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MonaLisa Whitaker

Creating images using photography and mixed media since 1987

Los Angeles county, Inglewood city based visual artist working in photography and mixed media. Whitaker has a BA in Art History from California State University Dominguez Hills, an AA in Studio Art from El Camino College and an Occupational Certificate in Photography from Santa Monica College. In addition to her creative work, retired in April 2017 after 17 years as the Executive Director of Inglewood Cultural Arts, a nonprofit multidisciplinary arts organization. Currently an administrator with Watts Labor Community Action Committee and volunteers with a number of community organizations. She is a dedicated advocate for artists and communities (in the various definitions of diversity-ethnicity, gender, language, country of origin, ability, identity, economic background) and enjoys creating art projects in response to community requests.

Artist Statement

Visual art is one of the most effective ways to communicate and my preferred mode of expression. My work usually addresses issues such as questions of identity, sexuality and religion utilizing alternative processes. Thru the use of photographic techniques (hand crafted image and emulsion transfers, sepia toning, printing onto materials other than paper) and digital imaging, I've found that the audience can be inspired or have their perceptions shifted. For the past five years, my work has focused on the individual search for spiritual enlightenment, places of worship and themes of sensuality. My artistic goals are to stimulate the viewers imagination, raise awareness, encourage inquiry and provoke dialogue to promote understanding and acknowledgement that we are all interconnected, despite societal tendencies to perpetuate/focus on our differences.