This exhibition of LGBTQ+ artists uses clay to embrace identity and community

Grayson Perry, "Vanity, Identity, Sexuality," Monnaie De Paris, 2019.
(Chesnot/Getty Images)

If my TikTok for you page shows me one more video about the lunar eclipse happening this week, I’m going to lose it. For those unfamiliar with astrology, the eclipse in Scorpio on May 5 marks a big release or chapter ending for everyone. Don’t quite know what’s in store, but I’ll just have to keep myself distracted with this weekend’s art happenings (and all the Met Gala looks inspired by Karl Lagerfeld’s cat). I’m Steven Vargas, your L.A. Goes Out host, and here are the top events for this upcoming weekend recommended by the crew (sign up here for the newsletter):

Weekly Countdown

Larry Buller, "China Cabinet Ready," 2022.
Larry Buller, “China Cabinet Ready,” 2022.
(Colin Conces Photography)

1. ‘Making in Between: Queer Clay’
From subtle symbols and iconography to overt phallic imagery, these queer artists have used clay to communicate their identity. “Making in Between: Queer Clay” is the second iteration of the “Making in Between” series at the American Museum of Ceramic Art. This time around, the Pomona museum is showcasing the ceramic works of 12 LGBTQ+ artists to document the ways that art has been used as a tool for creating community and expression. The exhibition is recommended by The Times’ Christopher Knight and is available to view starting Saturday. AMOCA is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday to Sunday and tickets are up to $14. Details on the exhibition can be found on the museum’s website.


2. ‘Thornton Dial: Handwriting on the Wall’
Blum & Poe in Mid-City presents Thornton Dial’s first major solo exhibition in Los Angeles. “Handwriting on the Wall” showcases the Alabama artist’s work that encapsulates the Black experience in the South. The exhibition incorporates his paintings and assemblage pieces made up of found materials, retelling Black American history from Jim Crow to the first Black president. And in the piece “Garden of Eden,” Dial shares his meditation on mortality right before his death in 2016. This recommendation comes from The Times’ Carolina A. Miranda. The gallery will also have a group exhibition titled “By Any Means Necessary,” curated by Dial’s friend and fellow artist Lonnie Holley, that will be in conversation with “Handwriting on the Wall.” The exhibition can be viewed until June 10 and the free gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. More details can be found on Blum & Poe’s website.

The Comedy Store
(Chris Brody)

3. Comedy night to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
Visual Concepts, Extra Life and NBA 2K League are presenting a comedy charity event to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since Extra Life’s inception in 2008, the organization has raised more than $70 million for children’s hospitals. This time around, they’ve partnered with the Comedy Store in West Hollywood for a jampacked comedy show. Headliners include Trevor Wallace, Cat Ce, Zainab Johnson, Frankie Quinones, Alex Duong, Steph Tolev, Finesse Mitchell and Jamie Kennedy. This recommendation from The Times’ Nate Jackson is at 8 p.m. Sunday and tickets range from $25 to $300. To join in on the charitable fun, check out the details on the event page.

Lucy Rodriguez, Evelina Fernandez, and Geoffrey Rivas in "Whittier Boulevard."
(Grettel Cortes Photography)

4. ‘Whittier Boulevard’
In the not-so-distant future, laws protecting human rights have been dismantled and the history of L.A. fades as the elderly go missing. Latino Theater Company’s world premiere of “Whittier Boulevard” tells the story of Los Angeles in 2042 after the totalitarian city-state forces the elderly population out of existence. The play centers around Chicana starlet Veronica Del Rio just as a surprise visit from a policeman threatens her disappearance as she reaches the age of 75. The play is written and devised by the core of the Latino Theater Company — Sal Lopez, Evelina Fernández, Lucy Rodriguez, José Luis Valenzuela and Geoffrey Rivas. This Chicano futurism piece brings the cinematic style of Chicano noir to the stage for an experience that blends theatre, drama, music and film. The show runs until May 28 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in downtown L.A. and tickets range from $22 to $48. Details can be found on the company’s website.

(Derek Blanks)

5. Avery*Sunshine
Head over to the Theatre at Ace Hotel this weekend for an evening filled with soul, R&B, gospel and more. Atlanta-based singer Avery*Sunshine will be performing alongside her husband guitarist Dana “BigDane” Johnson for an event presented by the Center for the Art of Performing UCLA. Avery*Sunshine has received praise from the likes of Patti LaBelle and Berry Gordy for her gospel stylings that tell the story of love, loss and healing. The event is at 7 p.m. Sunday and tickets range from $40.50 to $60.50. For more details, check out CAP UCLA’s website.

