Thursday, April 2nd, Enjoy an Art Party at nitespa, benefitting Miracles for Kids!

nitespa opens its doors to art lovers who love luxury. The event will feature live music, wine, beer and some tasty food too...it all happens at nitespa, a local hip spa in Mar Vista.

Offering an array of specialty services, nitespa provides a laid-back atmosphere great for extending the air of luxury to its clients. Owner Julia Martin-Wrobel has made it her mission to keep everyone who enters nitespa feeling pampered and taken care of.

Come in for a Mani-pedi, or a facial, then stay for a massage. Other services include Waxing, 
makeup application, hangover cures
and psychic readings. 

Or book a private nitespa Spa Soirée which includes both beauty pampering and bottomless beverages. A typical soirée last two to four hours. Clients often enjoy different treatments, so they can build their own. In between treatments, the group can relax in the lounge, while enjoying drinks and/or snacks. It’s a perfect girls night out…or day out.

Artists featured will include Michael Baroff, Babara Kosoff, Michelle Oppenheimer, and Stephanie Visser.  A portion of all art sales will be donated to Miracles for Kids, a non profit aiding children and their families who are dealing with cancer.

Founded in 2002, Miracles for Kids operates critically-needed financial aid programs as well as provides food & necessities, advocacy services and health & wellness programs aimed at improving our families’ emotional and mental well-being during this time of crisis. Miracles for Kids has offices in Tustin and Santa Monica, CA.

Alexander Bryce Hays was diagnosed with Diamond-Blackfan anemia in 2007. He received a bone marrow transplant, but then had additional health issues that left his family financially devastated. Miracles for Kids was able to help the family financially, which helped to lessen the emotional stress of dealing with the illness of a young child. For more info about Miracles for Kids, see http://miraclesforkids.org/
Local businesses have come forward to help with the cause such as Venice resident Christian Warren of Venice Duck Brewery. 

The company was founded by Warren and his partner, John Binder because they felt Venice needed to have its own beer. It has become a successful business for the team.

Venice Beach was instrumental in creating the company…Venice Duck was inspired by a local legend of a guy who went to a party in the Venice canals and woke up the next day on the sidewalk covered with ducks.

Venice Duck is available at local restaurants such as Hal’s Bar and Grill, the Melody Bar, Hostaria del Piccolo Venice, and others.  Whole Foods also carries it. For more info, see http://www.veniceduckbrewery.com/

Wine will also be served at the art party thanks to Gruppo Mezzacorona. The event will offer a wine tasting for Stemmari’s Baci Vivaci. Los Angeles Regional Market Manager, John D'Alvia explained, “Baci Vivaci--meaning "Lively Kisses" in Italian--is our newest sparkling from Sicily.  It's a light sparkling made from Grillo (Sicily's most prominent white grape). This wine has all the components of a great white wine: lively aromatics, hints of tropical fruit, and delicately balanced with minerality and nice acidity. It's perfect for the spring and summer months ahead."  

D'Alvia has worked in the wine business for over eight years. His territory for Gruppo Mezzacorona encompasses the tips of Orange County all the way up to the Central Coast (i.e. Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, etc.). The best way to describe his job is as Gruppo Mezzacorona's supplier contact for their distributor here, Southern Wine and Spirits.  While he sells on his own, he assists the distributor sales force in selling his brands to most channels of the wine business--from bars, restaurants, and nightclubs to independent grocery chains, liquor stores, and wine shops.  “I was with a large wine and spirits distributor for over five years, but felt my passion was more on the wine side of the business.  Working for Gruppo Mezzacorona has been the highlight of my career.  I work with phenomenal people and have the opportunity to sell and build solid, great brands,” said D'Alvia. See website for  more info about Gruppo Mezzacorona, seehttp://www.gruppomezzacorona.it/

Uncle Darrow’s in Marina del Rey will be donating its famous macaroni and cheese. This famous eatery is also known for its Cajun cuisine.  Norwood Clark Jr., runs the family-owned restaurant and is a big supporter of the community. He immediately said YES, when he heard about the art party and benefit. “Being a first generation family business, we are not selling a product but a culture," explained the co-owner. “Take a look at New . Orleans...it's a potpourri of different cultures...that's what I've been trying to attain."

