This Friday, December 4th 2015, the Montana Avenue Holiday Walk is Back !!!

This Friday, December 4th 2015, the Montana Avenue Holiday Walk once again becomes takes
place from 5pm-9pm. Located between 7th and 17th Street, residents and merry makers will come out to celebrate the season. Kick off your holiday season at Montana Avenue’s Annual Holiday Walk, with150 stores and local merchants. There is something for everyone and fun for all the family.

Many of the shops will offer special promotions, sales, and cookies that will be available only during the walk. Her you’ll find “one of a kind gifts” made by local artisans. You and your family are sure to find the perfect holiday gifts walking down the twinkling streets lined with the finest retailers and restaurants on the West Side.

Texture: A Sweater Store and More (716 Montana), will be open and offering specials on its gorgeous merchandise. It's getting chilly out there…a good time to buy a warm sweater.

Owner, Jane Walker said she was so looking forward to the event. "The best thing about having a business on Montana Avenue is it's such a community oriented street," said Jane Walker, owner of Texture, A Sweater Store and More on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.  See Texture’s FB page.

Come visit Santa Claus, enjoy the live music, and visit local stores offering all kinds of tasty treats. The Off Their Jingle Bell Rockers, a zesty group of local carolers who have been performing for over ten years are back again this year.  Enjoy traditional and off beat arrangements that will surely get you into the holiday spirit.

Partner’s Trust will be hosting Santa Claus. For info on Partner’s Trust call or visit the website. Partner's Trust (1333 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403); (310) 382-8500; http://www.thepartnerstrust.com/

The Venice Street Legends will be performng at Texture. A duo version of the band, tonight’s event
will feature guitarist Greg Cruz offering his dynamic talents on both guitar and vocals. Petr Hromadko will play bass with Cruz. Enjoy popular blues inspired holiday melodies plus a touch of country.

Cruz plays Vegas as well as LA, Venice and more. He performed for years at the House of blues where he was a fixture at the Porch Restaurant Lunch hour weekdays for years.  Cruz and Hromadko have become a welcome fixture busking on the Venice Boardwalk.

The Venice Street Legends will be performing just in front of Texture: A Sweater Store and More, (716 Montana) from 5-9pm.

Ten Women on Montana offers some wonderful gift giving ideas for the upcoming holidays (both inside and outside in front of the gallery). Ten Women Gallery, 1128 Montana Ave., in Santa Monica; 310-393-6254; http://www.tenwomen.org

Located at 1631 Montana Ave., Sweet Lady Jane has been in business for the past twenty-five years. It offers all types of desserts such as cookies, brownies, lemon squares, layer cakes, cheese cakes, pies tarts and more. 

Sweet Lady Jane will offer live music featuring guitar player Peter Skrabak. The musician was classically trained and started playing at just seven years old. He played his first professional gig at fourteen, then worked as a bassist as well. Skrabak has played just about every style of music.  http://www.peterskrabak.com

Sweet Lady Jane is located at 1631 Montana Ave. 310 254-9949; http://www.sweetladyjane.com/
Don’t miss this annual tradition for both the Montana Avenue businesses and the community. The event runs from 7th and 16th streets (5-9pm). For more information, see http://montanaave.com/


Saturday, December 12, 2015, BUILDING BRIDGES ART EXCHANGE Presents New Exhibitions!

BUILDING BRIDGES ART EXCHANGE presents two solo exhibitions opening December 12th from 5:00pm to 8:30 pm. 

In the main gallery, “Franco Marrocco - The Red Studio & Other Works” curated by Giovanni Iovane and Marisa Caichiolo will debut paintings from the international artist Franco Marrocco.  On view in the project room is “J.J. L’Heureux: Etichette,”a solo show from Venice local and established artist J.J. L’Heureux.

In English the word "studio" refers to the working space where a painter, a photographer or a sculptor brings his or her creation to life. In Italian, however, "studio" also refers to a study on a certain subject, a drawing, an elaboration, as well as a model for a future application. It also means space for either a private or public exhibit.

Co-curator, Giovanni Iovane talks about Marrocco's exhibition, "'Red Studio' is the name of the exhibit and of the large-scale painting hanging in the gallery's main space. The exhibit's key piece is part of Franco Marroco's recent body of work, who turns his daily painting practice into a "study." The study is an original and singular characteristic of the pictorial process and space. A space with a view,"

The art of Venice resident J.J. L’Heureux has been shown in museums around the world. She is most well known for her photography, she is also a painter, she also create collage and mixed media works. For this show her collages have been chosen…L’Heureux calls them “Etichette.”

