The mural is part of a greater project, "Let Me Show You Around," which embodies a process of collaborative art that perfectly captures the welcoming spirit of the Skirball, an institution inspired by diversity and plural expression. For the project, Schiffers and Sprenger were in residence at the Skirball for two weeks. During their stay, they interviewed members of the Skirball community about ideas of welcome. As a result of these interactions, the artists created "a smile, they said," a large-scale mural covering the walls of the Ruby Gallery, one of the Skirball's most communal spaces.
In their interviews with the artists, the staff at the Skirball shared a diverse array of images ranging from waterfalls, unicorns, and penguins to patio chairs, fountains, micrography, and matzoh ball soup. Some participants spoke of paradisiacal landscapes, while others referred to American customs as well as rituals rooted in Jewish tradition. The artists then took these plural expressions and incorporated them into "a smile, they said," a blend of wall art, paintings on wood, and text. The result is a fascinating composite of more than eighty distinct voices unified into one.
"We see the mural as a sort of 'stage' for welcoming," say Schiffers and Sprenger, "so it's appropriate that it is set in the Ruby Gallery, which is an area for welcoming people to the Skirball. The greatest challenge was how to encompass all of the contributions, but also maintain enough distance that the final product would not be fragmented, but a comprehensive, inclusive whole."
To mark the opening of "a smile, they said," the Skirball will host a conversation with the artists following a screening of "Pantry" on Thursday, April 4, at 8:00 p.m. The film documents another collaborative project in which Antje Schiffers and Thomas Sprenger participated, together with the artist initiative myvillages.org. For the "Pantry" project, locavore-minded organizations and individuals worked together for a year to stock a pantry full of locally produced products for the Festival Über Lebenkunst in Berlin. Skirball Curator Doris Berger will moderate the discussion. A reception follows the program. ("Pantry," a film by myvillages.org and Martin König. Germany, 2012, 45 min. In English and German with English subtitles.)
About Antje Schiffers and Thomas Sprenger
See image: Acrylic painting on wood, 2013 © Antje Schiffers and Thomas Sprenger
Antje Schiffers and Thomas Sprenger are artists based in Berlin, Germany, who often utilize participatory working methods in community spaces such as museums, factories, large companies, farms, and schools. Antje Schiffers studied art at the Braunschweig University of Art and has been exhibiting in Germany and around the world since 2000. She has had solo exhibitions at prestigious institutions such as the Secession Vienna, Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig, and the Sprengel Museum Hannover. Thomas Sprenger studied economics and chemical engineering and had his own company in Berlin before joining Schiffers as a collaboration partner in 2004.
The Skirball Cultural Center is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049 (exit 405 Freeway at Skirball Ctr Dr). Parking is free. The Skirball is also accessible by Metro Rapid 761. Museum hours: Tuesday– Friday 12:00–5:00 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; closed Mondays and holidays. Admission to a smile is free to the public.
Admission to all other exhibitions: $10 General; $7 Seniors, Full-Time Students, and Children over 12; $5 Children 2–12. Exhibitions are always free to Skirball Members and Children under 2. Exhibitions are free to all visitors on Thursdays. For general information, the public may call (310) 440-4500 or visit www.skirball.org.
Gallery owner, Valda Lake celebrates 478 days with a group anniversary show.
The anniversary exhibition is entitled "1" and features 350 works from over 60 Los Angeles based artists.
Artist Sona Mirzaei is happy to be included. "The venue itself is amazing space and definitely makes any artist excited to exhibit in. The high vaulted ceilings, great space, amazing location, and wonderful people," says Sona.
The Gallery features art in a salon style on 14' high walls, literally floor-to-ceiling art. The first year has been a huge success. Lake explains, “ I’ve loved with a passion working with the talented Los Angeles based artists, meeting the community in this neighborhood I live in and also introducing new people to the artists work from further afield."
Sona will be also be featured in a solo show at Seyhoun Gallery in West Hollywood on Saturday, July 13th, 2013 as well as showcasing a couple of her pieces in the BRANDED ARTS group show in Santa Monica on July 20th.
She explains, "My botanical, mixed media pieces and Commandments is what I am currently working on and am planning to exhibit the entire Thirteen Commandments collection at the end of this year at Wallspace gallery. Something to look forward to my botanical works for summer and the Commandments for winter, then off to starting my new body of work for 2014."
The anniversary show also includes artists MB Boissonault, Gary Palmer, Nataša Prosenc Stearns, Stephanie Visser and many more.
For more information about Sona Mirzaei see website http://www.sonamirzaei.com/
On view: through May 31st.
What: On view NOW
Where: Wallspace, 607 Nth La Brea, LA, CA 90036, (one block south of melrose and parking available in back)
When: Everyday 11-5pm
Phone: 323 930-0471
See image: It's Not My Birthday, That's Not My (Sweetheart) Cake Acrylic and enamel on panel, 16" x 20" x 1 1/2" 2013
Like most children, Larusso loved to draw. "I would paint whenever the materials were available," recalls Larusso. "My parents encouraged me to develop my skill, but it wasn't really until college that was I introduced to a variety of wet media and realized the possibilities."
Originally from Ohio, Larusso now resides in Kentucky. "I look forward to being in Santa Monica for the opening on the 13th," says Larusso.
