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.
“I think everyone should be eco-friendly no matter what they do,” Servais writes in an e-mail. “Hopefully this show can bring a little more awareness.”
Mangelsen is also optimistic that those who view his work will be motivated to care for the animals and their habitats that he has photographed in multiple continents.
“Maybe it will inspire them to go there and think about those places,” he says.
An evolution of sorts is beginning with the types of materials used for these art works.
Servais’ photographs are printed on bamboo archival paper with frames made out of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood.
Greene describes the certificaton as a third-party audit of harvesting wood.
“Basically, the wood comes from places that they aren’t clear-cutting and there is a system of how they go about foresting the wood so that it’s more environmentally sound,” she says.
Mangelsen’s office adds that they use wood for their moldings only from US distributors and importers whose overseas plantation sources are opposed to old-growth forests.
Also, the way the two art galleries are structured are meant to educate people about what they can use in their own homes and businesses.
Gottleib says that they have bamboo flooring, recycled carpet and eco-friendly paint, and use post-consumer paper and soy ink for the stationery.
The Gottliebs opened the new gallery, which was initially built 15 years ago as both a residence and a gallery, to the public on Tuesday, March 11th.
As for epOxybOx, Greene says she has also used sustainable materials, which are available at sister business epOxyGreen, a retail and design center for green building materials.
Greene opened the gallery four years ago after converting it from an old auto repair service station. Then a year ago she co-founded epOxyGreen and it is housed in what used to be the lube room.
Community involvement is also important to those behind the G2 Gallery and epOxybOx.
The G2 Gallery will donate at least 15 percent of its sales to environmental charities, including Friends of Ballona Wetlands and the Environmental Media Association.
Greene is also a part of a green consortium, where businesses get together and discuss ways to make each other better and how to educate consumers.
For G2 Gallery spokesperson and actress Maud Adams, her involvement is ultimately about inspiring others to have an appreciation and love for nature.
“I find that people living in urban areas tend to forget how much beauty there is outdoors, how it restores us and how we need to protect it not just for ourselves but the future, as well,” Adams says.
epOxybOx Gallery is at 602 Venice Blvd. in Venice. Information, (310) 578-2100 and www.epoxybox.com/.
The G2 Gallery is at 1503 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice. Information, (310) 452-2842 and www.theg2gallery.com/.