Her annual treks to the Antarctic not only are the subject of her photography, which has been sought after by museums across the world, but they also inspire her to create in other mediums.

The artist has been featured in solo exhibitions at Kansas University Natural History Museum, Lawrence, Kansas, Detroit Zoo, Ford Gallery, Royal Oak, Michigan, SoZo Gallery, Dothan, Alabama, Madison Children’s Museum, Madison, Wisconsin.

L'Heureux's work has also be part of the following group exhibitions this year:  “Water Unbalance” Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, “Who’s Afraid of Feminism?” AIR Gallery, Brooklyn, New York. (Catalogue), “i AM woman…i AM digital,” Women In Photography International, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. “Water Works II,” Porch Gallery, Ojai, California. (Catalogue).

BUILDING BRIDGES ART EXCHANGE is a Non Profit Organization 501 (c) 3, dedicated to cultivate an understanding among cultures worldwide through international art exhibitions (workshops-lectures), art exchanges and artists residencies 

Don’t miss the opening, Saturday, December 12th from 5:00pm to 8:30 pm at BUILDING BRIDGES ART EXCHANGE is located at space F2 at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404; (310) 770-1961www.buildingbridgesartexchange.org 

This Weekend, Nov 28, Shop at Montana Avenue's Small Business Saturday Event in Santa Monica!

The holidays are rapidly arriving…and the malls will be crowded after Thanksgiving….so why not head to Small Business Saturday on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica?

The event is a nationally recognized campaign and encourages people across the nation to shop at local stores and small businesses on this black Friday/Saturday shopping weekend. Small Business Saturday takes place from 7th Street to 17th Street from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, (with restaurants offering extended hours)  Live music will run from 12:30pm to 4:30pm on the Avenue.

Texture: A Sweater Store and More, will be open and offering specials on its gorgeous merchandise. It's a perfect time to buy a warm sweater.

Owner, Jane Walker said that this event is important for so many reasons. Locals come out to hear music and enjoy a casual day of shopping…all the while giving back to their own neighborhood. She went on to say when people buy directly from local shops, the money goes right back into the community…into the police department, the fire department, etc.
See Texture’s FB page.

Texture will offer live music featuring guitar player Peter Skrabak. 

The musician was classically trained and started playing at just seven years old. He played his first professional gig at fourteen, then worked as a bassist as well. Skrabak has played just about every style of music.  http://www.peterskrabak.com

Ten Women on Montana offers some wonderful gift giving ideas for the upcoming holidays (both inside and outside in front of the gallery). 

Enjoy savings with 40% off bamboo & cashmere scarves, 10-25% off fine art, prints & photography. Ten Women Gallery, 1128 Montana Ave., in Santa Monica; 310-393-6254; http://www.tenwomen.org

Kat & the Jazz Birds will be performing on the northwest corner 13th Montana, next to Partner's Trust (1333 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403) from 12:30 – 4:30 pm.

The band will perform jazz standards as well as some old time swing. Well known songs such as All
of Me, Stormy Weather, My funny Valentine, Fever, Fly me to the Moon, Almost like Being in Love and more will take you back to a nostalgic time when the sound of legendary artists like Peggy Lee, Etta James, and Ella Fitzgerald, filled the airwaves. For more info about Kat & the Jazz Birds, visit http://www.KathyLeonardo.com.

For info on Partner’s Trust call or visit the website. (310) 382-8500; http://www.thepartnerstrust.com/

Located at 1631 Montana Ave., Sweet Lady Jane has been in business for the past twenty-five years. It offers 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… more stores will be open offering special sales. Montana Avenue is home to over one hundred and fifty businesses and many will participate in the  event from 11am to 5pm (restaurants will offer extended hours) running from 7th Street to 17th Street. For more info about the Montana Avenue Art Walk and Music Festival check out http://montanaave.com/


November 21st, 2015, “Mirrors of the Mind 4: The Psychotherapist as an Artist” opens at Art Share LA.

