Perched on a red velvet chair in her bohemian West Hollywood home, Dorit Cypis is the picture of calm. It’s hard to imagine that she works with conflict on a daily basis. The Israeli artist is also a professional mediator; she received a master’s degree in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University in 2005 and has been mediating ever since.

Cypis is one of three recipients of the $10,000 SPArt (Social Practice Art) grant. SPArt is a Los Angeles-based initiative that funds artistic projects. The organization looks for projects that “engage communities, respond to existing conditions, aim for social change and create long-lasting connections with the communities of Los Angeles.”

“I came to [Dispute Resolution] as an artist because my work for the last 30 years has looked at identity and social relations,” Cypis said. “I’ve always had threads and tentacles of my work moving into social justice issues.”

by Judy Cai, November 11, 2014

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