Your L.A. weekend, all mapped out

For a more comprehensive roundup of exhibitions, concerts, screenings, festivals and other events, check out Matt Cooper’s Culture Guide. The mapped list is a go-to for those who make plans based on the commute, and it also can be filtered by event type and price.

On My Mind

Peter McGough, "I've Seen The Future And I'm Not Going," 2019. Oil on Canvas. 24 x 20 in.
(Austin Leis / Peter McGough and The Future Perfect)

On Wednesday I went to the Future Perfect’s Goldwyn House in Hollywood Hills to check out the gallery’s latest show, “Forgotten Lore” by artist Peter McGough. The preview began with a discussion between McGough and Mayer Rus, the West Coast editor of Architectural Digest, which offered a look into his artistic voice.

His paintings often portray words used against the LGBTQ+ community, subverted in picturesque ways. The same goes for “Forgotten Lore.” Paintings portray intricate details of nature, from spider webs to butterflies, while a font made up of a wood texture spells out words. In the visceral vocabulary, there is a point of growth — of beauty. An impactful part of the exhibition is “Faggot Bricks,” an installation of 14 bricks stacked throughout the exhibition with the slur painted over it in various fonts and colors. Its presence reclaims the word and upholds a reminder of protest at the center of LGBTQ+ liberation. It’s the physical embodiment of negative phrases being thrown at the community to cause harm.


McGough shared that he finds pride in the charged work. There’s a sense of rebellion and authenticity in the reinterpretations of slurs he creates. “Forgotten Lore” can be viewed at Goldwyn House until June 16. Details on the exhibition and how to view can be found on the Future Perfect’s website.

On Friday, I went to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills to see “USC Kaufman Returns to the Wallis.” The night was filled with some incredible premieres for the dance world. The world premiere of “... Loving Well.” by Hope Boykin was equal parts athletic and expressive. While a congregation of performers followed a balletic phrase, a few dancers broke away from the group and dove into fast-paced grooves that had a dash of house dance styles. Set to music by Stevie Wonder, the piece depicted tumultuous and loving connections through the choreography. As the performance ended, a single dancer at the center of the stage held on to the subtle choreography of the groove, swiftly dashing their feet under them. Slowly, the ensemble of dancers joined and a joyous community closed the piece. The final piece of the evening was a tribute to “Soul Train,” choreographed by Tiffany Bong. The performance brought back to life the show from the 1970s, projecting the iconic symbol behind the dancers as they gathered into two parallel lines. Two at a time, performers danced down the center just like in the show. The tribute to Don “Campbellock” Campbell, the creator of the Campbellock dance (or locking), shined a light on his movement that is still an inspiration in today’s choreography. Dancers brought audience members to the stage to dance together and pass on the style again and again.

© Autumn Breon
(Giovanni Soli)

Then on Saturday, I went out to Hauser and Wirth in downtown L.A. to see Autumn Breon’sProtective Style.” The performance piece was inspired by community care and organizing within Black hair salons. Breon is known for beginning her performance pieces with a procession, and “Protective Style” was no different. Breon, along with two dancers, strolled into the Hauser and Wirth courtyard in a white Chevy convertible with the Black Fist Brass Band playing in front of them. Inside the performance space, Breon sat in a salon chair with notes clipped to her hair. Each note shared a personal reflection on the impact salons have had. One by one, audience members walked up to take a note and read it out to the audience. The evening performance was a celebration of care and community as people responded and reflected on the words that felt familiar to their own experiences in the salon chair.

Go out speed round

Installation view of Gajin Fujita's "True Colors" at L.A. Louver.
Installation view of Gajin Fujita’s “True Colors” at L.A. Louver.
(Robert Wedemeyer)

Go out before it closes: L.A. Louver’s latest trio of exhibitions is coming to a close very soon. Gajin Fujita’s “True Colors,” Kienholz’s “Exchange of Values” and Dion Johnson’s “Color Play” will all be available to view for one more week. The Venice gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and admission is free. More details on the exhibitions can be found on L.A. Louver’s website.


