A hotel in downtown Los Angeles that was a haven for artists for many years is the subject of a documentary and exhibition that will be at the Spokane Falls Community College Fine Arts Gallery from September 23 through October 25, 2019.
Stephen Seemayer and Pamela Wilson, the creators of the documentary film Tales of the American, will give three free public presentations in Spokane and more than 20 artists who lived, played or worked at the American Hotel between the 1970s and 2010 will exhibit their art.
The film covers the history of the American Hotel from 1905 when it was built as the city’s first hotel for African-Americans to the present day. The film was released in 2018 and shows how the current gentrification of the neighborhood and overdevelopment is displacing the artists.
The SFCC Fine Arts Gallery is open 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays in Building 6 at SFCC, 3410 W. Fort George Wright Drive.
Presentations by Seemayer and Wilson are scheduled for October 16, noon, at Eastern Washington University’s Art Building Auditorium; October 17, 11:30 a.m., in Building 24 at SFCC and at 6:30 p.m. that same day at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.
The American Hotel first catered to the porters who worked on the railroad. By 1913, it was known for its night life, gambling and illegal activity. The documentary follows the hotel’s transitions throughout the years when its identity moved from flophouse in the 1950s to the Arts District in 2000. Periods in between included Dixieland jazz, Tony’s Café, Joe Pirrione’s nightclub, and punk rock in Al’s Bar, when it became a launch pad for bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs, Weezer, Black Flag, Los Lobos, Nirvana and the Party Boys.
The artists whose work will be at the exhibit are:
- William Acedo – printmaking
- John Carnright - experimental mixed media
- Jaime Colindres -mixed media
- Carlton Davis -installation, performance
- Miriam Feldman -painting
- Tara Fondiler - drawing/painting
- Jett Jackson – drawing
- Greg Jezewski - painting/assemblage
- George Joaquim – painting
- Lilli Muller – sculpture
- Raymond Newton -photography
- Craig O’Rourke -painting
- Stephen Seemayer -video/performance
- Dustin Shuler -public sculpture
- Theodore Svenningsen -painting
- Kent Twitchell - murals
- Marnie Weber -performance
- Pamela Wilson -writer/photographer
- Jerico Woggon -photography