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“Go Outside and Stay Inside” at Outside Gallery


As social interactions and leisure activities migrate outdoors due to COVID-19, Outside Gallery — a front yard space in Lincoln Heights that hosts outdoor exhibitions — is an ideal venue to host a pandemic art show.

“Go Outside Stay Inside,” co-curated by artists Don Edler and Cara Chan, features sculptures that double as interior objects. The title recalls the mixed messaging of early pandemic protocols, and the irony of being advised to both stay isolated indoors and recreate outdoors.

Don Edler explains, “At first [Cara and I] both showed up with ‘furniture sculptures.’ And as we began to install, we started to realize we were creating an ‘interior’ or domestic space in a gallery that was entirely outside.”

Various sculptures-as-seating are arranged throughout the yard, around a central rug by Chan. A large tree frames several works. A stained glass piece by Anna Breininger is strung up in the branches. A painting of an open door by Cameron Masters is tacked to the tree’s trunk. And a sculpture by Edler is embedded into the dirt, collecting fallen dried leaves. Sculpted candelabras by Amelia Lockwood include flames cast in cement — more prop than functional object. A chair by Chan is modeled after the character in Edvard Munch’s iconic painting “The Scream,” inviting brave visitors to sit in the lap of the ghoulish protagonist.

“The works in this show reflect on our desire for community,” says Chan. “We offer a socially distant choose-your-own-adventure seating arrangement, from sitting in the lap of existential dread, to reclining on a Stone Age lounger, or leaning up against a concrete wall under an artwork that may cover you in sparkles. While in the company of birds, ambient sources of light, and other secrets hidden around the garden, we invite you to take part in the inside/outside lifestyle of quarantine era Southern California.”