Lauren Halsey
Naima Green—The New York Times/Redux

Lauren Halsey’s innovative approach to art puts community at the center of her work. As an artist and collaborator, she builds monuments to South Central L.A. that are celebratory exercises in local autonomy. As an activist and philanthropist, her vision is so much larger, encompassing food drives, public installations, and community organizing.

Lauren’s ground-up approach to collaboration untangles complicated questions around representation and context, broadening the definition of the artist. Her most recent commission for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Roof Garden, an installation that draws from the visuals of ancient Egypt, contemporary graffiti, and more, is evidence that art can be both a singular and plural process—one that’s inspired by individual rigor and driven forward with communal effort. Let’s hope one day she can fulfill her vision of finding a permanent place in South Central for this monument to the richness of a place we both call home.

Bradford is an artist

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