Among Summer Solstice rituals, Juneteenth and Pride celebrations, literary commemorations with beer and singing, also find reflective dance legacies, cinematic visions of the nature of life in the universe, art about the magic of the moon and the mystique of glass, top secret comedy, queer comics, queer mariachi, medieval fantasists, and more marvels to fill these longest days.
Thursday, June 16
Synchrodogs Artist Talk. Human. Nature. NFTs. at Vellum LA. Synchrodogs is the artistic duo of Roman Noven and Tania Shcheglova from Ukraine, working together since 2008. Their work explores the everlasting tension between human and nature, with images of raw, animalistic beauty. Noven and Shcheglova work in both art and fashion, innovating across further blurred boundaries. Moderated by Alice Scope. 7673 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Thursday, June 16, 7pm; free; vellumla.com.
Bloomsday at the Hammer. The beloved Bloomsday celebration of author James Joyce and his landmark novel Ulysses returns to the museum, with a new production of songs and dramatic readings directed by Elizabeth Dennehy. The celebration continues in the courtyard with Guinness and live music. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Thursday, June 16, 7:30pm; free; hammer.ucla.edu.
Friday, June 17
Primera Generación Dance Collective at Dance at the Odyssey. Nepantla is a series of movement-based explorations and play, used to reflect, generate, question, and re-imagine the Mexican American experience. Primera Generación Dance Collective oscillates between remembering, sorrow, and joy, navigating culturally iconic images, stories, songs, stereotypes, and rituals. 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A.; Friday-Sunday, June 17-19; $15-$25; odysseytheatre.com.
Don’t Tell Comedy 5th Anniversary Show. From historic mansions to candy stores, rooftops to rock climbing gyms, Don’t Tell transforms just about any environment into a unique setting for live stand-up comedy — and only reveals its locations to ticket-holders on the day of the show. The lineup is likewise kept under wraps, but every lineup is curated to include the best local and nationally touring funny people. Friday, June 17, 8pm; secret locations in your choice of Venice, Santa Monica, or San Diego provided with ticket purchase; $20; donttellcomedy.com.
Professor Brian Cox: Horizons: A 21st Century Space Odyssey, at the Montalban. World-renowned physicist Brian Cox (aka “the UK’s coolest scientist”) presents an immersive tech-forward cinematic experience expressing the story of how we came to be. Deep questions will be explored using the latest advances in our understanding of quantum theory, black holes, biology, planetary science, astronomy and cosmology. For this celebration of our civilization, of our music, art, philosophy and science, Cox will be joined by co-host of The Infinite Monkey Cage, comedian Robin Ince. 1615 Vine St., Hollywood; Friday-Saturday, June 17-18, 8pm; $65; themontalban.com.
Maralie Armstrong-Rial: Glass, Water, Light, at Coaxial Arts Foundation. Sculptures manipulating and refracting light cast from candle and video projection address the oracular history of glass in telecom, astronomy, and occult. Glass molded from the hollow of a tree trunk and fashioned into “head-mounted displays” is meant for immersion into the ancient “virtual realities” of light and shadow; recordings for an ongoing audio mapping project will be composed live in a sound performance. 1815 S. Main St., downtown; Opening: Friday, June 17, 7-10pm (performance: 7:30-9:30); On view: Saturday, June 18, 3-7pm; free; coaxialarts.org.
Saturday, June 18
Kenny Scharf: BESTEST EVER! at Honor Fraser. Remixing a cast of familiar characters, within an installation of vibrant paintings, glossy sculptures, and a gallery-sized Cosmic Cavern, Scharf’s latest solo exhibition explores the various ways we relate to conflict, chaos, and to one another. Scharf’s mastery of play, proportion, and intuitive mark-making will be on full display. 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; Opens: Saturday, June 18, 5-7pm; On view through August 20; free; honorfraser.com.
QCon at Plummer Park. The first LGBTQ+ comic convention in Southern California since 2014, Prism Comics presents a celebration of the amazing diversity of LGBTQ+ comics and graphic novels. Meet creators. Get autographs and sketches. Mix with other comics fans. Cosplay encouraged. 1166 N. Vista St., West Hollywood; Saturday, June 18, 10am-5pm; free; prismcomics.org.
