Preparing for the grand opening of the Santa Monica Art Studios on Saturday, October 9th, directors Yossi Govrin and Sherry Frumkin say they plan to bring much more than studio space to the community.
The celebration, which is open to the public, will take place at 3026 Airport Ave. at the Santa Monica Airport from 6 to 9 p.m. The evening’s events include a ribbon cutting ceremony at 7 p.m., with scheduled appearances by Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom and Jeff Mathieu, director of the Santa Monica Airport.
Guests will view exhibitions by approximately 30 artists already at work in their studios. Govrin says visitors will see finished pieces as well as works-in-progress. After the ribbon cutting ceremony and reception, the artists’ studios will remain open from noon to 5 p.m. daily through Sunday, October 17th.
Sculptor and painter Govrin approached the City of Santa Monica about creating a community for artists four years ago. Govrin and partner Frumkin, a Santa Monica gallery owner for the past 14 years, went through numerous negotiations before being awarded the project.
Both Mayor Bloom and former Mayor Michael Feinstein were supportive of the idea of an artist community and were leading forces in approving it, according to Govrin.
At the Santa Monica Art Studios, artists work in private studio spaces and can participate in classes, lectures and exhibitions, and can collaborate with other artists.
The Arena 1 Gallery, an exhibition space in the building, is slated to feature cutting edge work in shows that will inform, inspire and educate the entire arts community, and will be organized by curators across the globe.
“Artists need to be responsible in the community and need to be aware of how to enrich it,” Govrin says. “As directors, Sherry and I feel we’ve created this space so we have the opportunity to take the studio further,” he says.
One way the studio is reaching out to the community is by making the space available for fundraising events, according to Frumkin.
In December, the Southern California Council of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) will hold its annual “Art to Wear Boutique and Tea” at the studio. The event will feature 18 female artists and their creations of jewelry, clothing, hats and accessories. The proceeds from the sales will be used to establish an endowment for a summer internship program at NMWA for a Southern California college student.
Frumkin says other organizations, such as Fresh Start and the Center Theatre Group, also have fundraisers planned.
“A lot of funding for art has been cut from schools and we’re being approached by a lot of art groups to use the space for fundraisers,” Govrin says. “So many organizations do good work, and we’re open to all ideas. Some pay a nominal fee, depending on the size of the event and the organization.”
“We’re also working with artist Bruria Finkel to develop a plan to bring school children to the studios to see the artwork,” Frumkin says. “We’d like to have the children work with the artists and possibly have a show of the children’s work.”
Govrin says the studio is also available for rental by film companies.
Govrin says the classes planned at the studio will be designed for artists who have already had an exhibit so the artists can take their work in a new direction.
The lectures will revolve around culture and art and will be philosophical discussions that open an artist’s mind to new possibilities, according to Govrin.
“The worst thing for an artist is to think they know everything,” Govrin says. “If they can be open and see new possibilities, an artist can really go somewhere.”
Govrin and Frumkin say they hope the lectures and classes they’ll present will spark an idea and inspire artists to elevate themselves.
“We went through a lot of negotiation to create the studio, and we have a strong sense of responsibility to the artists and the community,” Govrin says. “We hope we can enrich ourselves and the community with our programs and fulfill our promise.”
Julie Kirst can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org