Category: Arts & Events

Live Return

Mar Vista Art and Music Walk spotlights artists in disability community By Bridgette M. Redman The Mar Vista Art and Music Walk made its triumphant return to live events in September and will be back on the streets on Saturday, October 23 from 4 to 10 p.m. at Venice’s ArtBarLa. The live event will be paired with a virtual event that runs through October 31. Both events carry the theme of “Parity” and will feature art work and music from people who belong to the disabilities community. The event is free and a limited number of tickets are available at Walk builds on successful celebrations Founded in December 2015, the Mar Vista Art and Music Walk is a planned quarterly event to celebrate each season. At the first event — with just the two co-founders organizing it—between 500 and 1,000 people attended and the event grew from there. A joint effort of the environmental nonprofit Green Communications Initiative and local artists, creators and small business owners, it was held the first Saturday in March, June, September and the Saturday after Thanksgiving in November. Their largest event was done jointly with the Venice arts community where they had between 5,000 and 7,500 people attend. They’ve had as many as three outdoor stages along their walk and many small setups for buskers. They’d also have two to three indoor concert...

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Integrating Art Mediums

Venice artist Jack Winthrop’s first-ever solo exhibition is on view at Gabba Gallery By Nicole Borgenicht Jack Winthrop grew up in Minneapolis, where his art teachers told him he could be an artist. He moved to New York City where he earned a BFA in graphic design at The School of Visual Arts in 2011. For the next nine years, Winthrop immersed himself in street art and the world of graffiti art. There are commonalities and differences between the genres, which Winthrop seamlessly integrates. Winthrop’s paintings show intense tortured soul imagery to the scale of Russian painter Chaïm Soutine yet intermixed with flavorful symbols of flowers and ladders more akin to graphic and comic genres. The composition and painting technique add a sense of depth. “Depth comes from experimentation and observation,” Winthrop said. “I learned the hierarchy of color, form and design from school. Also, as a kid I was inspired by comic artists, and later by street art and graffiti.” While street art and graffiti are created in public places, there are similarities and differences. Graffiti is often achieved in communities where text symbols of gangs mark their territory. Nonetheless, the colors and style of text along with imagery gives it an artistic, multifaceted presence. Street art similarly is in public spaces yet may be a commissioned or a noncommissioned mural, or imagery with a message creatively engaging...

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Love of LA

Poet honors all people in the City of Angels By Bridgette M. Redman Los Angeles has always had more to it than meets the eye. Beyond Tinseltown, beyond the celebrities, beyond the traffic gridlock, is a place that is home to people from all heritages, from all walks of life. That’s what Shonda Buchanan fell in love with and to which she plays tribute in her latest poem and the film it spawned — part of “For The Love of LA,” a digital series created by The Music Center. Buchanan is an award-winning poet, author, lecturer at Loyola Marymount University (her alma mater) and trustee of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice. PBS NewsHour named her memoir, “Black Indian,” one of the “top 20 books to read” to learn about institutional racism and it won the 2020 Indie New Generation Book Award. Rodriguez’s project resonated with Buchanan on many levels. “I feel as if I am the quintessential LA artist,” Buchanan said. “I have such a deep love of everything LA, but not the glossy, celebrity Beverly Hills. That’s not my focus, though it is nice to go to Rodeo Drive.” Instead, it is the diverse LA that calls to her, the communities ranging from Native Americans to Latino to Ethiopians. Buchanan has immersed herself in as much culture as she possible, drawing upon Southern California’s diversity of...

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Show and Tell

Arcana Books hosts monthly Instagram show moderated by Jason E.C. Wright By Nicole Borgenicht Every month, Arcana: Books on the Arts hosts “Show & Tell,” an Instagram show moderated by Jason E.C. Wright, founder and director of Burntsienna Research Society, a critical-thinking research consultancy for design histories, intangible culture and reference materials. Prior to the pandemic, Wright and his associates met at various locations. During COVID-19, Wright shifted to Instagram Live, and frequently broadcasts from Arcana in the Helms Bakery District in Culver City. “‘Show & Tell’ came out of a traveling reading room program from 2019-2020, where we would bring art/design books into public spaces and private member clubs to encourage deeper engagement,” Wright said. “Arcana has always been a favorite art/design bookstore of mine and hosting ‘Show & Tell’ at Arcana as a venue just made sense. “My connection to Arcana is a personal feeling. The space reminds me of the libraries I would get lost in as a child visiting my Granny on campus who was a professor at Purdue University. It also felt very personal in the way the books were organized and presented; less a bookstore, more an invitation to explore someone’s very personal collection.” An accomplished designer, researcher and writer with more than 20 years of experience as a retail and fashion professional, Wright takes his love of books serious, also serving as...

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Pariah Casts Her Gaze Upon Santa Monica

Cellista calls performance ‘my imaginary autobiography’ By Bridgette M. Redman Sometimes an artist’s most fanciful flights of imagination are also the ones that hit closest to home. Performance artist and composer Cellista said her latest album — which is a creation part-opera, part-theater, part-poetry, part-beat box — is a piece that is ultimately her story. The title character, Pariah, represents the artist. “Pariah — she’s me,” Cellista said. “It’s my imaginary autobiography.” The album dropped on October 1, the same day that she debuted a live staging of the story at the Santa Monica Playhouse. That show opened with Kristen Lynn and the Fox Gloves, whom Cellista said would play a set of very moody Leonard Cohen covers. Composer Sean Renner provided the overture performance and buoh dancer Ibuki Kuramochi performed to the accompaniment of Cellista on cello. Other collaborators on the recording include composers Mazz Swift, Joshua Icban and Peter Colclasure. Performers include work from actress Dawn L. Troupe, soprano Carla Canales, soprano Hilary Whitmore, rapper Demone Carter, beatboxer Track IX, and poet and journalist Gary Singh. Cellista intentionally hired a production crew that was led by 65% women, including Heidi Trefethen, SF Jazz and Symphony Orchestra Musician, as the lead engineer and Anna Frick as astering engineer. Cellista wrote the original treatment and the overall story arc and then handed it over to her father who is...

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