Ed Bereal and Knowledge Bennett in Dialogue

Ed Bereal has a blue hat. He sits in front of a red clapboard wall.

The Western and Whatcom communities were treated to the full scope of Ed Bereal’s career in a retrospective at The Whatcom Museum in the fall of 2019, and the Western Gallery offered a comprehensive overview of Knowledge Bennett’s work in early 2020 (which was unfortunately cut short by the pandemic). Born four decades apart, the two artists come from different artistic backgrounds. They have strong personal visions and distinct individual voices, but their shared commitment to art and social justice brings them together.

In their dialogue, Bereal and Bennett will discuss the artistic and social challenges of today. It is meant as a free-flowing exchange that may lead anywhere.

The discussion is organized by the Western Gallery and moderated by gallery director, Hafthor Yngvason.

Time and Location

Ed Bereal Bio

Ed Bereal (b. 1937) is best known for his work in assemblage and for his participation in exhibitions and performances that addressed political issues and racial stereotypes from the 1960s onward. His work was included in the controversial exhibition War Babies at the Huysman Gallery in Los Angeles, in 1961 along with work by Larry Bell, Joe Goode, and Ron Miyashiro. In response to the 1965 Watts Rebellion, Bereal moved toward engaging members of his community in social justice work through guerrilla-style street performance. He was a founding member of the 1960s radical street theater group Bodacious Buggerrilla. In 2012, the group was featured in the Getty Center's Performance and Public Art Festival as part of "Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945-1980". Bereal lives in Whatcom County.

Knowledge Bennett Bio

Knowledge Bennett (b. 1976) is best known for his large-scale silkscreen paintings, which employ pop culture iconography to recontextualize historical narratives. His subject matter often spans cultural icons, historical occurrences, and political figures. Bennett’s artistic voice fluctuates between vehement protest and deep personal introspection. His pensive nature is most vividly captured in a series of black monochromes, The Black Paintings, which he showed at the Western Gallery. His work has been featured in major media outlets such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Vogue. Bennett has paintings in corporate and private collections in major cities throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. Currently. Bennett resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Suburbanite mannequins stand in line to be bashed in the head by a monstrous mechanical liberty lady in front of a disheveled american flag.

Ed Bereal, Miss America: Manufacturing Consent: Upside Down and Backwards (2000-2015)

orange and black screened images of newspaper headlines announcing black men killed by police

Knowledge Bennett, License to Kill (NYPD Police Brutality)

Disability Accommodations

For disability accommodations, please contact the department presenting the event. Disability access information is available online at Parking Services, and further resources can be found by contacting Western's Disability Access Center.

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