Author: sarashereenbakhshian

SMMoA director talks about hiding artists’ identities

The Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA) will host its fourth annual benefit exhibition and art sale, INCOGNITO, starting at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 3rd, and continuing at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 4th. The event will hide the identity of the contemporary artists who have created works for the exhibit in an identical eight-by-ten-inch formats and signed the back. Each item will cost $300, and its artist will be revealed after a buyer completes the purchase. Packages and ticket levels for entrance into Saturday’s sale range from $100 for a single ticket in advance to a $1,500 Benefactor package including two tickets. However, admission will be free on Sunday. The museum is in Bergamot Station G1, 2525 Michigan Ave. in Santa Monica. Information, (310) 586-6488 or www.smmoa.org/. SMMoA executive director Elsa Longhauser answered questions for The Argonaut about INCOGNITO’s creation, people’s reactions and the museum’s role in Santa Monica: How did you come up with the idea for INCOGNITIO? Elsa Longhauser: The truth is that a friend of mine told me [about a similar event at] the Royal College of Art in London, where artists were being asked to make post cards. I heard that idea; I thought it sounded really great. So, we decided to adapt it to our museum. How do people react to finding out the artist’s identity of the work they bought? Longhauser: I think...

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Festival blends literacy and fun

On Saturday, April 26th, the Clock Tower Quad at Santa Monica College (SMC) will welcome entertainers, storytellers, theater groups and musicians as part of the eighth annual “Raising Readers — A Literacy Festival.” The Connections for Children event aims to foster children’s language and literacy development with collaborators SMC and the North Bay Association for the Education of Young Children. Connections executive director Karen Kaye says the first festival in 2001 served to commemorate the childcare resource and referral agency’s 25th anniversary. Kaye adds that they wanted to throw a party but also have a festival with a literary emphasis that was open to children and their families and caregivers. Roni Kritzberg says she has been going to the event for the past six years because she wants to place her daughters, ages six and four, in that learning environment. “I like Connections for Children because it supports reading, not just coming out to play,” Kritzberg says. She adds that her daughters like the arts and crafts activities but they also value the last stop of their afternoon — the Scholastic Books Fair. Books are added to her girls’ overflowing collection to increase their curiosity and connections with literacy. “The more books kids have, the more they enjoy reading,” Kritzberg says.” Kaye is of the same mind and hopes the festival will justify the notion that literacy is delightful...

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Child’s Play

A production based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet with middle school actors might seem out of the ordinary. However, actress and playwright Nancy Linehan Charles has been adapting Shakespeare’s work for plays with children for the past 16 years. Her current play Hamlet or Does Father Reeeally Know Best is with sixth- and seventh-graders from Mar Vista’s Mark Twain Middle School. The play will premiere at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17th, in the school’s auditorium, 2224 Walgrove Ave. Admission is free. In May, the show will move to Venice’s Pacific Resident Theatre at 703 Venice Blvd for 2 p.m. Saturday performances. Those shows will take place May 3rd, 10th, 17th and 31st. Tickets range from $5 to $10. Information, (310) 822-8392. Charles spoke recently with The Argonaut about the adaptation, working with children and her inspiration. Why an adaptation of Hamlet versus other works? Nancy Linehan Charles: I fell in love with Hamlet at 14 years old, when I stumbled into a professional production. I just kind of on the spot fell in love with Shakespeare and acting. I hadn’t done [Hamlet] before becauseÖ Shakespeare tells cautionary tales like, if you do this, this may happen. It was hard to say if you don’t mind your father and kill your uncle things will not turn out well because it’s a play about taking revenge on somebody for killing your father....

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L.A. Antiques Show in Santa Monica supports arts education

Antiques and children might not seem to go hand-in-hand. However, the Antique Dealers Association of California is using its upcoming 13th annual Los Angeles Antiques Show at the Santa Monica Airport Barker Hangar to benefit P.S. ARTS, whose focus is on restoring arts education in public schools. This year’s installment represents the synchronicity of the two organizations, the overall diversity of antiques and how the Los Angeles area’s antiques world is evolving. Ray Azoulay, show chair and owner of Venice’s Obsolete gallery, says that the association’s arts and antiques are appropriately aligned with P.S. ARTS’ education initiative. Also, the organization’s board members mix great ideas with action. “Each of them brings their own level of expertise and involvement,” Azoulay says. For example, board member and Fathom PR’s Patrick Herning introduced show organizers to his client Mercedes-Benz, which is now a title sponsor. “It’s a very nice marriage,” Herning says. He believes that the people who tend to support P.S. ARTS are the same market of buyers vendors want to see at the show. “It’s not just stuffy old brown furniture,” Herning adds. “The show is in line with our demographic.” Azoulay thinks the annual event also depicts the diveristy of antiques from around the world under one roof. “There’s a lot to see from art and antiques that you don’t just get to see [otherwise],” Azoulay says. He adds...

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Green education through art

Earth Day is coming up on Tuesday, April 22nd, but two Venice art galleries hope locals will want to take care of the environment year-round. To create that awareness epOxybOx Gallery and the G2 Gallery are using art with subjects that reflect nature, eco-friendly materials for the art itself and other items in their day-to-day operations, and contributing to local organizations. “It is the ‘greening’ of America,” G2 Gallery co-founder Susan Gottlieb quips about why she and her husband Daniel chose to create a green art gallery with a photography focus. “We are looking at it as a means to promote environmentalism, as well as beautiful pictures,” Gottlieb adds. epOxybOx founder Deborah Guyer Greene, says that having a gallery focusing on the “greening of fine art” won’t necessarily stop global warming in the world. “The whole point of shifting art is a reflection of the times to help people rack their brains around greening and how necessary it is in our lives,” Greene says. The galleries’ current exhibits involve photography that reflect aspects of nature. Surf photographer Tom Servais’ work can be seen at epOxybOx through Friday, April 18th, while nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen’s work will be on display at the G2 Gallery through Saturday, May 31st. Servais hopes all people willtake care of the environment and his show, a collaboration with the grain collective, will generate consciousness....

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