Go out for free: In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Japanese American National Museum and Visual Communications presents a celebratory kickoff at the downtown L.A. museum. The event includes music, food, film, art and free admission into the museum exhibitions throughout the evening. The celebration is from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday and RSVP is encouraged. More information can be found on JANM’s website.

Go out and craft: Craft Contemporary in Mid-Wilshire is hosting Scent Fair L.A. presented by the Institute for Art and Olfaction and Darin Klein & Friends. The fair will include fragrance maker booths, hands-on workshops and an opening night party. So if you’re the kind of person who loves a good candle, get ready to be introduced to the world of fragrance making. The fair is free with museum admission — which ranges from $5 to $9 — while other festivities range from $30 to $75. The event runs from Friday to Sunday and further details on all the fun can be found on Craft Contemporary’s website.

Go out with the kids: The Academy Museum in Mid-Wilshire will be having a screening of “Hand in Hand” as part of their family-friendly matinees. The screening of the 1960 film is part of a lineup in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month and follows the friendship between two kids in postwar London — one who is Catholic and one who is Jewish. “Hand in Hand” is screening at 11 a.m. Saturday and tickets are $5. More details can be found on the Academy Museum’s website.

Go out on a date: South Coast Botanic Garden’sSoar — Tropical Butterflies” exhibition is back for its third year. The experience allows you to get up close and personal with hundreds of butterflies, all while learning about the various species. The exhibition in Rolling Hills Estates is perfect for a midday date surrounded by the beauties of nature. Tickets range from $8 to $29 and the exhibition runs until August 31. More details can be found on South Coast Botanic Garden’s website.

Go out all day: May the 4th be with you. The Academy Museum has Star Wars fans set for a special May 4 celebration on Thursday. The daylong event includes a photo opportunity with R2-D2, hands-on activities for all ages, a book signing and a screening. The festivities begin at 1:30 p.m. and tickets range from free to $25. More information on the May the 4th celebration can be found on the museum’s website.

Go out all night: Flume will be having a jampacked live show at the Kia Forum in Inglewood titled “10 Years of Flume.” The Grammy Award-winning Australian DJ will be accompanied by Chet Faker, Kucka and more. The event honoring the electronic and future bass musical artist starts at 8 p.m. Friday and resale tickets range from $55 to $300. Tickets and details can be found on Ticketmaster.

Didier William, "My Father’s Nightmares: My Sleepwalkers Crucible," 2023.
Didier William, “My Father’s Nightmares: My Sleepwalkers Crucible,” 2023. Signed and dated verso. Acrylic, wood carving, and ink on panel. 106x70 in.
(Didier William / James Fuentes LLC)

Go out to a new gallery: James Fuentes’ new gallery in Hollywood will be presenting Didier William’s Things Like This Don’t Happen Here,” a solo exhibition that combines personal narratives with mythology through works that utilize painting, printmaking and collage techniques. The gallery is free and the exhibition has an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Further details can be found on James Fuentes’ website.

Go out and laugh: “Nicole Travolta Is Doing Alright,” at least that’s what her solo show promises. The Los Angeles-based actress and comedian debuted her one-woman show earlier this year, and now it’s back at the Groundlings in Fairfax for three nights this month. The show is based on Travolta’s personal life filled with bad financial habits and a knack for spray tanning. The next two shows are at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, with an additional 8 p.m. show on May 23. Details can be found on the Groundlings’ website.

Go out and read: If the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books wasn’t enough for you bookworms, Stanford in Entertainment is teaming up with UCLA for a panel and reception centered on “Writers on the Rise.” The panel moderated by Robin Swicord — the screenwriter and director of films like “Matilda” and “Memoirs of a Geisha” — will include screenwriters, a novelist and a cartoonist. The event is from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the James West Alumni Center at UCLA and tickets are $25. Details can be found on Stanford’s website.

More from the crew here

The post-rain bloom is here! Check out one of these 17 SoCal hiking trails for a picturesque view of the wildflowers.

Kayak season is here and we’ve got eight of L.A.’s top spots for the perfect spring paddle.


Candle and perfume-making might get your creative juices flowing. Don’t let it go to waste; try these 11 crafty places in L.A.

It’s Cinco de Mayo weekend and The Times’ Matt Cooper has you covered with these 10 arts events to celebrate the occasion.

I’m all ears!

That’s all I’ve got for this week. Follow our feed of recommendations and itineraries on Instagram and Twitter, and if you have recs of your own, send them to