Kendell Carter started his residency after his Hammer Projects exhibition closed in February 2007. A recent MFA graduate at the time, Carter used the residency to research his interest in hip-hop as a model of global cultural hybridity and as a site for the intersection of design and art. The residency gave him a chance to get out of the studio and “into someone else’s environment and ask them questions.” It allowed him to put his ideas to the test and to, in his words, “solidify the platform or ground that I stand on.” Like the Hammer’s public programs, Houseguest series of artist-curated exhibitions, and advisory council of artists, this residency highlighted the artist’s role as, in Carter’s words, a “seeker” rather than a “maker.”
During his residency, he met with a number of established artists, curators, and scholars and attended a series of events, including the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology’s “Rap Sessions: A Community Dialogue on Race and Hip-Hop.” He met with curator John Geresi, who shares his interest in the intersection of design and art, and with Jeff Chang, editor of the anthology Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop.
Part of the curatorial department, the Public Engagement program collaborates with artists to develop and present works that create an exchange with the institution and with visitors. Enacted both inside and outside the galleries, Public Engagement projects range from re-envisioned security guard uniforms to library and orchestra residencies. The Hammer Museum's Public Engagement program is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.