Many locals are big fans of Uncle Darrow's such as Nancy Wilding who's been dining at Uncle Darrow's since it first opened. "They also have a good breakfast with the best chicken breakfast sausage," says WiIding. "I love the fact that they use chicken sausage!"

Stop by Uncle Darrow’s for lunch dinner….great eats! Uncle Darrow's, 2560 S. Lincoln Blvd., in Marina Del Rey. http://www.uncledarrows.com/

Save room for some chicken wings from Baby Blues BBQ in Venice. Another well known local restaurant who has generously donated food to the art party. 

It all started with two guys who loved BBQ, the restaurant opened in 2004 and quickly made a name for itself. The famous BBQ sauce is a hybrid of the best of the best BBQ sauces.

Baby Blues BBQ is located at 444 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291; http://babybluesvenice.com/

Both Hal's Bar and Grill and Upper West graciously had donated wine for the event as well. 

The Sugar Spin company began in January 2015. Located in Orange County, the vibrant cotton candy company was created by Vanessa Manalansan. "Cotton Candy is just one of those things that everyone loves. It's nostalgic for me. I enjoy everything about it. It reminds me of my childhood.," said Manalansan.

Originally starting as a pastry chef, Manalansan was melting sugar to form a hard caramel. She was
creating a decoration for one of her special desserts. The shell resembled thinly spun sugar-like cotton candy, it was then that she decided to try adding ingredients to cotton candy to resemble that dessert. “I rented a cotton candy machine and spun in ingredients... It was delicious, and thought I need to share this with the world.” The flavors were unique different than any other cotton candy available…flavors such as Strawberry Cheesecake, Green Tea, Orange Creamsicle, and one of its top sellers, Yabba Dabba Fruity Pebbles.

Sugar Spin will be participating in Big Bite Bacon Fest this August in Long Beach. Try out its newest Bourbon Spiced Bacon Cotton Candy. See http://www.comidaproject.com/ for more info about Sugar Spin.

lowres CountryLegends Close atMelodyThe event will feature live music with the Country Legends. The band features Greg Cruz guitar/vocals, Kathy Leonardo vocals, Petr Hromadko on stand up bass and Mitch Montrose on druums. 

The band performs country classics - melodies made famous by the likes of Johnny Cash, June Carter, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton. The band will also feature blues too.

For more info, check out the Country Legends FB page.   

Don’t miss an incredible art party and benefit for Miracles for Kids on Thursday, April 2, from 6-10pm at nitespa (12024 Venice Blvd., 2nd floor, suite D, LA, 90066). LIve music will be provided by the Country Legends. http://nitespa.com/
By guest writer - Libby Lancaster


Lu Martin Galleries Present “Energies of the California Coast” featuring Brooke Harker

“Energies of the California Coast” opens at Lu Martin Galleries, Thursday, April 2nd as part of the Laguna Beach First Thursdays Artwalk.

Image - Brooke Harker paints Heart of the City

The gallery was opened in 1988, by Lu Martin and is housed in a converted cottage on Historic Gallery Row in North Laguna, where the earliest galleries in town were centered.  Featuring a balanced mix of contemporary and traditional styles by various local, regional, and international artists, Greg Martin (son of Lu Martin) also works the gallery.

 “Brooke Harker's art boasts a strength of substance and style,” said Martin. “More than faithful renderings of the places she has traveled and spent time, her paintings are imbued with the mood, energy and character of the place and its inhabitants.”  Martin said he was happy to feature Harker’s work once again but now in a solo exhibit. “The use of color and detail, and the select absence of either, are her primary tools for transmuting the essence of any locale onto canvas.”

 Harker said she was fond of both Greg and Lu and the gallery,  What I appreciate most about Lu Martin Galleries is the feeling of family they extend in to their visitors in the gallery. There is a unique rustic décor that feels warmly old fashion and adds to the spirit of how they take time to talk to everybody.”

image -Liberated Waters by Brooke Harker 35" x 68" ink, oil & acrylic on canvas

 Don’t miss the opening reception of “Energies of the California Coast” on April 2nd 6-9pm as part of the First Thursday’s Artwalk. Lu Martin Galleries is located at 372 N Pacific Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651; (949) 494-8074; http://lumartingalleries.com/

Harker’s paintings will also be part of a group exhibition at FABstudio in Santa Monica on Thursday, April 9th.  For more info about the artist, see her website at http://www.brookeharker.com/