HARK Celebrates Kids on Cinco De Mayo at Upper West Restaurant!

Join HARK (Healing Arts Reaching Kids) and Upper West for a Cinco de Mayo benefit (Tuesday May 5th) open to the public. The charity event will allow diners to enjoy a fabulous dinner while giving 30% back to an incredible nonprofit. 

Yes...Upper West Restaurant in Santa Monica has graciously agreed to donate 30% to HARK during this event from 5-10pm.  Upper West is a popular Santa Monica restaurant serving internationally inspired dishes like ahi tuna tacos and chimi churri sweet potato fries. The public can order as little or as much as fits their appetites and budgets…all the while helping a great cause. Prizes such as gift certificates to local stores/restaurants will be raffled, etc. Danny Hutton founder and lead singer of Three Dog Night will be in attendance. 

Upper West’s chef Nick Shipp said he was looking forward to celebrating Cinco de Mayo at the restaurant. “Growing up in Texas, I was immersed in a rich tradition of Mexican food. It's an important date in history and helping the efforts of the children's hospital of Los Angeles is an important cause.”

HARK is an affiliate support group of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where Laurie Hutton President of HARK is a volunteer.  She teaches workshops and has witnessed healing moment first hand. "Patients loose track of time while painting and listening to music. I was told by a patient that it was very therapeutic, and relaxing," said Hutton. 

HARK also participates in the famed Beverly Hills artSHOW each year. Event manager, Karen McLean has been coordinating the event for the past 12 years. Just about eight years ago, HARK joined up with the event. “We were looking to include a meaningful charity, and had really never done so, but wanted to work with one that was truly into art,” said McLean. She added that the challenge of creating art helps to build discipline. “I believe that art helps kids and adults deal with the emotional stuff they are going through, but also, it offers a mental challenge.” The Beverly Hills artSHOW takes place May 16th and 17th from 10-6pm. You can find HARK at booth # 4 (East of the Beverly Hills sign). For general information about the May 2015 Beverly Hills artSHOW, call (310) 285-6830 or visit www.beverlyhills.org/artshow

Come celebrate Cinco de Mayo with HARK and Upper West at 3321 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica. Make a difference in a child's life, while enjoying exquisite cuisine. Reservations can be made by calling 310-586-1111. http://www.theupperwest.com/ To find out more about HARK, see http://www.healingartsreachingkids.org/


“Minor Identity Crisis" Featuring Gus Harper Set to Open at Essentia Saturday, April 18th!

Saturday, April 18th enjoy an opening reception for “Minor Identity Crisis,” at Essentia in Santa Monica. The solo exhibition featuring the work of Gus Harper will feature some twenty works along with an installation. 

Gus Harper - Minor identity Crisis VII, 66" x 55"

Essentia may be just a “Mattress store” but it’s also an active hub for local community artists. “Essentia is a great place to have an art show.  Great wall space and perfect for the installation piece I have planned,” said Harper. “This is a large piece that hangs from the ceiling. It will be highly visible from the street as well. It will hang from the rafters of the mattress store.”

Harper explained that the exhibit is made up of very colorful paintings (and an installation) that are heavy on symbolism. “A lot of the pieces are about overcoming fear, said Harper. “There are usually components that symbolize the viewer of the piece, fear, and tools to overcome fear. It's pretty open to interpretation. I'm interested in the way that humanity creates and meets fear. 

Harper believes that everyone relates differently according to the circumstance. He continued, “So the result is that there are various reactions, which lead to various manifestations of self.  And as people become more aware, we challenge our own perceptions of reality and of what kind of person we want to be.”

This is how he came up with the title "Minor Identity Crisis." He added. “Some people get a kick out of the title and that is okay because there is definitely a sense of play in the new work.”

Gus Harper - Illunition I, 24" x 36". Oil, spray paint, acrylic on canvas
Harper enjoys collaborating with other artists. “I started collaborating with Gronk about 2 years ago. I usually have a few collaborative pieces in every show. In the last show I had two pieces I made with my mom Fielden Harper (a professional artist as well).

The artist has more shows coming up in the Fall. The first is an exhibition of his suspended pillars at LocziDesign in San Francisco in September and the 2nd will feature his recent paintings in Mexico City.

The art reception and opening takes place this Saturday, April 18 from 6:30pm-10pm at Essentia, 2430 Main Street, in Santa Monica 310-450-7819


“As Above, So Below” Opens at bG Gallery, April 11th, Part of MOPLA

bG Gallery at Bergamot Station participates in MOPLA a citywide photography festival created by the Lucie Foundation. Realities and Concepts was the chosen theme this year.  “This year’s theme, is purposely broader than previous years designed to engage the widest audience possible,” said Jimenez, co-founder of MOPLA. “I left it open to interpretations and wanted to a wide response to the theme from different photographic perspectives.” 