Now We’re Here at The Broad. Reflecting on the special exhibition This Is Not America’s Flag, the performance event features barrier-breaking rapper Niña Dioz, genre-bending singer Rubby, performance artist and filmmaker Xandra Ibarra, poet and healer féi hernandez, the world’s first and only LGBTQ+ mariachi band Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles, and an all-vinyl set by local cult favorite DJ Cocteautwinks, exploring immigration, gender and sexuality, spirituality, colonialism, and more at the intersections of Indigenous and ancestral heritage and contemporary pop culture. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Saturday, June 18, 8pm; free; thebroad.org.
The Cheech. The brand new Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture opens its doors with the inaugural Cheech Collects — the story of Marin’s decades as a passionate and laser-focused collector, exploring the making of a major collection and the advocacy and that continues to shape the art world’s perceptions and understanding of Chicano art. With almost 120 works from Marin’s gift of over 500 pieces to the Riverside Art Museum, and a stunning site-specific centerpiece from the de la Torre Brothers. 3581 Mission Ave., Riverside; On view June 18, 2022 – June 18, 2023; $15.95; riversideartmuseum.org.
Sunday, June 19
Andrea Bowers and Drawing Down the Moon at the Hammer. The first museum survey of Bower’s oeuvre reflects the artist’s experimentation with a wide range of mediums, including drawing, performance, installation, sculpture, video, and neon sculptures. Drawing Down the Moon operates at the crux of a lunar spectrum, between the lure and mystery of the idea of the moon, and the eternal quest to conquer the physical moon in its material form, through a panoply of art and objects dating from antiquity to the present. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; On view: June 19 – September 4; Public reception: Saturday, June 25, 8-11pm; free; hammer.ucla.edu.
Kirk Henriques: Like Watermelon for Chocolate, at UNREPD. A selection of abstract and figurative paintings in oil and acrylic on fiberglass mesh, opening on Juneteenth. At the center of this body of work is the watermelon, an icon ripe with socio-economic significance. The exhibition considers watermelon’s fraught history as a symbol of freedom and prosperity, as well as denigration and shame, for black people in America. 619 N. Western Ave., Hollywood; Opens: Sunday, June 19, 2-4pm; On view through July 19; free; unrepd.com.
Tuesday, June 21
Summer Solstice Party at the Fowler Museum. Celebrate the beginning of summer and the blockbuster exhibition Aboriginal Screen-Printed Textiles from Australia’s Top End, on view through July 10. Live musical entertainment, Australian food, and Accolade Wines surrounding an exhibition walk-through with curator Joanna Barrkman and artists, and a make your own bandana workshop featuring original designs by Aboriginal artists from Jilamara Arts & Crafts Association in partnership with Self Help Graphics. 308 Charles E. Young Dr., Westwood; Tuesday, June 21, 5:30-8:30pm; free; fowler.ucla.edu.
The Fantasy of the Middle Ages at the Getty Center. The castles, knights, battles, and imaginary creatures of the Middle Ages perpetually inspire art, literature, photography, film, and reenactment. This exhibition explores the ways in which the Middle Ages have been mythologized, dramatized, and re-envisioned time and again, proving an irresistible period for creative reinterpretations ranging from the Brothers Grimm to Game of Thrones. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood; On view June 21- September 11; free; getty.edu.
Queering Pictures at NeueHouse Hollywood. A conversation with Reynaldo Rivera and Amina Cruz, photographers who are responsible for an incredible, cross-decade archive of Latinx queer nightlife in Los Angeles. The artists will discuss how they’ve captured an intergenerational portrait for over four decades. Moderated by Cesar Garcia-Alvarez of The Mistake Room. 6121 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tuesday, June 21, 8-9:30pm; free w/ rsvp; rsvp.neuehouse.com/queeringpictures.
Lavender City of Dreams: The Queer Biennial 2022 (Virtual). A pillar of Pride celebrations curated by LA-based artist Ruben Esparza since 2014, an expansive and eclectic group of visual, literary, performance, video, and new media artists including Cassils, Yozmit, Lili Lakisch, Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, Marvel A. Rex, Nao Bustamante, Patrisse Cullors, Ron Athey, Sheree Rose, Umi Hsu and more present work focused on national and international LGBTQia+ issues, ina celebratory, cautionary exhibition that speaks to this exuberant, volatile, progressive, dangerous moment in history. queerbiennial.org.