Category: Arts & Events

Recovery Justice: Being Well Exhibit

Artist Lionel Popkin’s “Six Positions of Uncertainty” is about the attempt of finding how to live with one’s self in isolation. [Photo by Luis Chavez] Where Compassion Intersects By Nicole Borgenicht Entering the exhibition building, a three-room gallery installation entitled Three Structures Touching opens an empathetic forum. This show is a collaboration of artist Maj Hassager from Denmark with Quinn Research Center founders Carolyn and Bill Edwards. It comprises structures symbolizing a freeway going through the neighborhood and displacing black residents. In addition, videos and photography on African American history shows challenges, work and goals in the Broadway district of Santa Monica. The executive director of 18th Street Art Center Jan Williamson said, “Three Structures Touching is African Americans from the 1800s to present-day Santa Monica and traumas in the black community. While Recovery Justice is present-day trauma and how artists respond to it.” Next, the Recovery Justice explores the unique ways artist create in lieu of the pandemic and incidents during this difficult period. A rather uplifting portrayal of people uniting is a piece called One Mask One Love One Heart, to heal globally, of all 18th Street artists. This is an outdoor mural 10 x 30 feet and a small piece indoors by Susie McKay Krieser and Yrneh Gabon featuring beautiful colors with an upbeat message. Another positive message is by Rebecca Yousseff, The Sowing Imperative, of beautiful...

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The Missing Dinosaur

Free scavenger hunt series to take place on Third Street Promenade By Kamala Kirk Downtown Santa Monica Inc. in partnership with Santa Monica Mystery Quest has launched a free scavenger hunt series on the Third Street Promenade. Mystery and adventure lovers will enjoy this real-world, immersive experience to solve the case of the missing Promenade dinosaur. Participants will follow clues, collaborate with teammates, collect points and win prizes. You are one of four self-appointed supervillains converging on the Third Street Promenade. Unknown to the others, each of you intends to steal one of the Promenade dinosaurs. But someone else has beaten you to it! Now you must band together to discover the name of the villain and the location of the prehistoric prize. A mysterious caped figure known as Q has been tracking the thief for some time. To protect their identity, Q cannot pursue the caper but has left a series of clues for your intrepid partnership. Each participating team is encouraged to come up with a fun name for their squad and sport a team color or costume. To participate in a quest is free but registration is required. Once registered, participants will receive additional details by email on the day of their quest. The scavenger hunt series will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10; Friday Oct. 8, Friday Nov. 12, and Friday...

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Passion for Skateboarding

Loon Skate Cult is bringing quality skate parks to Native American reservations By Jenn McKee Venice Beach-based designer Skyler Mendoza, 34, grew up splitting his time between the Menominee and Oneida reservations in Wisconsin. Eventually, though, a skate park became his third home. “They had lights there, so I’d be the first one there in the morning, sometimes before school,” Mendoza said. “I got a job at a flower shop, and I used to take the truck there between deliveries and go skate. … I would shovel little pathways in the winter just to get through. I was there all the time.” Mendoza aims to design and build high-quality skate parks for Indian reservations, by way of Loon Skate Cult, a nonprofit he launched late last year. “Just thinking about when I launched the brand, and what was going on at the time – as not just a minority, but as an indigenous person – 2020 was heavy for a lot of us,” Mendoza said. “ … Even now, (I get) emotional just talking about it.” Named for the first syllable of an Oneida word that means “immortal,” Loon Skate Cult is a one-man operation, with Mendoza building and painting original skateboards to sell for the cause. “I’ve been skateboarding since I was 4 years old, so I always wanted to make my own skateboards, just like any other skateboarder,” Mendoza said. “And...

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Art as a Box of Chocolates

Painter creates delicious eye candy to indulge and delight patrons By Bridgette M. Redman Pat Gainor didn’t want anyone near her last year and it wasn’t because of the pandemic. Several large canvases arrived at her house and when she took them into the backyard, years of inspiration and her own emotions came crowding in, setting her on fire to create and putting her in an artistic trance. “My husband said, ‘I’d better not disturb her,’” Gainor said. “It kind of came to me — don’t anyone get close to me, I’m working here. All of these things came crowding into my head, who inspired me and what feelings I had. I had a real feeling for color and did these layers of paint in shapes.” The work she did is now on display in an exhibition called “Eye Candy” at Gallery 825 in West Hollywood through Sept. 10. Nearly all the abstract works were created during the pandemic. While some might fear that the tragedies and stress of 2020-2021 would lead to works that are dark or reflect depression and anxiety, “Eye Candy” does the opposite. The work is filled with joy and life, it brims with energy, movement and light. “Someone said my work is joyous,” Gainor said. “I would like to elevate people rather than make them depressed. There is enough depression. I want to infuse...

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Sing for Hope Pianos

Mar Vista artist participates in city beautification community project By Kamala Kirk Local Mar Vista artist Çiğdem Akbay recently participated in Sing for Hope in Beverly Hills, a public art piano art program by New York nonprofit Sing for Hope. Sing for Hope brought their program to Los Angeles for the first time in partnership with the City of Beverly Hills and The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. “I learned about the organization from a friend who saw the call for artists and encouraged me to apply,” Akbay said. “We were previously in the same Arts for LA’s Activate cohort where we learned a lot about public art and civic engagement. I love anything and everything to do with the arts, especially public art and collaborative community art that engages children and is tactile. I’ve worked at a local elementary school over the years so I also really appreciate how Sing for Hope donates all the pianos to schools. The creativity sparked in kids provides them with joyful, social emotional learning tools in a much-needed time.” Akbay was among 16 local LA artists selected to paint 16 pianos in Beverly Hills that were launched at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Aug. 5. Since then, they’ve been distributed throughout Beverly Hills parks where they’ll remain for public use until Sept. 6, then all the pianos...

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