On Saturday, November 21, 2015 “Mirrors of the Mind 4: The Psychotherapist as an Artist” opens at Art Share LA. Presented by the Community Outreach Committee of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, this event celebrates its fourth year. Artists have been chosen via a juried selection process. The jurors are: Robert Bilder PhD, James Catterall PhD, Rebecca Catterall, and Gus Harper.The event will also feature poetry and music.

The Los Angeles Psychological Association (LACPA) represents licensed psychologists within Los Angeles County by responding to the mental health needs of the community. Its purposes are to advance the science and profession of psychology and promote human welfare while educating the public about psychological issues.
This year’s event will feature work from Dr. Stuart Perlman. A psychoanalyst, psychologist and artist, Perlman has become well known for his powerful paintings of the homeless. Dr. Perlman reminds us that these individuals, too, are to be valued: "If we can see into their faces and learn their stories -- their hopes, dreams, accomplishments and fears -- we can no longer pretend that they don't exist...we can no longer look the other way." 

LACPA’s goal is to increase the awareness of the general public about mental health issues, the profession of psychology, and the mission of LACPA. The Mirrors of the Mind Project reflects just that that. Founded in 2012, by Terry Marks-Tarlow, Ph.D., and Pamela J. McCrory, Ph.D., the success of the event has increased with each new year. Co-founders Tarlow and McCrory curate the group show and both agree that they feel the annual event is a perfect example of the importance and power of creativity.

McCrory said that working on this project for the past four years has been a highlight in her professional life. “I have learned more about the value of arts in well-being and health.  Sharing and encouraging arts engagement with the LA community and psychologists across the country has been a professional highlight.  I know that it has enhanced my belief in my own creativity and deepened my commitment to nurture creativity in my clients, students and colleagues.” McCrory added that she felt creativity is an important part of the healing process. Art is a universal way to make meaning out of experience, to enlarge our world, to create an opportunity for empathy, and to celebrate our common humanity, as well as our diverse perspectives.”

Co-curator and artist Marks-Tarlow is also a psychologist and clinician and sees the benefits of the artistic process in herself as well as her patients. Her art will be included in the show. She is excited to see the art displayed in the gallery at Art Share LA, and celebrates the many talented artists who are a part of this community outreach event.

Other artists set to be featured in the exhibition are Karissa Burnett,  Alisa Dennis, David Feingold, Gary Felton, Christine Forest, Flora Golden and many more. 

Art by Gary Felton

“Mirrors of the Mind 4: The Psychotherapist as an Artist” officially opens November 18 with a  reception taking place on Saturday, November 21st, 2015, from 5 to 10pm at Artshare LA, located at 801 E 4th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

There will be a poetry reading 5-6pm as well as Community Art Creation from 4-9pm.

Attendees can bid on an art silent auction. Live original music and light refreshments will be provided. The exhibition will run through November 28.

There is a $10 admission for the general public; $5 for students and LACPA members; (213) 687-4278; http://artsharela.org/   http://www.lapsych.org/


SANTA MONICA AUCTIONS Hosts its Annual Event, Sunday, November 15!

On Sunday, November 15, Art lovers alike will converge on Bergamot Station Arts Center to attend the art event of the year! SANTA MONICA AUCTIONS is known for attracting an eclectic array of art collectors from diverse backgrounds.

SANTA MONICA AUCTIONS (B-7 space) currently features artwork to be auctioned. Works by iconic artists such as Any Warhol, John Baldessari, Keith Haring, Raymond Pettibon, Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, John Lennon, and many more will be auctioned. Unheard of deals on these exceptional artists, is what the public has come to expect from the SANTA MONICA AUCTIONS, which has been in business for 32 years.

Owner Robert Berman said this is the best place to find a fair price for any collector.  “There are not enough fine art auctions in Southern CA,” continued Berman. He encourages the public to come to his gallery early now, prior to the auction to view the art, ask questions and decide which artworks have special meaning. 

SANTA MONICA AUCTIONS has been independently owned and operated since 1984. Offering artworks by well-known artists as well as emerging artists, the auction will feature all types of art such as painting sculpture photography multiples, prints, etc. 

SANTA MONICA AUCTIONS prides itself in creating a way for the average art lover to build an art collection of his or her own. “You don't have to be a sophisticated collector,” said Berman. One can walk away with an array of masterpieces not normally accessible to the public…Artworks such as an Andy Warhol to paintings by contemporary masters. 

