Now in its second iteration, the hotel fair Felix LA recently announced its first-ever Curator of Special Projects, William J. Simmons, who will organize the on-site projects and programming for the fair’s second edition, taking place this February 13-16, 2020 (tickets here). Simmons, who received his BA in art history and LGBTQ studies at Harvard University, will highlight themes of gender, queerness, and feminism for Felix LA 2020.

The site-specific projects, which range from installations and paintings to video and performance, will be installed throughout the hallways, ballrooms, bungalows, and lobbies of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The fair will host a diverse selection of 63 exhibitors from across the globe, including galleries from China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, and the United Kingdom. 

Project highlights include a selection of works by artist Judy Chicago chosen by Jill Soloway; Betty Tompkins’s Women Words series, which depicts phrases commonly used to describe women; Martha Wilson’s works, Makeover: Melania and Mona/Martha/Marge, in which Wilson transforms herself into well-known public figures; Eve Fowler’s text-based works that foreground queer-feminist poetics; and a unique installation by Luis Flores on the chandelier in the Hollywood Roosevelt lobby.

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“I'm honored to be working with Felix LA. I see this year's Special Projects as a continuation of my successful collaboration with Al and Mills Morán on the landmark exhibition Queer Fantasy at their gallery in 2014,” said Felix LA Curator of Special Projects William J. Simmons. “I see the Special Projects sector as a slice of history, a cross-section of some of the most interesting artists dealing with identity and identity politics today. Queerness, feminism, environmental activism, anti-racist activism, and countless other progressive ideals permeate these artists' work in unexpected ways. The representation of politics is certainly interesting here, but equally so are the politics of representation, the act of imbuing a chosen medium with hope, fear, earnestness, and criticality.”

Special Project participants include Math Bass (Tanya Leighton), Anne Collier and Ellen Berkenblit (Anton Kern Gallery), Hayden Dunham, Dynasty Handbag with Morgan Bassichis, Smiling Beth, Marawa, and Cricket Arrison, and David Benjamin Sherry (Morán Morán), Paula Hayes (Zero + Maria Cornejo), Deborah Kass (Kavi Gupta), and Carolee Schneemann (P.P.O.W). 

“We are excited to have William on board leading our Special Projects sector at Felix,”  said Felix co-founders Dean Valentine, Mills Morán and Al Morán. “William has assembled an incredible group of artists from various backgrounds and different generations, and these projects feel like a celebration of William's rich history and knowledge of diversity and identity in art. His vision was crystal clear from the beginning, and we’re looking forward to seeing how the site-specific works will transform the public spaces of the hotel for visiting patrons.”

Felix LA 2020 will showcase a diverse selection of 65 local, national, and international exhibitors, including galleries from China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, and the United States. See the 2020 exhibitor list here.