Category: Arts & Events

Film producer Blake can’t kick his photo tricks in Photoholic exhibit

As a long time film producer and post production man, Billy Blake knows how to hustle the necessary bucks and tie up the necessary ends to bring a film project together. But when the veteran of the film business has his own creative urges, he lets his still photography close the deal. Although he grew up in the motion picture world (his father George Blake was a Hollywood producer/director) and spent most of his professional career thus far in film, still photography has proven to be a habit he just can’t kick. Photoholic, an exhibit of Blake photographs from the early 1970s until the present, opens with a reception at 7 p.m. Saturday, September 18th, at the Universal Art Gallery, 2001 Lincoln Blvd., Venice. The exhibit remains on display through Sunday, November 14th. Imagewise, Blake’s photographs contrast colorful, playful, fantasyland imagery with the often overlooked dregs of everyday urban life. A shot of a dour, gravelly puddle of rain or a partially disrobed homeless woman, making a public spectacle of herself, conflict with angled shots of carousel unicorns or colorful Venice Beach mural backdrops. Eye trickery is Blake’s style of photography. Blake chooses kitschy, catchy subject matter, sometimes playful and childlike, sometimes ominous and mysterious, and shoots as to make the subject a visual puzzle. With Blake’s work, the viewer gets the small picture, so that they might imagine...

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Special jams of the Kids of Widney High

The Kids of Widney High, a rock band consisting of an evolving lineup of students enrolled in the special education program at Widney High School in Los Angels, is scheduled to play a gig at 7 p.m. Friday, September 17th, at Track 16 Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Tickets are $5. The concert coincides with Track 16’s current exhibit, Radiant Spaces: Private Domain, an exhibition of paintings, drawings and sculptures created by about 60 California artists with “developmental differences,” according to Track 16 Gallery. The purpose of the exhibit is to capture the pure, unbridled expression of artists who may not have had the exposure to or had been influenced by the methods of other artists or the teachings of traditional art education. The exhibit, curated by Elena Mary Siff, seeks to display works that may be immune to cultural imitation. The exhibit itself, however, does not share the immunity. It is based on the concept of “Art Brut,” a term coined by Jean Dubuffet, who said “…creativity in its purest form means rejecting all models.” The exhibit remains on display until Saturday, October 16th. The musical group Kids of Widney High has been performing its inimitable brand of rock ‘n’ roll since 1988, when teacher Michael Monagan came up with the idea for the group as a project of a songwriting class he was teaching. With jams...

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Fresh air and fresh food at Taste of Santa Monica

A superb ocean view, sunny skies and cool sea breezes promise to make Santa Monica”s third annual ìTaste of Santa Monicaî a unique and special event, according to Kathy Dodson, president of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. Anyone who strolls onto the Santa Monica Pier between noon and 4 p.m. Sunday, September 26th, can dive into the delectable treats offered by about 40 different restaurants. For the price of $35 for adults and $10 for children between four and ten years of age, the event offers numerous choices to delight the taste buds. Presented by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, the event is expected to sell out and the public is urged to buy their tickets in advance, according to Erin Deviny, director of marketing and events for the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. Santa Monica and chamber member restaurants such as La Vecchia Cucina, Akwa, El Cholo Mexican Restaurant, Blueberry Country Kitchen, The Victorian, Locanda Del Lago, Cinch, Chez Jay, Sushi-Teri Express, Ocean Avenue Seafood and Le Marmiton will be serving up their diverse samples. Water, soda, beer and wine will be available for purchase and specialty drinks such as margaritas and mojitos will also be for sale. While guests are checking out the food booths and sipping wine, jazz tunes will flow from The Sam Graham Trio. Chef demonstrations featuring chefs from participating restaurants will...

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Clover Park in Santa Monica will be sight for Fresh Art

The City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division will present its fourth annual Fresh Art exhibition at Clover Park in Santa Monica later this month. Mike Hootman and Lawrence Scarpa have been selected this year to create artwork specifically for Clover Park, located at 2600 Ocean Park Blvd. Park officials say the work is harmonious with the site. Installation of the temporary artwork is to begin Monday, September 13th, and the public is invited to the unveiling and opening reception for the artists at the park from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, September 18th. This year”s exhibits will remain at Clover Park until the Thanksgiving weekend. Fresh Art, a program to assist Santa Monica artists in learning how to compete for and complete public art projects, is limited to artists who live or work in Santa Monica. ìThis program gives artists the opportunity to work in their community and learn how to work with the government and public sectors, which is very different than working in a studio,î says Hamp Simmons, Santa Monica city cultural affairs coordinator. Simmons said the program mostly benefits emerging artists who haven”t done much public art. Proposals are submitted to the city Cultural Affairs Division and are then reviewed by a panel of arts administrators and artists. The proposals are judged on artistic merit, how well the artwork engages the community and how well...

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Annual Jazz at Palms Court event to support Venice Community Housing

The 12th Annual Jazz at Palms Court, an outdoor jazz event benefiting the Venice Community Housing Corporation, is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, September 12th, at 733-743 Palms Blvd., Venice. The program, held in a garden courtyard, includes a champagne brunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and an afternoon concert from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The champagne brunch will feature vocalist Cathy Segal-Garcia. Headliners for the afternoon concert are Three More Sounds — a trio formed to carry on the popular tradition established by pianist Gene Harris”s Three Sounds. The Taumbu International Ensemble will provide music for an Afro/Latino Jazz Party. There will also be a silent auction where attendees will have the opportunity to bid on gift certificates for fine dining, vacation getaways, art and jewelry. The proceeds from the event help to support the Venice Community Housing Corporation (VCHC). Founded in 1988, VCHC is a nonprofit organization that offers a variety of programs that work synergistically to foster stable, self-reliant individuals, families and neighborhoods, according to organization officials. These programs include: – the Affordable Housing Program — development and maintenance of 161 housing units throughout Venice and Mar Vista; – an infant/toddler development center — providing childcare for children ages three months to three years old; – YouthBuild — offering job training and leadership development for 17 to 24 year olds; –...

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