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Yumi Janairo Roth: Spin (After Sol LeWitt)

a street corner with an individual sign spinner doing a handstand on a red and white arrow sign
Yumi Janairo Roth, Spin (After Sol LeWitt) - Spinner Evan James, 2021 photo credit:  Josh Hawkins,  UNLV Creative Services. Courtesy of the artist

Spin (After Sol LeWitt) 

Yumi Janairo Roth

March 5 – June 12, 2022

Opening Reception: Sat. March 5 from 7 – 10pm – with AArrow Sign Spinners

PROGRAMS – Collaborative programs throughout the exhibition will take place with:
AArrow Sign Spinners
The Spindustry Podcast hosted by Joey Castanon, with first episode confirmed guests LAXART Director Hamza Walker and Spinner Justin Charles Michael Brown
GRAYSCALE DANCE with Artistic Director Jessica Kondrath
Musician and composer Robin Sukhadia aka Tablapusher

Drawing on a background in anthropological and archaeological research, Yumi Janairo Roth uses her art practice to unite different communities in situations that bring attention to the value we place on various aspects of everyday material culture. Spin (after Sol LeWitt) is an exhibition of sculpture, video, photography, and performance by Colorado-based artist, who has collaborated with professional sign spinners since 2017.  

Roth creates resonant juxtapositions between the physical presence of street-corner advertising and the work of one of America’s founding conceptual artists, Sol LeWitt (1928-2007). “Spinners take great pride in their ability and athleticism,” she says, “yet are sometimes vilified and outlawed for distracting drivers, €˜cheapening’ municipalities, and accepting seemingly low-skill jobs.” For Spin (after Sol LeWitt), she sets out to challenge those assumptions by working with spinners to replace the advertising slogans on their signs with maxims from LeWitt’s genre-defining 1968 text, Sentences on Conceptual Art. Spinning the signs on street corners, they surprised passers-by with LeWitt’s ideas about the importance of irrational judgments and logical mysticism.

Sign spinner Justin Charles Michael Brown, who worked with Roth and Grand Central Art Center when they presented the project on the streets around Frieze Los Angeles in 2020, puts the process in his own words. “Making people’s opinions of sign spinning matter is a very hilarious thing to do, because if you see a sign spinner for an apartment complex it doesn’t really matter what you think about it. You can enjoy it or not, and it doesn’t really matter. But when you enter the art world, those opinions are the thing that everybody’s after.” 

Spin (after Sol LeWitt) invites us to question the divisions we create between the exclusivity of conceptual art and the inclusive public life of street corners, parks, and competitive spectacle.


Yumi Janairo Roth was born in Eugene, Oregon and grew up in Chicago, Metro Manila, the Philippines and suburban Washington DC. She received a BA in anthropology from Tufts University, a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston and an MFA from the State University of New York-New Paltz. She currently lives and works in Boulder, Colorado where she is a professor of sculpture and post studio practice at the University of Colorado. Roth has exhibited and participated in artist-in-residencies nationally and internationally, including Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Smack Mellon, and Cuchifritos in New York City; Diverse Works and Lawndale Art Center in Houston; Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, ME; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Barrick Museum of Art, Las Vegas; Vargas Museum, Metro Manila, Philippines, Ayala Museum, Metro Manila, Philippines; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany; Galerie Klatovy-Klenoví­¡, Czech Republic; and Institute of Art and Design-Pilsen, Czech Republic.


The artist would like to thank professional sign spinners Joey Castanon, Christian Altamirano, Davis Davis, Kadeem Johnson, Bryan Savas, Kevin Williams, and Justin Charles Michael Brown; Max Durovic, CEO / Spinventor of AArrow Inc.; AArrow Sign Spinners; choreographer Jessica Kondrath; dancers Chandler Davids, Mamie Green, Holly Goodchap, Jen Hong, and Morgan Raynor; composer and musician Robin Sukhadi; Director of LAXART Hamza Walker; John Spiak and Tracey Gayer of GCAC for making this project possible; and special thanks to Carol LeWitt for her continued support of Spin (after Sol LeWitt).

Spin (after Sol LeWitt) was developed through Yumi Janairo Roth’s multi-year artist-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center.  Support for this exhibition is provided by AArrow Sign Spinners and a generous grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in support of the Grand Central Art Center Artist-in-residence program.


March 5

The Spindustry Podcast with host Joey Castanon, LAXART Director Hamza Walker, and Spinner Justin Charles Michael Brown

March 5, 7-10pm

Spinners at opening 

March 19, 1:30-4pm

Rehearsals with spinners and dancers

March 26, 1:30-4pm

Rehearsals with spinners and dancers

April 2, 7-10pm

Public performance with spinners, dancers, musician/composer

April 23, 1:30-4pm

Rehearsals with spinners and dancers

April 30, 1:30-4pm

Rehearsals with spinners and dancers

May 7, 7-10pm

Public performance with spinners, dancers, musician/composer

June 4

The Spindustry Podcast with host Joey Castanon, guests TBA