Author: juliekirst

Artists and supporters rally to preserve mural fixture in Santa Monica

Travelers on Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica near Fourth and Fifth Streets glide between whales and dolphins swimming placidly in the ocean, and horses running free. Daniel Alonzo painted “Whale of a Mural” in 1983, and David Gordon painted “Unbridled” in 1985. These artists have recently felt support from community members when the City of Santa Monica assessed its murals. Daniel Alonzo, a Santa Monica native, first approached the city about painting the wall in 1978, when he was just three years out of high school. “As a kid I took the bus to the beach along this road,” Alonzo says. “It’s been a pathway throughout my life.” The city awarded Alonzo the wall in 1982 but had no funds to pay him for the mural. Without receiving any money from the city, he painted the mural free. “I loved the community, and it was something I wanted to do,” he says. Earlier this year the City of Santa Monica hired mural conservators to prepare a report detailing the condition of 14 murals in Santa Monica. When the city told Alonzo it was considering hiring a restoration company to fix his peeling mural, he set about getting support from schools and businesses in the area so he could repaint it. “Restoration can do incredible things, but it can never bring back colors that were there,” Alonzo says. “Why...

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Legal advice offered on TV and through seminars by Calif. Lawyers for the Arts

Looking for some legal advice but can’t quite make the fee? Two resources in Santa Monica offer legal assistance for little or no money. ON LOCAL TV — Attorneys Ralph Saltsman and Stephen Solomon — legal partners for more than 27 years — have brought their one-hour KRLA radio show, Legal Help Live, to Santa Monica’s cable channel 16. Every Wednesday at noon viewers can call in and receive free legal advice on any issue. Stephen Jamieson — law partner with Saltsman and Solomon — often joins them. Saltsman says they have a lot of fun doing the show and are open to any type of legal question and place no time limit on the questions asked. Once the caller presents a question, the Legal Help Live team verifies details with the caller. From there, Saltsman and Solomon may discuss possible scenarios relating to the case and then offer recommendations. “We take as few as two calls to as many as six,” Saltsman says. He also says they get calls on a wide variety of topics such as “Can I sell my hunting rifle to a friend?” or “Someone is signing my name on appraisal forms.” Saltsman says they also receive calls from listeners with high stakes at risk, which always surprises him. “Sometimes millions of dollars are at stake,” he adds. Saltsman believes that the person who calls...

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SM Airport finds room for the arts; ribbon cutting and exhibition set

Preparing for the grand opening of the Santa Monica Art Studios on Saturday, October 9th, directors Yossi Govrin and Sherry Frumkin say they plan to bring much more than studio space to the community. The celebration, which is open to the public, will take place at 3026 Airport Ave. at the Santa Monica Airport from 6 to 9 p.m. The evening’s events include a ribbon cutting ceremony at 7 p.m., with scheduled appearances by Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom and Jeff Mathieu, director of the Santa Monica Airport. Guests will view exhibitions by approximately 30 artists already at work in their studios. Govrin says visitors will see finished pieces as well as works-in-progress. After the ribbon cutting ceremony and reception, the artists’ studios will remain open from noon to 5 p.m. daily through Sunday, October 17th. Sculptor and painter Govrin approached the City of Santa Monica about creating a community for artists four years ago. Govrin and partner Frumkin, a Santa Monica gallery owner for the past 14 years, went through numerous negotiations before being awarded the project. Both Mayor Bloom and former Mayor Michael Feinstein were supportive of the idea of an artist community and were leading forces in approving it, according to Govrin. At the Santa Monica Art Studios, artists work in private studio spaces and can participate in classes, lectures and exhibitions, and can collaborate with...

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Santa Monica Third Street Promenade needs upgrade, maintenance, business district officials say

The treading of millions of feet each year through Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade adds to its success and also to its wear and tear, according to Santa Monica officials. Facing competition from newly developed — and redeveloped — retail areas in Culver City and Century City, officials say upgrades are needed to keep the Promenade looking like a quality retail center that people will want to visit. “For the most part, we are not asking for capital improvements, but replacements and simple maintenance,” says Kathleen Rawson, executive director of the Bayside District Corporation, which manages downtown, including Third Street, and advises the City of Santa Monica on ways to keep the area vital in the years ahead. Unique in location and weather, the Third Street Promenade is a significant revenue generator for the city and welcomes thousands of visitors each month who shop, watch street performers and enjoy outdoor seating at the many restaurants, officials say. Rawson says business is great and the area is almost 100 percent leased. Still, officials say fixing and cleaning the streets and alleys is critical for the Promenade to remain competitive. To support Rawson’s assessment of the Promenade’s success, first quarter sales tax receipts for the Third Street Promenade reported a 23.9 percent increase from the prior 12-month period. Besides maintenance issues, the Bayside District Corporation wants to streamline the permit process...

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Fashion on the runway and AIDS charities in mind at Passport event

Promising to “dazzle the audience with high-energy fashion presentations mixed with dynamic theater,” Passport 04 benefit fashion show returns to Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar on Thursday, September 30th. Passport 04, Macy’s annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser, is now in its 22nd year. Acting as a “passport” to fashion, this “fashion with compassion” event showcases Macy’s fall styles while raising money for charity. The event has become one of the nation’s largest AIDS fundraisers, and Passport 04 is expected to draw about 3,000 people to Barker Hangar, according to event organizers. Passport 04 presents both a Gala and a Teen Night. The Gala Night is open to the public and tickets are available for purchase at different levels. The Gala Night, Thursday, September 30th, begins with a red carpet arrival and a cocktail reception. A celebrity auction with actress Sharon Stone as guest auctioneer follows and culminates with the Passport 04 Fashion Show. A general admission ticket of $75 provides entrance to a cocktail reception, bleacher seating and the show. Other packages, such as the “Friend” level at $250, offer priority show seating, program acknowledgement, a special gift and preferred reserved parking. The Corporate Partner Package, for a donation of $16,000, includes ten preferred show seats, a tribute page in the program, ten gift bags and valet parking, according to organizers. From reserved seats the audience will watch professional and celebrity guest...

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