Om Bleicher said he was very excited by this year’s theme. ”’As Above, So Below’ is a group show that celebrates the artists visual enquiry of the micro and macrocosms.” Although the gallery has only started showing photography for the past couple of years, it has proved to be an important focus for the gallery. 

Bleicher continued, “The saying has its roots in mysticism and the idea our earthly actions paralleling heaven’s, or the microcosmos echoing the cosmos. I left it open to interpretations and wanted to a wide response to the theme from different photographic perspectives.”

Bleicher has invited photographer Scott Tansey to once again show at bG Gallery. Two photos were chosen, both featuring iconic images and both taken on the same trip.

Scott Tansey, Church on the Spilled Blood  47 x 24 Framed

“The trip was taken with a former girlfriend. We went on a cruise. Before the cruise we stayed in London for 4 days. Then we went to Bruges, Amsterdam, the Kiel Canal, Berlin, Copenhagen, Riga, Tallin, three nights in St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm.” His mother had passed away in 2010 and he had left his job at a law firm.  “This trip was the last time I used film and I started to transition to solely digital. After this trip, over a few months I sold all my film cameras, and I am exclusively making digital images.”  

He continued,  “I really enjoyed a river cruise down the Spree River and visiting the Reichstag…Riga, a former city of the Hanseatic League. The city is gorgeous with Romanesque architecture. Tallinn, another Hanseatic League City. Still has its medieval walls, and most of the old city's building has red roofs.”

On the last day in St. Petersburg, after Tansey had visited Peterhof, the next stop was to visit the Church on the Spilled Blood, where Alexander II was assassinated. It was here that he took an incredible image of this historic church. Tansey said so much of his photography is unconscious, but he keeps his eye on the prize and by constantly looking around. When asked what he looks for he replied, “Something that looks great within the four corners of the image.  I hope to my own perspective on the image.  http://www.scotttanseyphoto.com/

Bleicher was intrigued with Gualtieri’s recognizable images used in his photography.  He cited “the down to earth beauty of vast natural environments and the juxtaposition of human and environmental elements.”

Marco Qualtieri, The Ocean: Title "A Story Told Twice - Marina di Pisa, 2012"  /  Size 25"x 37" (Framed)  /  Media Type: Archival Inkjet Print on Matte Paper   /  Edition  1/10  

Gualtieri’s works are both from a series called A Story Told Twice. “This set of photographs was made to reconnect myself with the place where I grew up,” said Gualtieri. “I was looking to create sort of a backdrop - theatrical scenery if you will - for what will ultimately be the tale of me.”

“I feel a kinship to certain landscapes - mostly places I'm familiar with or places that resonate with me. When setting up a shot, I carefully consider my position within the space. I do this to help process the emotional and intellectual experience I have with that place, in that moment. Once that is established, I can disappear and let the camera work.  I become an attentive observer, curious about what that image will express to me and what I can learn from it. It is this process of unfolding that keeps me photographing.” 

To find out more about Marco Gualtieri, visit his website at http://www.marcogualtieri.com/

Photographer Patrick Nagatani and painter, Andree Tracey have worked together since the 1980s and will have work in the show. Nagatani and Tracey captured intensely colored elaborately constructed tableaux in order to blur the distinction between nuclear family and nuclear disaster. 

Patrick Nagatani and Andree Tracey, Radioactive Inactives, Los Angeles, California, 1987-1988, Chromogenic print (Kodak Ektacolor Plus), 20X 16

Bleicher has gathered a talented group of photographers to be included in this year’s show, such as Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Patrick Nagatani, Moby, Nick Veasey, Theresa Flowers, Dan Busta, Ryan Schude, Marco Gualtieri, Scott Tansey, Leonard Monje, Tatiana Botton, Gwen Adler, Susie Loucks, etc.

The opening reception for “As Above, So Below” is this Saturday, April 11th, from 6:30pm-9pm at Bergamot Station, (G8A) 2525 Michigan Ave Santa Monica, 90404. The show runs through June 16. (310) 906 4211; http://www.bGartGalleries.com   


"7 Extraordinary Artists" Opens Thursday, April 9, at FABstudio in Santa Monica!

Thursday, April 9th, FABStudio Gallery owner Flavio Bisciotti, and Flower & Hewes gallerist Brekelle Lavee' Long and have partnered to present “7 Extraordinary Artists.”

Brooke Harker is set to be the featured artist for this eclectic exhibition. The group show additionally features talented contemporary artists: Anyes Galleani, Doug Henders, Barbara Kosoff, Charlie Patton, Walter Redondo and Jennifer Verge.

