Pomona Envisioning the Future

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Pomona Envisioning the Future
LocationPomona, California

Pomona Envisioning the Future is a collaborative art project which took place in September 2003 in Pomona, California.[1][2] The project began with a series of discussions and lectures about globalization and the future. Seventy artists, trained by nine facilitators,[1][2] created more than 800 works of art in digital media, photography, sculptures, and painting.[1][2] Envisioning the Future is a mural by Kevin Stewart-Magee as a result of this art project.[3]


The community-based project named Envisioning the Future (E.T.F.) began with an idea by Cheryl Bookout,[a] director of SCA Gallery of Pomona. She met with Judy Chicago in 2001 to discuss her goal to bring attention to Inland Valley arts, and revitalize downtown Pomona and its art colony.[5] Executed by Chicago, Woodman,[4][6] and Cal Poly Pomona,[5] it was Chicago's largest project to that point, including artists from 47 communities within eight counties in California.[7] The project was led by Bookout and Barbara Way, Dean of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.[1]

This project brings together works that are both diverse and divergent. The future as seen by these artists ranges from optimism to severe pessimism and from the micro level of the family unit to the macro level of the world at large.

—Nelson Trombley, curator of Pitzer's Nichols Gallery and facilitator of the documentary photography group [7]

It began with panel discussions and lectures about "the impact of globalization and new technologies on art and the future", which occurred over two weeks in September 2003 at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona.[1][8] Speakers included British art historian Edward Lucie-Smith; Henry Hopkins, formerly of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and former director of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Hammer Museum; and other North American art historians, scholars, and artists.[1][8] Other participants included Judy Baca and Gilbert Luján, muralists from Los Angeles, and artists Patrick Nagatani[b] and Isis Rodriguez.[1][8] It was then officially kicked off on September 22, 2003.[1]

Woodman and Chicago trained nine facilitators from California's art communities who worked with 70 participants from Southern California to develop the concept for Pomona's future.[1][2] More than 800 works of art were created over a three month period, including those made in digital media, sculpture, painting, installation and performing arts.[1][2]

Few viewers will be able to see all of the work. No doubt fewer still will like all of the work they see. But surely, the longterm and widespread benefit/outcome of Envisioning the Future derives from the application of the Participatory Art Pedagogy to the challenge of future imagining--that is to say, from practicing interaction and collaboration. Its aesthetic merit stems from the cumulative effect of the rich diversity of art, rather than from any individual piece, be it masterpiece or disposable.

—Betty Brown, Judy Chicago's 'Envisioning the Future'[8]

Susan Krieg was the painting facilitator.[9] Some of the paintings include Martha Shaw's Joy of Cloning, and paintings that reflect Deane Swick's views about potential outcomes of conflict within the Middle East and Victoria Delgadillo's viewpoint about worker exploitation.[7] The photography group's submissions included works by Bob Markovich and Nelson Trombley.[7] Pamela Marsden composed "Electro-Acoustic Interactive Opera/Installation for Voices, Percussion and Electronics" for the performance, We Are All Sibyls. It is about Sibyl, "a woman endowed with the power of prophecy in Greek mythology and therefore a natural symbol for the challenges of imagining the future."[8] A mural was designed by one team featuring the Goddess Pomona.[1]

Works of art were shown first at Pitzer College's Nichols Gallery,[7] with a webcast with Chicago. They were then displayed in galleries in Claremont and the Pomona Arts Colony, as well as on the Cal Poly Pomona campus in early 2004.[2] The former gallery director at California State University, Dextra Frankel, directed the "sprawling exhibition design". In 1967, Frankel was curator of Chicago's first major exhibition.[8]


The 140-by-42-foot (43 m × 13 m) mural Envisioning the Future depicts the past, present, and future of the City of Pomona and features the Goddess Pomona.[3][10] after which the City of Pomona is named.[11] It is located at Thomas Plaza[4] in downtown Pomona's Arts District[12] Eight muralists, along with artists and students, were connected with the mural's design.[13][14] The mural artists were lead artist Kevin Stewart-Magee,[3][8] with Amy Runyen, Chris Toovey,[3] Karen Keller,[2] Cori Griffin-Ruiz, Sandra Gallegos, Rupert Hernandez, Lief Frederick, Lynne Kumra, Mary Kay Wilson, and Yolanda Londono.[15] It was painted by 80 artists and participants,[3] and is located on the side of the Union Building, 195 West Second Street, Pomona.


  1. ^ It is stated by the Visual Art Source that the project began with Kevin Stewart-MaGee and Cheryl Bookout,[4] but, information from Cal Poly Tech, Pomona[1][2] and an in-depth article from the Los Angeles Times shows that the idea began with Bookout, who then met Chicago, and explored the concept further with her over time.[5]
  2. ^ Patrick Nagatani, an artist from Albuquerque, was a recipient of the Governor's Award for the Arts in his home state.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Special Collections and University Archives: "Envisioning the Future"". Cal Poly Pomona University Library. Retrieved December 23, 2016. Comment: Another link is Special Collections: Envisioning the Future.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Envisioning the Future Challenges Local Art Community". California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. February 1, 2004. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Laura Billiter (September 25, 2012). "Local artist paints mural landscapes to last through generations". Daily Titan, California State University, Fullerton. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Stacy Davies. "Pomona Arts Colony Second Saturdays". Visual Art Source. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "'Future' tense via Chicago". Los Angeles Times. January 9, 2004. p. 60. Retrieved December 23, 2016 – via newspapers.com.
  6. ^ Kristine Stiles; Peter Selz (25 September 2012). Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of ArtistsÕ Writings (Second Edition, Revised and Expanded by Kristine Stiles). Univ of California Press. p. 336. ISBN 978-0-520-25374-2.
  7. ^ a b c d e ""Envisioning the Future"—Pitzer College to Host Opening of Judy Chicago Project". Pitzer College. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Judy Chicago's "Envisioning the Future"". ArtSceneCal. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  9. ^ "Content-based Critique". Judy Chicago Art Education Collection. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Plenary Speakers - Judy Chicago". The Arts in Society. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  11. ^ "Statue of the Goddess Pomona". Pomona Public Library Digital Collection.
  12. ^ "A Revitalized Pomona". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  13. ^ "Union East". Jeved Management, Inc. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  14. ^ "'Future' tense via Chicago". Los Angeles Times. January 9, 2004. p. 71. Retrieved December 23, 2016 – via newspapers.com.
  15. ^ ""Envisioning the Future" (2004) by Kevin Stewart-Magee". Public Art in Public Places. Retrieved December 23, 2016.

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