Artworks available by additional artists include… Carlos Almaraz, Terry O’Shea , Robert Rauschenberg, John Register, James Rosenquist, Frank Stella, David Wojnarowicz, Sam Francis and many others. Unlike most auctions, works will be accepted till the last minute and the electronic catalogue is constantly being updated. Check the website for details.

Don’t miss it …Sunday, November, 15 The SANTA MONICA AUCTIONS annual auction takes place from 12pm to 5pm at the B-7 gallery at Bergamot Station Arts Center (2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica). 

Online and phone live bidding will be available. The auction preview is currently on view now at the B-7 gallery at Bergamot Station.  For more information about the SANTA MONICA AUCTIONS, see www.smauctions.com


Whole LIfe Balance Founder Shane Griffin Stands Up to Cancer!

Cancer has affected many of us.  Shane Griffin, founder of Whole Life Balance, has personally been affected by this disease. Along with other important issues he gives his time and financial support to help make a difference. His generosity also extends to other debilitating diseases as well. As a successful business owner, he participated in community driven events such as local Santa Monica Chamber sponsored events. He also gives his time to nonprofit events that he truly believes in such as the Get Lucky for Lupus LA event, and the Arthritis Foundation event.

This Saturday, October 24, his company WLB is a flagship sponsor, for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk of Santa Monica taking place on the Santa Monica Pier.

On the very same weekend, Griffin will be in Toronto working on another nonprofit event for Cystic Fibrosis. He has worked with this nonprofit for over ten years along with his and brother, whose business, Team Group of Companies sponsors the event.

Griffin created his company, Whole Life Balance to help people heal from the inside out. One of the popular services that WLB offers is IV Drips which can help the immune system fight against Dehydration, Jet Lag, Cold or Flu like Symptoms, Headaches, Fatigue, Nausea, Hangovers, Food Poisoning, Viral Infections, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Circulatory Issues. Cancer patients come to Whole Life Balance to incorporate the benefits of IV Drips into their treatment. IV Drips are known to also help other diseases such Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Fibromyalgia, and Chron's Disease. The American Cancer Society has been saving lives for more than a century. So working with this nonprofit is a perfect fit for Griffin. 

Of all the Cancer prevention campaigns, the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks is the most inclusive. Communities are banding together to create more awareness about Breast cancer. Educating people and getting local residents to sign up, and help with fundraising has increased each year and helped survivors feel supported. It’s a great time to get involved. 

 Photo courtesy of WLB

Whole Life Balance is a flagship sponsor for the Great Strides Walk Santa Monica for on October 24, which has the goal of raising 35k for the 5k Walk. The event takes place on the Santa Monica Pier (200 Santa Monica Pier) at 10:00am and will feature a power walk on the beach to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Live music, shopping, food/drink will also be provided while survivors are celebrated.   

Become a Making Strides volunteer! These events would not be possible without dedicated volunteers donating their time and talent. Check the website, sign up to volunteer or donate to support the survivors and help fight cancer. Click Here to find out more info.


Full Circle Partners with Venice Art Crawl this Thursday, September 17th!

The Venice Art Crawl celebrates Art every three months. On Thursday, September 17, it hosts a special VAC event…celebrating the Afterburn from Burning Man.

VAC will close Rose Avenue between 3rd and 4th street for an evening of art, performances, art cars, installations.  Full Circle, and niteSpa located at 305 Rose Avenue will be a big part of this month’s Crawl. Both the upstairs and downstairs (niteSpa) will be hosting art events. Artist set to be featured are: Sona Mirzaei, Gus Harper, Vittoria Colonna, Aazam Irilian, Wendell Wiggins, Eva Montealegre, Matt McMahon, Louise Taylor, and more. Artists Sona Mirzaei and Eva Montealegre will also be painting live at the event.

niteSpa recently returned to Venice…after rising rents forced owner Julia Lolita Martin-Wrobel in search of an affordable location. Full Circle has made it possible for her to return along with other local businesses.

Community is why Full Circle exists, explained Andrew Keegan co-founder of Full Circle.  “Each of us is on our own journey in life, and it's the people we meet and develop friendships, relationships, and partnerships along the way with who truly allow us to grow. At Full Circle we provide a space for people to do the inner-work while connecting with like-minded individuals who are also on a path of forward motion. There are many components to community, too. In this instance we're focusing on a space where people can come together to embrace their own beauty, both internal and external. Beauty and wellness are very much in alignment with our spiritual practices that keep self-care and self-growth at the forefront of life's journey.” 

