Posse and Collaborators

Ernesto Chaves. Born in San José, Costa Rica, Ernesto has lived in the US since 1999. He has developed as a singer/songwriter for the past 15 years, following the tradition of Latin American troubadours who tell stories of people, nations and daily life through poetry and music.  He also completed studies in Urban & Regional Planning as well as Transportation Management and now works in Transportation Planning in the LA Region.

jacobo.chuy. With a consuming passion for tangible printed publications, record sleeves, album covers, packaging, independent cinema, black letter typefaces and the encouragement to take a typography class I am enrolled in the Graphic Design program at Santa Monica College. After one year of starting at Santa Monica College my passion and understanding of graphic design and the role it plays in society has grown immensely. I am currently interested in branding and hope to help out a few small business with their brand.

Juli ‘RED” Grigsby. Born and raised In the Inland Empire, a child of the freeways she grew up back riding back and forth to the City of Angels with commuter parents. Her love for the disastrous and contradictory beauty of the city inspires Juli’s photography and academic work. A Ph.D candidate at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Anthropology- African Diaspora Program, her work considers the political practices of Black Women’s Reproductive Justice organizations in Los Angeles. Her research explores the challenges of transformative community non-profit organizing in the context of the California economic crisis.

Jason Gutierrez is proud to be a fourth-generation native of Los Angeles. As a Chicano with a working class background, he often finds himself on the margins working alongside, learning from, and struggling with the poor and disenfranchised to improve our lived realities. As a Christian, Jason aims to strengthen and navigate the bridges that bond different faiths and beliefs to one another, and to link that movement to social justice. He looks to folks like the Dalai Lama, Malcolm X, MLK, and bell hooks for guidance and inspiration. He garners strength in cinema, and finds a reminiscing groove in Oldies and Hip Hop. This near high-school dropout turned community college transfer student and an alumnus of UCLA, has come to cherish and respect one of the things that makes his beloved Los Angeles so unique—MOVEMENTS.

Aimee Guzmán received her BA from UCSB in Dramtic Arts and LGTB studies. After a few years of working at the Los Angeles Theater Company and a summer  internship at Travesías (Mexico City), she decided to pursue a second BA in graphic design. Her designs follows the simple and insigtful advice of her uncle–a handy man extroardinarire and the most interesting man in Pico Rivers–“first find the right man for the job, then use the right tool for the problem at hand.”

Meliza Guzmán was born in Los Angeles but raised in Veracruz, Mexico. She lived there  half of her life. She currently live in South El Monte, CA and attends Cal. State Los Angeles, where she plans to major in Spanish.  She is very excited to be part of SEMAP’s Hopscotch Committee.

Romeo Guzmán is a doctoral student in the history department at Columbia University. His research focuses on migration, nationhood, and popular culture in “Greater Mexico.” In his spare time (and sometimes while reading academic books) he fantasizes about being a journalist, creative non-fiction writer, and member of a cover band. While he did not take any of the photographs, this is his first photo project. He would like to thank Chris, Lester, Jason, and Juli for their collaboration.

Lester Lawenko is a freelance photographer in the greater Los Angeles area. He has photographed for various music publications covering concerts of both mainstream and independent artists. Additionally, Lester also has a strong interest in creating photo essays and has documented slices of LA life. His aim is to tell a visual story about the environments, conditions, beliefs, and struggles of the subjects he photographs. Some of his works include a series of images of a homeless man; the Arlington Santa Monica Memorial, the 2006 immigrant rally; the 2008 Iraq war protest; and street fruit vendors.

Henry Pacheco. Henry is originally from Northern California, Bay Area. He moved to Los Angeles ten years ago to attend UCLA. Upon graduating from UCLA, Henry worked in Marketing at Disney for over five years. He left Disney in 2010 to attend the Los Angeles Film School. While in film school, he produced and directed a documentary about Latinos in America entitled “Gen Y”. Henry also produced a short film called “Sobre Vivir”, which was submitted to TriBeCa Film Festival and Latino Film Festivals in LA and NY. Most recently, Henry has been living and working in New York working for Runway Passport, a fashion start up based out of Williamsburg. He produces video, photography and social media for Runway Passport. He also has worked with the Weinstein Company handling social media for their latest documentary, “Bully” under director Lee Hirsch. Lastly, he is an associate producer for the documentary “American Dreamers.”

Jennifer Renteria Jennifer Renteria is a multidisciplinary designer and writer whose research and projects, which often utilize photography and multimedia, center around urban informality and the relationship between the urban environment and nature. Her work, both independent and collaborative, can be found in various academic and cultural publications, including Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and PlanningFavel Issues, and Plataforma Urbana. Renteria studied history and fine arts at Bowdoin College and received her Master’s in Landscape Architecture from the University of Southern California. Her work can be viewed here: www.studiorenteria.com

Juan Renteria is a Los Angeles-based artist, born in Mission Hills, California.  He often observes how people navigate around the city and interact with the environment around them.  Juan’s work explores a variety of landscape issues bracketed with an interest in the boundaries between distinct cultural space and terrain that seems in a kind of limbo between the natural world and the cultural world. He received his BFA in Photography and Media from CalArts in 2010

Christopher Anthony Velasco is a mixed-media artist working in Los Angeles, CA. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Media from California Institute of the Arts in 2010 and has studied at Art Center College of Design and East Los Angeles College. He has exhibited in numerous galleries around Los Angeles including Vincent Price Art Museum, California Institute of the Arts, The Salvation Army Algeria, Hibbleton Gallery, Art Center College of Design, and Corpo Gallery. As well as being apart of the Where We Live: Student Perspectives associated with The Getty Museum and their photography show, Where We Live: Photographs of America from the Berman Collection. His work, mainly consisting in Performance, Photography and Collage, range in ideas about the Urban Landscape, Public and Private Space, and questions of Identity


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