2024 MA Curatorial Practices Practicum Exhibition

Wayward Refusals
Opening reception: Oct 30, 5-8pm
On view: Oct 31 - Nov 27
Roski Graduate Gallery (LA Arts District) 



Opening reception: Oct 30, 5 - 8pm
Includes a performance by DJ Wenluv
Reservations requested, here

Exhibition on view: Oct 31 - Nov 27
Roski Graduate Gallery (LA Arts District)
1262 Palmetto St, Los Angeles 90013
Gallery Hours: Tue - Sat, 12noon - 4pm
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Nov 23.


participating artists

Lucy Black, Cyshimi, Katinka Huang, Young Joon Kwak, Julia Mata, Coyote Park, RUTH, Toni Smalls, and Peidi Zhang


Related Activities

Open throughout the run of the exhibition, the Wayward Refusals Reading Room allows visitors to sit in a living room setting, select books from a library that has been curated by the M.A. cohort, and read amongst the artwork. The space includes publications from which the cohort drew inspiration during the ideation phase of Wayward Refusals.

Nail Art Workshop
Nov 18, 2 - 4pm
Reservations here.

Join nail artist Keesha Clark to learn the techniques and principles underlying nail art as an expressive form of self-care and empowerment. Clark, founder and designer of Born Noir Nails (meaning Born Black) responds to the pervasive, worldwide anti-Blackness incidents and an amplification of her voice encouraging self care and self love for ALL.


about the exhibition

Wayward Refusals explores the radical creativity that results from experiences of oppression, marginalization, rejection, and non-belonging. On view at the Roski Graduate Gallery from October 31, 2023, through November 27, 2023, this group exhibition assembles a range of creative practices –  including painting, sculpture, video, photography, collage and NFT – that interrogates how minoritarian subjects are portrayed as dangerous, immoral, mentally ill, and degenerate due to their racial, gendered, and sexual positions under systems of oppression. However, instead of conforming to dominant ideals of subjecthood, Wayward Refusals investigates how artists develop world-making actions despite the ever-present threats of social, legal and psychological punishments in life under capitalism. Together, these works exemplify what Saidiya Hartman describes as “wayward experiments,” embodying practices of refusal that forefront alternative ways of living. 

Through Wayward Refusals, these featured artists demonstrate how we thrive in spaces of vulnerability, failure, ambiguity, and excess. Confronted by structural oppressions, they interrogate the generative power behind gestures of refusal that open up the possibility of living otherwise. Through sculpting bodies, Young Joon Kwak celebrates corporal agency in shapeshifting without arriving at a final destination. Lucy Black, Katinka Huang, and RUTH psychologically dissociate themselves from the oppressions of their surroundings, claiming that circumstantial environments are not homes. Toni Smalls co-exist with their vulnerabilities by refusing the fantasy of “normalcy,” inventing their own worlds, transitional yet utopian, and making room for emotions too big for words. Love, friendship, and femininity are honored by Cyshimi and Peidi Zhang through adornment and performativity, while Coyote Park and Julia Mata celebrate the vibrancy and regenerative energy found in spaces of queer kinship, radically transforming liminal spaces into creative refuge. Wayward Refusals argues that we can reject the normativity of life and fabulate new realities even in the most unexpected settings. 

We hope this exhibit privileges both the ephemeral and the enduring, constituting occasions where one may, in Fred Moten’s words, “consent to not be a single being.” Wayward Refusals encourages others to think through their own practices of refusal, forging community and unlocking more life in the process.


2024 MA Practicum Exhibition Curatorial Team

Ashley Ascencio
Chenyang Nie
Hattie Schultz
Linna Wang
Yishan Xin
Alice Zhao
Hang Zhang