Fantasia, Sona Mirzaei, In search of splendor, 56x54

Contemporary artist Sona Mirzaei has been busy making waves in both the U.S. art scene as well as the international scene. The self taught artist has exhibited her works in London, Singapore, Copenhagen, Chicago, Las Vegas, Toronto, Paris, Miami, Hong Kong, New York City, Dubai, San Francisco, and numerous venues and galleries all over Southern California. Mirzaei will be participating in the Beverly Hills artSHOW this October.

 “Fantasia was created during my blue period in 2014 and it has a lot of tranquility and motion that gives you a calming sensation with euphoric robust energy due to the pink and bright hues against the blue and dancing rhythmic figures that makes one feel as though they're at Disneyland. The magic that you can imagine, feel and create that embodies this emotion and abstract patterns in Fantasia has innocence, passion, Zen and Zephyr qualities that make it a joyful experience to behold.”

You can catch Sona doing some live painting in front of Full Circle and niteSpa (downstairs) at this special VAC event. http://www.sonamirzaei.com

Artist Aazam Irilian has painted as long as she can remember. “I have been an artist and art educator for over 25 years. However, it has been the last five years that I have decided to focus more on my passion and feed my desire of being an exhibiting artist. Dedicating more time to creating bodies of work that completely are aligned with my point of view and life purpose —healing my soul and hopefully others as well. http://www.aazamirilian.com

Painting by Gus Harper, Blue Vision, Oil on Canvas

Artist Gus Harper lives for his art. Currently he has two studios where he actively creates. Raised in Santa Monica, his mother was his earliest inspiration. “My Mom exposed me to art at a young age,” recounts Harper. “I can remember her taking me to LACMA when I was so young that I was learning my ABCs.” Harper’s mother imparted her love of art to her son at an early age…teaching the fundamentals of art and the importance of balance and color while they explored museums and galleries together. 

Harper recalls the irony of seeing the work of renowned portrait painter Don Bachardy on one of his museum trips with his mom. Years later, when Harper was 27, he would pose for the famed artist. http://gusharperart.com

Vittoria Colonna has been creating art as long as she can remember. She started early on doodling on her mother’s walls. “My recent foray SOURCE explores the meaning of consciousness through a non representational yet abstract delivery where ideas form a dance. Painted under auspicious cosmic forces, I fell into a trance with this set with these paintings. I choose to seek the invisible and feel the intangible even mystical.  Of late, she has been exploring multiple mediums of expression through the arts, such as film making, performance art and painting.  http://www.colonnavittoria.com

Eva Montealegre grew up in an artistic family. Writing conventions, theatrical musical venues and small art exhibit events were often held in her home.  Her mother was a journalist for St. Louisan Magazine and her father was a restauranteur and artist. 

Large gatherings celebrating life and artistic endeavors were the foundation of her family life. Eva's love affair with painting emerged under the tutelage of abstract painter, Robert Kingston. From the moment she first applied paint to canvas something resonated deep in the core of her being and she knew she was destined to become what some people call a mad crazy painter.  It was a match of spirit and the world - she sold that first painting even before it dried. www.evamontealegre.com

Wedell Wiggins, Yemanja (Natural Mystic of the Oceans) 24x36

 Wendell Wiggins is a full-time artist in Los Angeles. Having studied at the California Institute of Art, he has enjoyed a successful career creating book illustrations, storyboards, print advertising design, broadcast graphics and more. http://on.fb.me/1iv02Oo

Also taking place on Rose Avenue, between 3rd and 4th...Venice resident Ivo Vergara will debut a thirty-foot cardboard sculpture. Don’t miss the art cars on Rose Avenue created by local artists. The “Charlie the Unicorn” art car will be on view with its happy music vibes and revelers dressed as unicorns. Altervision 3D will showcase its 3D art experience along with Space Harp entertaining art lovers with its interactive sound installation.

VAC will close Rose Avenue between 3rd and 4th. The event runs from 6-midnight. Full Circle upstairs and downstairs (niteSpa) will host events. Both niteSpa and Full Circle will continue the festivities for the after party through 1:00AM!! After 8pm there is a $10 donation for entry. At midnight enjoy a sound healing at Full Circle! http://www.veniceartcrawl.com/   http://www.fullcirclevenice.org  http://nitespa.com