Latino artists work in tons of mediums and styles but a lot of them also believe in using their art to have their voice heard. Social and Public Art Resource Center, S.P.A.R.C. for short, especially focuses on using the visual to bring light to social issues. Founded by legendary muralist Judith F. Baca – along with filmmaker Donna Deitch and artist Christina Schlesinger – the non-profit organization supports artists working in this vein. Saturday, the Los de Abajo Printmaking Collective presents new prints dealing with the prison system of the U.S. Head to the opening reception to check out these powerful works at 5 p.m. along with performance from singer Angela Roa and guitarist Fernando Lozada. If you miss the opening, the show runs until March 30 so there’s plenty of time to get your political art on.
S.P.A.R.C. 685 Venice Blvd. Venice, CA 90291 (310) 822-9506
You’ve seen them at parties, either right before or after the cake but the last place you might expect piñatas to pop up is inside a museum. Just that will happen at the Hammer Museum Sunday, February February 17 at 2 p.m. The museum closes out its exhibition Game Room with an event featuring aritst Sarah Bay Williams; you can put your piñata-bashing skills to the test by going at the artist’s papier mache works that also belong to her series Recreational Items from Unfortunate Events. Tabitha Christopher will read stories that deal with the piñatas, which individually deal with events that inspired Williams. Every half hour from 2 to 5, a willing person can destroy one of the piñatas and don’t fret – they come filled with toys, games, and more, just like at your familia’s parties.Vincent Price Art Museum
Hammer Museum 10899 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90024 (310) 443-7000
Now that we’re over the world end-of-the-world hysteria leading up to December 21, 2012, how about taking a different look at the Maya Calendar? On Sunday February 16, Gerardo Aldana, Professor of Chicano/a studies at UC Santa Barbara delves into the complicated history of the Maya people and the Maya Long Count. During the talk, you can learn about how the calendar first came into being, and why people relied on it for their everyday lives. The talk will take place in Brown auditorium and comes at no cost, though tickets are required. Head to the ticket office an hour before the discussion to get yours. There’s more to the Maya calendar than a frenzy about the apocalypse – that’s so last year.LACMA 5905 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323) 857-6000