT POINT I HAD TO HAVE A CAMERA.” - Gordon Parks
"Parks was a modern-day Renaissance man, whose creative practice extended beyond photography to encompass fiction and nonfiction writing, musical composition, filmmaking, and painting. In 1969 he became the first African American to write and direct a major Hollywood studio feature film, The Learning Tree, based on his bestselling semiautobiographical novel. His next film, Shaft (1971), was a critical and box-office success, inspiring a number of sequels. Parks published many books, including memoirs, novels, poetry, and volumes on photographic technique. In 1989 he produced, directed, and composed the music for a ballet, Martin, dedicated to the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr." - Gordon Parks Foundation
Work in Process
Here you will find what we call our work in process mood board. These are photos, writings, music and videos that the artists are finding inspiration for the original work they will be premiering on February 26th.
"I feel it is the heart, not the eye, that should determine the content of the photograph. What the eye sees is its own. What the heart can perceive is a very different matter."
- Gordon Parks
Gordon Parks, James Galanos Chiffon Fashion, Hollywood, California, 1961 | Gordon Parks Foundation
Gordon Parks “American Gothic, Washington, D.C.,” 1942 | Gordon Parks Foundation
I will be all light - By Gordon Parks
Summer is done with me –
the leaf, the petal, the flower.
But all is not over,
My spirit grows boundless
soaring without worry, without tiring
through the most wreckful storms.
I see through death and refuse it.
Having known the firmness
of branches and vines;
of so many suns and moons;
of every ennobling cold flake,
I have learned to endure.
No lament for this season.
Peace shares the space where harsh words cry.
Summer has fallen silent,
but its virtues gather in waves.
No winter tears. No parting sorrow.
I am meant to grace this world
that blessed me with such abundance.
When this disgruntled season passes
I will wing my way back to you.
You will recognize my fragrance
strewn along your footways.
I will be all light.