Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica is reopening its doors to the public this month with three separate presentations, including a solo exhibition of works by artist Victor Gastelum beginning Thursday, February 25th.

Two other events featured as part of the reopening are the opening of the Smart Art Press Books and Multiples store with a new mural by artist Andrew Schoultz, contemporary art books, prints and editions from the 1960s to the present, and the official unveiling of the gallery’s reconfigured main space. The main area includes a vintage diner, the original Hollywood Brown Derby Neon sign, and the Vault Room.

The store/gallery will open with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. February 25th. Regular store/gallery hours following the opening will be from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Curated by Elizabeta Betinski, former director of Overtones gallery in Mar Vista, the Gastelum exhibition will run through March 27th.

A native Southern Californian, Gastelum said growing up with Chicano roots in a culturally diverse community became a central issue in the choices he makes when creating his visual imagery. The artist’s images of lowrider cars and Mexican wrestlers represent traditions of Chicano visual history, says Gastelum, who applies a hybrid of spray paint and stencil cut from acetate film in his works.

His stencils are sprayed on aluminum, heavy drawing paper or heavy card stock holographic paper, and he notes that due to the spray paint stencil technique no two prints are alike.

Gastelum began in the late 1980s by drawing flyers for punk shows, designing album artwork for local bands, and soon after working as a designer for SST Records.

This exhibition showcases the wide range of Gastelum’s visual influences as well as his skills in making art that leaves room for his audiences to imagine and create stories of their own, a gallery spokesperson says.

Track 16 Gallery is at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave. C1, Santa Monica.

Information, (310) 264-4678, or www.track16.com/.

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