May 5th, Upper West Hosts HARK Fundraiser & Cinco de Mayo Celebration!

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo along with HARK's tenth anniversary at Upper West Restaurant in Santa Monica. Healing Arts Reaching Kids (HARK) is an affiliate support group of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Upper West has generously offered to host the May 5th event for the 2nd year and donate 30 percent of sales during the event to HARK.

HARK was established to offer young patients a creative outlet. The nonprofit organization was created to offer a diversion to a child struggling with a serious illness.  The workshops have become a safe haven for the entire family as well. Hutton explained, “We chose Cinco de Mayo for the event since it’s a happy, festive time.” Hutton went on to say that she has personally seen the positive effects that the art workshops have had on the children as well as the parents.

Longtime husband of Laurie Hutton (30 years), Danny Hutton (one of the founders and lead singer in Three Dog Night) has been a supporter of Healing Arts Reaching Kids (HARK), and will be in attendance. 

The fundraiser will feature framed artwork by the children for sale. These artworks were created at the actual art workshops, and will also be part of the raffle. Other raffle prizes include two tickets to a Three Dog Night show, and an original print by artist Tod Lychkoff.  Carlos Nieto who is the Children's Hospital Los Angeles in house Artist will also be doing some live painting at the event.  
The event takes place on May 5th (Cinco de Mayo) from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  There will be special Mexican inspired dishes offered, but customers can also order directly from the dinner menu. There is no limit to how much or how little a customer can order. 30 percent of all proceeds will go directly to HARK.

Reservation are filling up, so be sure to call (310) 586-1111; Upper West Restaurant is located at 3321 Pico Blvd., in Santa Monica http://www.theupperwest.com/  For more information about HARK, visit http://www.healingartsreachingkids.org/


Enjoy an Artist Reception for "Anguish and Obsession, An American Love Story" at huZ Galleries Thursday, April 7th!

On April 1st, "Anguish and Obsession, An American Love Story" featuring the photography of Huss Hardan opens at huZ Galleries in San Pedro. The artist reception (on Thursday, April 7th) will take place in conjunction with the San Pedro First Thursday Art Walk. The powerful images captured by Hardan, were inspired by America's obsession with firearms, the incidents in Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter campaign.

image: Huss Hardan, Obsession #1, 12 x 18 matted to 20 x 28, printed on silver halide archival photographic paper, naked half framed with raw perforated steel bar and hung with steel chains; Limited edition 1/15

Hardan opened his San Pedro gallery, huZ Galleries, with his partner Zee Almendarez in July of 2015 and participates in the monthly Art Walk. The gallery exhibits a variety of other artists…featuring all mediums of art. This is the first time that the gallery will feature an all photography exhibition.

“Many things drew us to San Pedro,” explained Hardan. “The up and coming Arts District which is filling the void of providing a base for artists (and galleries!), who have been priced out of the traditional Los Angeles neighborhoods where the arts once flourished.  San Pedro is the new frontier for Art in Los Angeles!”

Hardan talks about his inspiration: "Ferguson also illustrated the militarization of the police forces in this country, where they act not in a to protect and to serve role, but as an occupying power. The flip side of this is the obsession with weaponry that much of the public has in this country . There is almost a sexualization of violence that is portrayed in the media and by the government in its recruiting process, both for whatever the current mission is, and to supply that mission with manpower and public support for those policies.  The call to arms has been intentionally misguided and deadly."

Image: Huss Hardan, Repose and Regret, 20 x 28, printed on silver halide photographic paper, naked half framed with raw perforated steel bar and hung with steel chains; Limited edition 1/15.

The series was shot on medium format film and digital.  Its mature content of partial nudity and simulated violence may make those with milder dispositions uncomfortable.  Parental guidance is recommended.

 "Anguish and Obsession, An American Love Story" is part of the MOPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles) initiative and will run from April 1st through April 30th at huZ Galleries located at 341 W 7th Street, San Pedro, CA 90731. (310) 428-0275. Hours are 1pm to 7pm, Wed thru Sunday.

Enjoy a sneak peek of Huss Hardan’s powerful solo exhibition on April 1st and April 2nd.  The opening reception for "Anguish and Obsession, An American Love Story" takes place on Thursday, April 7th from 6-10pm. The artist will be in attendance. For additional information about the artist, visit http://husshardan.com/ To find out more about huZ Galleries, see http://www.huzgalleries.com/


Artists Jennifer Verge & Stephanie Visser Featured at Edgemar Center for the Arts March 6th!

On Sunday March 6th, the art of Jennifer Verge and Stephanie Visser will be featured in two solo exhibitions at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. Verge’s exhibition “Believe in the Magic” will showcase her mixed media works on wood. Visser’s exhibition entitled “Rhapsody in Blu” will feature her abstract paintings. 

Verge currently resides in Los Angeles but originally hails from Canada. Her family was her early inspiration, encouraging her to work with wood. Her teachers also pushed her to thinks outside the box. Verge will be showing roughly ten works created from wood with local found objects used throughout the works.

Just as most artists work in series, Verge has been busy with a new collection. She has been painting nudes and receiving an amazing response. She is also a talented jewelry designer and has a new business brewing. “Within a couple of months I will be launching my new Tee shirt line.”

Verge has recently exhibited at the LA Art Show, Gabba Gallery, Santa Monica Art Studios, and many more Los Angeles Galleries. For more information about the artist Jennifer Verge, visit her website at http://www.jenniferverge.com

Stephanie Visser is known for her abstract paintings. She moved to Los Angeles from Michigan to continue to pursue her creative endeavors. Visser also showed her work at the recent LA Art Show. She has exhibited her paintings at bG Gallery, Wallspace, TAG Gallery, Santa Monica Studios etc.

When asked how often she paints? Visser replied, “As much and as often as I can…that’s vague I know, but it does change from week to week depending on other things going on in my life.”  As an artist she said, she tries to establish a routine (so she can create on a consistent basis) that is supportive and will work for her. “I have a new studio in Beverly Hills and since it's closer to where I live, I am able to go even if only for a couple of hours.  Heaven would be every day.”

To find out more about the art of Stephanie Visser, visit her website at http://stephanievisser.com/

The Edgemar Center for the Arts has been offering high-quality theater productions since 2000. Don’t miss its upcoming productions such as the amazing Bubble Man, a fun filled family show which takes place February 27 and 28 (two shows per day), 11:00am & 1:00pm. Expect square bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles, fog-filled bubbles, giant bubbles, bubble volcanoes, tornadoes and trampolines and event people inside bubbles.

A Night at the Black Cat Cabaret is a provocative & seductive night of music and dance and runs March 4, 5, 11, 12, 18. 25, 26, and continues through April 1, 2, 15, 22, 23, 29, 30. 

Then April 7th through April 10th, Santa Monica’s premiere film festival, Cinema on the Edge is back to celebrate independent films of all genres that feature a distinct vision & a unique. Call 310-392-7327 to purchase tickets or check out the website for more info on all these productions www.edgemarcenter.org  http://www.cinemaattheedge.com/

Also onsite, is a flourishing acting school which offers scene study, on-camera auditioning, improv, script analysis, voice and speech, casting director workshops, and other acting classes. For more information about the acting visit the website. 

Be sure to mark your calendar for the art reception on Sunday March 6th at Edgemar Center for the Arts for two new exhibitions, “Believe in the Magic” and “Rhapsody in Blu” featuring artists Jennifer Verge and Stephanie Visser from 4-7pm. RSVP to info@edgemar.org if you are interested in attending. Edgemar Center for the Arts is located at 2437 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405. 310-392-7327; http://www.edgemarcenter.org/