Thursday, July 16th...Get Ready for the Montana Avenue Art Walk and Music Festival!

The Montana Avenue Art Walk and Music Festival will take place Thursday, July 16th from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm with many of the businesses participating. Art will be featured  as well as live music by local bands and singers/guitarists performing throughout the night.

Montana Avenue businesses such as Partner’s Trust, Texture: A Sweater Store and More and Sweet Lady Jean will all feature acts such as Kat and the Jazz Birds, classical guitarist Peter Skrabak, and Milo Gonzalez another talented guitarist.

Start off at TEXTURE: the Sweater Store and More is located at 716 Montana Ave. This lovely shop offers the most beautiful scarves and sweaters too. At Texture, you will find 50%-70% off throughout the store. Its great opportunity to enjoy an evening out, listen to local talent and pick up some lovely gifts.

Peter Skrabak will be performing some classical music as well as some standards. Skrabak has been playing guitar as long as he can remember. He got his first guitar at the age of seven. By the time he was ten, he was taking classical guitar lessons and then at the age of fourteen he did his first professional gig.

He soon picked up the bass and performed with a dance band in
Prague, former Czechoslovakia (where he was raised). At seventeen he was a full time musician working with a variety of bands, big band, jazz combos, top-40 and more. He often played at the well known jazz club Reduta in Prague.

He eventually moved to the United States where he performed with many bands as well as a solo act. He performed in venues in a variety of locations such as in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Hawaii playing gigs along the way. To find out more about Peter Skrabak, visit his website at http://www.peterskrabak.com

TEXTURE: the Sweater Store & More is located at 716 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, CA; (310) 393-0707; See Texture's FB page.

Then Kat & the Jazz Birds will be outside Partner’s Trust at 1333 Montana Ave at 14th Street. The band consists of pro-players, keyboard player Bob Crickmore, saxophonist Al Rappoport, Bassist Mike Flick and drummer Mitch Montrose. See Kat & the Jazz Bird's FB Page.

Enjoy classics such as Fly me to the Moon, Almost like Being in Love, All of Me and more.  Fronted by jazz songstress Kathy Leonardo, a native New Yorker, who got her start singing and dancing in Broadway musicals. Her big voice is perfect for the iconic melodies made famous by the likes of Etta James, Lena Horne, and Ella Fitzgerald. In her twenties, Leonardo toured with renowned actor/singer and composer Anthony Newley in a revival of his show “Stop the World, I Want to Get off,” and got the chance to work with renowned composer Charles Strouse (Annie Bye Bye Birdie) in several incarnations of an original opera. Leonardo played the comic lead.

For more info about Kat & the Jazz Birds and her four other bands, see KathyLeonardo.com

Partner's Trust will be featuring artists Dawn Alane and Nate Pottker. See websites  www.dawnalanesculptress.com   http://natepottker.com/art/

Partner's Trust, 1333 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, CA; (310) 382-8500; http://www.thepartnerstrust.com/

Sweet Lady Jane has been in business for the past twenty-five years. Located at 1631 Montana Ave., the bakery sells all types of desserts such as cookies, brownies, lemon squares, layer cakes, cheese cakes, pies tarts and more. Guitarist Milo Gonzalez will perform. A self-taught classical guitar and flamenco guitarist, Gonzalez’s music derives influence as much from guitar masters, such as Paco De Lucia and Andres Segovia, as it does from modern day heavy metal and psychedelic music, such as Black Sabbath or The Mars Volta. You can find out more about Milo Gonzalez’s music by visiting

Sweet Lady Jane is located at 1631 Montana Ave. 310 254-9949; http://www.sweetladyjane.com/

This is just a taste…there will be many more stores hosting events. Montana Avenue is home to over one hundred and fifty businesses and many will participate in he lively event from 5pm to 9pm running from 7th Street to 17th Street. For more info about the Montana Avenue Art Walk and Music Festival check out http://montanaave.com/


“CALIFORNIA Dreaming” Opens Saturday, July 11th at Essentia Showroom in Santa Monica

Santa Monica’s Essentia Showroom presents two New York street artists, Westgard and FLOrE. The artists have shown their work together before and will be showcased in a two-person show named “CALIFORNIA Dreaming.”

For this exhibition, ten of each artist’s solo works will be on view. He said he is looking forward to showing at Santa Monica’s Essentia showroom. This is my first full show in California. I will be flying in a few days before the show with a one way ticket.” When asked if he thought LA artists would be very different, he answered, “No I think artists are the same all over the world. Their work may look different.”