Image: Heather in Brooklyn by Brooke Harker 90" x 60" ink, oil & acrylic on canvas

Harker will be showing her “Urban Citiscapes” at FABstudio. The artist is just about to embark on a four-month trip to Italy.  Alfio Borghese has selected my artwork for a solo exhibition in Italy from August 24-Sept 6 2015 at the Villa Comunale di Frosinone in the vicinity of Rome as part of the Festival of Contemporary Visual Arts. 
“This solo exhibition will take me to Italy to paint for several months in preparation for the event,” explained Harker. “It is part of several exchanges between American and Italian artists to take place in galleries in Los Angeles in 2015.” The name of the exhibition is “An Eclectic Perspective/ Una Prospettiva Eclettica” and will be curated by Borghese.  Harker’s paintings (that she has yet to create) will feature urban views from Los Angeles and other US cities.
Harker is looking forward to her exhibition and working with Borghese, who recently curated another exhibition that Harker participated in at the Oceanside Museum of Art. The busy artist continues to show locally as well as internationally. “One of my paintings, Venice Town inspired by the boardwalk in Venice, CA will debut in Dubai at the Fann-Porter-Gallery in early May 2015 as part of a charity auction 'The Kids of Syria' which features works of 100 artists from around the world rallied by art dealer and founder of artforumae, Peter Gressman. As advocating for children is an important part of my life, I am glad to be part of supporting this event. It is also exciting for me to have a painting exhibiting in Dubai!” http://www.brookeharker.com/
The mixed media art of Jennifer Verge will also be included in this eclectic show. 

Image: Jennifer Verge, NO 1, Mixed Media 24x24

 She said she was excited to be part of the exhibition; she loved the gallery since she had attended another show there. Jennifer explained that she wants her art to "affect people at the gut level".   This is what she feels makes the whole art experience exciting. She cited that the teachers that most affected her were the ones that inspired her to “think differently…outside the box.”

Verge said she was re-inspired by Jean Michel Basquiat and Frank Gehry…particularly, the use of materials in his architecture. Like most artists she takes in exhibitions at galleries and museums alike. She also said she was a fan of the nudes of Nelina Trubach-Moshnikova.

For this exhibition she will be showing works on wood, created with stain, metal, plaster, found objects, and words. Verge has shown in several galleries in Santa Monica and most recently at Gabba Gallery. For more information about the artists, see her website at http://jenniferverge.com/

Italian Born artist Anyes Galleani, currently lives in Los Angeles. She is actively engaged in LA’s art world. 
Image: Anyes Galleani The Pirate, 36x36 mixed media on wood panel

The artist started in the fashion industry when she first arrived in Los Angeles in the 80s. She soon established herself as a photographer/art director for fashion and celebrity shoots. In the 90's, Anyes started working with photo-montage, opening the door to an array of new opportunities, from gallery shows to video projects. She went on to working in the commercial video area. Mixed Media merged its way into Galleni’s work and now it is the mainstay of her art.

She explained, “5-6 years ago I started focusing on fine art photography, but did not like printing my photograph with conventional printing methods, so, in 2011 I began experimenting with mixed media and I have been working full time as an artist since then. http://www.galleani-art.com/

Barbara Kosoff began her career as a graphic designer and art director working in both the US and abroad. Her interest in getting back to creating art (sans the computer) led her to create mixed-media and assemblage works on paper. Ever the traditionalist, she works by cutting and pasting photographic images found in magazines and pop culture publications, paper bags, and other random sources, then combines them with drawing and painting with oil bars.

Image: Barbara Kosoff, The Amazing Catch, mixed-media on paper, 17 x 24"

"What interests me in making art are the absurd connections I make thru the juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated objects and elements: combining the real to create the surreal,” said Kosoff. “The results of which are to make thought-provoking and intriguing narratives that are at times whimsical and other times, wistful. I invite the viewer into my world and let them decide and perceive their own meaning."  BarbaraKosoff.com

Artist Charlie Patton will also be part of the show. He began his art studies at Laguna Institute of the Arts and then had the chance to study at the Florence Academy of Art. As an artist, he has experimented in Mixed Media, Abstractionism, Impressionism and Contemporary Art. Charlie now resides in both Santa Monica and Santa Barbara, CA.

Founder of barcito, Andrea Borgen will be on hand at opening serving samples from her new restaurant. Barcito is an Argentine-inspired shareable plates bar, serving a seasonal menu of locally sourced food and drink, consistently providing guests with exceptional value. Borgen’s goal with barcito is to transport her customers to Buenos Aires.

Borgen is set to create a special dinner in conjunction with this exhibition at FABstudio with guest chef (and Argentinean) Augustin Mallmann on April 18.  http://www.barcitola.com/

 Don’t miss the opening reception for “7 Extraordinary Artists” this Thursday, April 9th from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Appetizers provided by barcito! FABstudio, 2001 Main Street in Santa Monica 90405; 424-744-8156http://fabstudiola.com/