Larusso's recent series, "It's Not My Birthday, That's Not My Cake" brings to mind a romantic notion of family life. Perhaps it's an over–the-top memory guided by pop culture. The artist spotlights saccharine sweet nostalgia of what most would call a special day...a birthday.
Larusso is drawn to two-dimensional representation as means of genuine communication. She explains, "I am not interested in tricking the viewer into believing what I represent is real, necessarily, rather I'm more concerned with presenting the image as an idea for the viewer to consider. There is a certain honesty to paintings because ultimately, they're just pictures."
See image: It's Not My Birthday, That's Not My (Kitty) Cake Acrylic and enamel on panel, 36" x 24" x 1 1/2" 2013
She continues, "That being said, I also want to make visually interesting work, work that the viewer wants to look at, and keep looking at. I enjoy making choices about color and composition, and dealing with space and perspective in challenging ways."
The subjects of her painting, usually come from photographs, "I am collecting imagery constantly...from magazines, newspapers, junk mail, food packaging, google searches, as well as old cookbooks and old magazines from thrift stores," says Larusso.
The exhibition will be on view through May 25. The opening reception will be held on Saturday April 13th (4-6pm) at Skidmore Contemporary Art, located at Bergamot Station (D-2) 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. http://skidmorecontemporaryart.com
See my article in the Santa Monica Mirror about Vicky and how she affected all of us in our Venice community.
The event will run from 6:00 pm till 9:00 pm in conjuction with the Venice Art Crawl. See LA Art Party's Thursday Events for additional art crawl happenings. Our weekly post goes up every Wednesday at noon.
Figtree’s Café has been participating in the crawl since it's inception. Vicky Barcelona was a big supporter of arts and a kind, sweet spirit. She will be missed. I can speak as a singer/musician, and friend. Vicky hired me to perform jazz at Figtree's Cafe, she also attended several gigs of mine at other venues. She loved music and the arts.
Vicky created a wonderful warm environment for the Venice community to enjoy at Figtree’s Café. If you are not familiar with the Café, it is known for its healthy delicious food, located right on the Venice boardwalk at 429 Ocean Front Walk Venice, at Paloma Ave, two blocks south of Rose.
Scott Tansey's panoramic phototgraphy is currently on view at Figtree's.
Tansey's most recent trip to Patagonia inspired him to capture incredible images of mountain ranges, icebergs and rarely captured landscapes.
A dedicated photographer, Tansy has traveled the world in search of magnificent landscapes. On expeditions, scott is always the first one up and last to return. Tansey's work will be on view at the Cafe until January 15th. http://www.scotttanseyphoto.com/ www.figtreescafe.com
A free spirit who was raised in Los Angeles Sona Mirzaei left a career in finance in 2008 after choosing to embrace her calling as a professional artist. As she notes, painting has been part of her life since she was five years old so it was little surprise to her family and friends when she made the bold decision to make creating art her full time career. Her first notable success as an artist was to be chosen as a finalist for the 2009 London International Creative Competition where she attracted the attention of event organizers and secured official representation. Although LA is one of the most competitive of markets, Sona's persistence and determination to explore her craft and use her work in support of charitable causes, while making her art accessible to others, has gained her the respect of her fellow peers and art lovers.
Sona has also been busy producing her ongoing I am My Art series, a unique conceptual self-portrait project that is intended to present moments where she is literally at one with her work while taking on the persona associated with each piece. She is thrilled to begin work on I am My Art Part III and will debut it later this year. This form of art really test her creativity and Sona always loves a challenge and this is what makes art exciting for her especially this particular series.
Sona Mirzaei is a true visionary and her passion for art transcends the competitive nature of the international art scene. Sona sincerely desires to help others appreciate the beauty and potential of their own surroundings by adding unique artwork that complements their individual personality. Her work is timeless and reflects a hybrid of depth, emotion, and aesthetic appeal that always leaves one wanting to see more of what Sona has to offer.
Artists Sona Mirzaei and Per Hillo have created a brilliant work of art. As part of the renowned elephant parade, earlier last year in Copenhagen, their elephant and work of art, 'Triumph of Unity' was chosen to participate in Elephant Parade Singapore!
This beautiful elephant, ‘Triumph of Unity’ was up for auction January 14th, 2012 (Sundowner Session) hosted by Sotheby's.
Needless to say it went quick, to one happy customer and art lover.
This is an incredible piece of art and the proceeds will be donated to a wonderful cause, to save the elephants.
Thanks for uniting with us for saving endangered Asian elephants.
Jules Muck recently moved to Venice where she has been making a name for herself. Her style is highly recognizable and her work is become consistently sought after. She started showing her work at the Venice Art Crawl. Jules is the artist who painted the old gas pumps (across from the Erwin) at the Venice Art Crawl, Gas Station Event. See photo and my Examiner article about it. http://www.examiner.com/art-events-in-los-angeles/the-pop-up-galleries-steal-the-show-at-the-venice-art-crawl
Jules Muck started as a graffiti artist in the subways of New York City. Street art has become the new rage. Look what happened to Shepard Fairey? Don’t miss out on an up and coming artist. Remember, Art is an investment and it’s doing a heck of a lot better than the stock market is these days.