Well known for his “Love” themes on the streets of New York City, Westgard has an eclectic yet positive energy in his art. He talks about his work…“The Love tag is so simple, but powerful…People need it, they take to it. They email me and tell me how it helped them through a hard day or just made them smile while walking by.”

Westgard is a fan of painter, Johan Vermeer.  One of his works entitled 1665, was inspired by Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring. “I have always loved this image. Vermeer is a master,” said Westgard. “As I find/create my own style I enjoy "remaking" these classic images as well as creating brand new pieces.”

1665, 30 x 40 inches, Acrylic and latex on canvas, 2015

Westgard has shown his work in several pop up shows in NYC, Manhattan Proper, Refinery Rooftop, Salon de Lafayette, etc. In LA he has shown at Gallery 38 and NWO Gallery.  

Another street artist, FLOrE said he believes we (as a society) are pushed into stereotypes. He tries to avoid that at all costs with his art. He explains, “I try to see things simple, but you can get lost very easily in the monotonous pattern of life. Hi-def, multi-colored filters, or distractions, can mask reality; I want to deconstruct and expose those layers for what they really are, not just what they seem.”

When asked what he was most excited about, he answered, “To show my work it has been a while since anyone has seen my new work and it super rad and I’m so proud of it i cant wait to see the people react.” 

See image by FLOrE Think inside the Box 

FLOrE has shown in both NYC and LA, at venues such as Gallery 69, Arlington grocery, Manhatan Proper. Studio Bancs, Gallery 38, Stone Malone, NWO Gallery, lab art and more.

The two artists first me Lou D’Elia (curator), at Essentia Showroom. They happened to be visiting from New York when walked into artist reception.

D’Elia is also an artist in his own right. He is an accomplished assemblage artist as well a busy curator. He will also be featured in a documentary running nationally on PBS entitled BREAKING THROUGH THE CLOUDS, which begins on August 1st.  He explains, “It tells the story about the first women's national air derby that took off from Santa Monica in August 1929 and concluded in Cleveland Ohio.  Will Rogers dubbed the race "The Powder Puff Derby."  I am interviewed/featured because I am the custodian of the Estate of Pancho Barnes, who was an aviatrix and participant.  
seewww.PanchoBarnes.com  and www.Happybottomridingclub.com  andwww.breakingthroughtheclouds.com

“CALIFORNIA Dreaming” opens on Saturday, July 11, with an artist reception from 6-10pm at Essentia Showroom, 2430 Main Street in Santa Monica; 310-450-7819; http://www.myessentia.com/;

For more information about Westward, see http://loveforthepeople.co/ or FLOrE, visit http://Thatartistflore.com


"Cinema of Time" Featuring Gregg Chadwick Opens July 12th at Upper West Restaurant!

Upper West Restaurant Showcases the Work of Gregg Chadwick Sunday, July 12th!

Scarlet Shadow 80"x80" oil on linen, 2011

The art of Gregg Chadwick will be showcased in a solo exhibition on at Upper West Restaurant in Santa Monica. The popular restaurant hosts eclectic art receptions on a consistent basis.

A dedicated painter, this past May 2015 marked the eleven-year anniversary at the Santa Monica Art Studios at the Santa Monica Airport. "I have put roots down here and find constant inspiration in the life and light of Venice, Santa Monica, and Los Angeles," said Chadwick. "The mixing of cultures and ideas in this city lifts my spirit in profound ways."

He will be showing an eclectic group of paintings on linen…artworks from several series. One such painting is entitled Empire State.

Here’s what inspired the Empire State painting...as told by Gregg Chadwick.

“’Empire State’ is set in Grand Central Station in New York City. By layering paint upon paint, I build an artwork through a succession of present moments in time that often combine in unforeseen patterns. A viewer recently remarked that my paintings resemble 'time travel where the molecules are not quite sure where they belong.' This visual conundrum plays with the proposition of many quantum physicists that time may not exist at the most fundamental level of physical reality. My grandfather was a train engineer in the Northeast and for years worked for the Jersey Central Line. Rail travel for me carries a deeply personal family connection that seems to merge into the paint layers.”

Empire State 72"x36" oil on linen, 2013

For the past few years, Chadwick has been invited to speak at UCLA, Monterey Peninsula College, the Esalen Institute, the World Views forum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Categorically Not, (a monthly forum that considers the arts and science). He will also be speaking about Art and Social Justice at The Representational Art Conference in Ventura, California in November 2015.

Check out Gregg Chadwick’s website at http://www.greggchadwick.com/

The opening reception will be held on Sunday, July 12th, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Upper West located at 3321 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica. The art will remain on view through September. http://www.theupperwest.com/