Studio One Eleven Launches “We Activate Our Cities” Initiative with “Counter:Image” Exhibition at Iconic Acres of Books Building in the DTLB Design District, in conjunction with Downtown Long Beach Art Walk:

Studio One Eleven is thrilled to announce an activation of the iconic Acres of Books building with the exhibition, “Counter:image,” in collaboration with the Downtown Long Beach (DTLB) Art Walk. This program is an initiative of the DTLB Design District, an emerging area of downtown Long Beach that champions design-centric small businesses, makers, art galleries, and more.

Event Details:

  • Date: January 13, 2024 from  4-9pm 
  • Location: Acres of Books, 240 Long Beach Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90802

About “Counter:image”:

“Counter:image” invites us to explore diverse perspectives through the lens of multidisciplinary contemporary artists. The exhibition fosters a visual dialogue that contradicts, compares, and contrasts mainstream narratives, challenging viewers to question the stories they consume. This exploration aims to showcase the power of artistic expression to reframe, redefine, and counter the images shaping our understanding of the world. 

This exhibition is curated by Sinead Finnerty-Pyne and Mario Ybarra Jr. 

Featured Artists: 

Studio One Eleven Artist-in-Residence Mario Ybarra Jr. + Slanguage Studio 

“We Activate our Cities” silkscreen activity and giveaway. We Activate Our Cities” is a grassroots call to action, urging individuals to participate in revitalizing urban cores by bringing art culture, and design back into these spaces. The silkscreen activity and giveaway is a hands-on and tangible way to engage with the artistic process while contributing to the broader mission of activating cities through art.

Slanguage Studio, founded by Mario Ybarra and Karla Diaz in 2002, operates as an artist collective with a mission that encompasses education, community-building, and interactive exhibitions.

    Monica Nouwens

    Featured Work: “City Noir: Fragmented Realities”

    Nouwens’ poetic exploration of Los Angeles captures the city’s multifaceted identity, transcending traditional documentation. The series delves into sharp contrasts between high-end consumerism, vibrant youth culture, and the harsh realities of homelessness, using a cinematic aesthetic reminiscent of old Hollywood noir.

    Phung Huynh:

    Featured Work: “THE PINK DONUT BOX: Tracing Stories of Cambodian and Vietnamese Refugees”. Huynh’s drawings on pink donut boxes and paintings unpack the complexities of immigration, displacement, and cultural assimilation within Southeast Asian communities. The artist challenges beauty standards and explores the complexities of assimilation and cultural negotiation among Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees through her unique artistry.

    Adam Leeman

    Featured Work: “Empty Space Chronicles”

    Adam’s art delves into the ethereal realm of “empty space” within atoms—the very essence of human existence. Inviting contemplation of the unexplained, especially the marvel of consciousness beyond full scientific understanding, his work is inspired by the Space + Light Movement. Utilizing site-specific installations with a focus on color and immateriality through film, light, and sculpture, Adam orchestrates an exploration of unseen wonders. Encouraging a thoughtful pause, his creative endeavors prompt viewers to reflect on the everyday interplay of light, weaving mood and magic into our surroundings.

    Chakravartin Sokhomsan: 

    Raised by Khmer refugee parents in Long Beach, CA, Chakravartin Sokhomsan, an activist, artist, and educator, found his artistic passion within the local Cambodian community. Chakra, a cis-male dancer, challenges norms by entering the female-dominated world of Cambodian Ballet, aiming to reshape perceptions within this classical style. Simultaneously, he connects Cambodian Ballet and Modern dance, crafting a narrative that reflects his diasporic identity. 

    Seria Project – Dasha Podoltseva and Elena Orap:

    Featured Work: “Fragile Brutalism”

    The graphic designer and architect duo’s project is a devoted exploration of brutalist mass housing in Ukraine. “SERIA__” aims to raise awareness of Ukraine’s architectural heritage, particularly the neglected ‘panelki,’ while considering the impact of the ongoing war on these structures. (presented by

    In Partnership with Downtown Long Beach Art Walk:

    “Counter:image” is proud to be held in conjunction with the Downtown Long Beach Art Walk, an initiative aiming to build on the energy of the monthly 2nd Saturday Art Walk in the East Village. This larger quarterly event pulls together the entire Downtown and surrounding area, providing a unique opportunity for art enthusiasts to engage with a diverse range of artistic expressions.

    Reactivation of Iconic Acres of Books Building:

    The exhibition will take place in the former Acres of Books building, an iconic cultural space that will be reactivated for the first time since its closing in 2008. This historic location adds a layer of significance to “Counter:image,” contributing to the immersive experience of exploring alternative perspectives within a space rich with cultural history. We extend a special thanks to Urbana Development for use of their space. 

    DTLB Design District:

    The overall location for the event is the DTLB Design District, an emerging hub in downtown Long Beach that champions design-centric small businesses, makers, art galleries, and more. The DTLB Design District aims to create a hub for design excellence and innovation in downtown Long Beach, fostering a community of designers and creatives who share a passion for design.