A 20-year anniversary celebration at the Santa Monica Art Studios, a type of artist community that has become more rare in Santa Monica with rising real estate prices, will include an exhibit showing the works of all 36 of its artist members.
Twentieth anniversary reception, open house and silent auction events are scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, November 19th; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, November 20th, at the Santa Monica Fine Art Studios, 1834 Franklin St., Santa Monica. Admission is free.
About 36 artists will exhibit paintings, photography, mixed-media works, welded works and various types of sculpture in the 10,000-square foot-facility. The event will feature live jazz by Michael Lloyd and his band.
The center was conceived and designed in 1985 by sculptor Yossi Govrin, who says his original plan to create a studio for personal use blossomed into a desire to make a focal point of cultural and artistic exchange where artists of different statures could learn from each other in a supportive and dynamic environment. In 1985, the facility had a mere five artists, says Govrin. It now has more than seven times that.
Applicants for studio space are screened and accepted or denied based on their artistic background, enthusiasm and vision, says Govrin.
“The intention is to have a community of artists that inspires and motivates,” says Govrin. “We seek to have individual artists working together and pushing each other and being supportive of each other. That’s the best way to further their careers.”
Current director Tanja Rector, herself a figurative artist and public works sculptor, has been at the studio for about 18 years. The studio has 24-hour access, with artists working day and night, Rector says.
Artists range in age from 22 to 92, she says.
One artist, Julie Adams Eamer, has been at the studio the full 20 years of its existence. Six other artists have been there for approximately 15 years each, says Govrin.
Among noteworthy artists at the studio are Diana Kunce, who has work included in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) permanent collection; prolific acrylic painter Damian Elwes; and Spanish traditional figurative painter Lola del Fresno.
“It’s not about who is famous,” says Rector about the motive of the artists. “The key is to get inspired by each other.”
In its 20 years of existence, the toughest moments were after the Northridge earthquake in 1994, when part of the building was destroyed and half of the artists left. Then in the mid-’90s, an influx of “dot com boomers” to the neighborhood correlated with increasing rents. Shortly after, three similar studios closed, recalls Govrin.
Govrin, now just an advisor to the Santa Monica Fine Art Studios, wants to see more artists coming in to Santa Monica, rather than being pushed out. He is currently director of the Santa Monica Art Studios and Arena 1 Gallery, a 22,000-square-foot facility at the Santa Monica Airport.
Exhibiting artists at the Santa Monica Fine Art Studios 20th anniversary celebration include Anna Bruinsma, Beth Levy, Lidia Shaddow, Malka Nedivi, Annie Seaton, Deborah K. Irmas, Marti Bercaw, Barbara Heiman,
Arthur Runyon, Annie Hoffman, Sandra Ono, Bibi Davidson, Christina Tedesco, Danuta Rothschild, Laraine Mestman, Damian Elwes, Lenny Waronker,
Tanja Rector, Sarah Hyland, Diana Kunce, Gali Rotstein, Roberta Raye, Lisa Segal, Lauri Burrier, Melissa Antablin, Sam C. Churchman, Olaf Pooley, Jill Brovont Kimbrough,
Susan Feldman, Betzi Richardson, Julie Adams Eamer, Sonja Schenk, Lola Del Fresno, LA Fox, Jerry Brody, Leah Solo Taylor, Jana Poirier and Wendy Marvel.
Information, (310) 453-3632.