About the Artist
Nari Ward received a BA from City University of New York, Hunter College and an MFA from City University of New York, Brooklyn College. Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized at the New Museum (New York) (2019), Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston) (2017), Socrates Sculpture Park (New York) (2017), Barnes Foundation (Philadelphia) (2016), Pérez Art Museum (Miami) (2015), Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia) (2011), and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (North Adams) (2011). Select group exhibitions featuring his work include UPTOWN: nastywomen/badhombres at El Museo del Barrio (New York) (2017), The Great Mother at Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Palazzo Reale (Milan) (2015), The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2015), and the 1995 and 2006 Whitney Biennials (New York).
About the Artwork
Enchanted Servers is a series of multidimensional events and art installations that metaphorically set the table to celebrate and reflect on the many ways food is served. In honor of the tradition of community festivals in Leimert Park, Ward presents a cross-section of participatory activations anchored in meaningful social communion around food, art, and music. Ward’s totem sculpture in Leimert Park Plaza comprises metal food plate covers—often used for hotel room service—and jacks used to raise cars. The jacks remark on Los Angeles’s dependence on automobiles, as well as the tool as it is used for repair. For the artist, the combination food plate covers and jacks allude to food truck vendors—a community Ward recognizes for its entrepreneurial vigor and literal drive to serve diverse menus in a wide range of neighborhoods throughout the city.