Kathy Leonardo

Kathy Leonardo  Photo:Gregory Dahl

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LA Art Party Newsletter

LAArtParty is an arts and entertainment website. Established in 2010, it is an online go-to guide for what's happening in and beyond the LA area - this includes dining, travel and more.

Founded by journalist, and "Blues Mama" Kathy Leonardo (a longtime performer), the campy site has an unusual slant which will keep you entertained. Leonardo has been writing for the past 15 years about various subjects for the Huffington Post, THRIVE GLOBAL, LA Weekly, etc.

Each month the LAArtParty staff, led by Kathy Leonardo decides which events will be featured. Posted at noon on the Thursday prior to the last week of the month, LAArtParty.com features the Top Ten Art Parties, plus other fun events each month. VIP subscribers find out ONE week prior to the public and receive discounts and invites to VIP parties throughout the year.

See Contact Page to find out how to become a VIP subscriber so you don't miss any more great ART Parties!! See Contact/Rates Page to find out how submit and promote your own events!

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Calling All Burners / Artists / Performers - Be a Part of 2017 Decom NOW!

Be a part of the 13th Los Angeles Burning Man Decompression Art & Music Festival on Saturday, October 14th, 2017, from 1:00pm to 11:00pm. If you're a Burner, you already know - 2017 Decom returns to the newly renovated LA State Historic Park downtown. 
Oct14-2017-Decom-photobyEsquireJachemPhoto by Esquire Jauchem

Don't shake off ALL that Playa Dust yet! Save it for DECOM! Bring a little dust to Downtown so we can all breathe deeply and think of home. *cough*

Wanna VOLUNTEER? YAY! We need you!
- Please fill out this form: http://bit.ly/2fp30V2

Got a THEME CAMP? Bring it!
- Please fill out this form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ladecom2017

Art! We want it! Get your art installation placed!
- Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mutants! (the vehicular kind)... we wanna ogle your creations!
Got an art car you'd like to bring?
- email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All you talented performers out there... delight us with your skills!
- email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Don't miss the chance to be a part of this epic event. Tell your artist friends. See our Upcoming Event Feature with all the details for this event.

Review: CRYSTALS AND WAVES by Maureen Haldeman at Sorenity Rocks Malibu Gallery

Nestled among the eclectic shops of the Malibu Country Mart, with the idyllic Malibu Lagoon State Beach as a neighbor, Sorenity Rocks Malibu Gallery is the ideal venue for new works by noted fine art photographer Maureen Haldeman. The exhibit, entitled CRYSTALS AND WAVES: A Photographic Exploration of Synergy Between Land and Sea, curated by gallery owner Lenise Soren, pairs works from Mrs. Haldeman's Liquid Light series with museum-quality crystals.
From left to right - Lenise Soren, owner of Sorenity Rocks Malibu Gallery & photographer Maureen Haldeman; Photo by George Harkness

The gallery, an interactive crystal wellness space and performing arts sanctuary, is pervaded by a sense of serenity and peacefulness mirrored in Mrs. Haldeman's subject matter, the inherent beauty in light and nature. As an artist, she strives to not merely capture a mirror image of what she sees, but rather to convey emotions. This body of work in this exhibition, produced predominantly using archival dye sublimation on aluminum, revisits the transformational, spiritual and physical qualities of the ocean - subject matter the artist has frequently explored.

The premise of the exhibit is unique. Crystals are carefully paired with art in distinct vignettes which range from dramatic to soothing, eliciting a broad spectrum of emotional responses from the viewer. While each of the fourteen displays conveys a different vibe, from fiery red sunrises mated with citrine to soothing, muted horizons paired with amethyst, all are sublime. Both curator and artist agree the crystals and art amplify each other in symbiotic relationship, and as an independent viewer, I was drawn in by how the texture, tone and hues of the art and crystals interplayed to create something larger than the individual pieces.
Sept-2017-MaureenHaldeman  Debut
Debut by photographer Maureen Haldeman; photo courtesy of the artist

The exhibit represents a significant departure from Mrs. Haldeman's previous work, as she is exhibiting pieces much larger in scale, including pieces as large as 40"x60". The artist attributes this to the influence of Ms. Soren as a designer and curator. When asked about her role as influencer, the gallerist explained, "I fell in love with Maureen's work the minute I saw it, but I knew immediately I wanted to see it much, much bigger." In addition to the large crystals and art featured in the exhibit, Sorenity Rocks offers a wide variety of crystals and jewelry in all price ranges, as well as two signed fine art publications by Mrs. Haldeman, Liquid Light and Malibu Metallica.

The well-attended exhibit opening, held Saturday, August 19, featured the smooth jazz of the Keelan Walters Duo, light refreshments and the antics of gallery resident, Merlin the Crystal Wizard Cat, who captivated the attendees almost as much as the inspirational exhibit of CRYSTALS AND WAVES. For additional info about the artist visit her website at https://www.maureenhaldemanphotography.com/

The exhibit runs thru September 24. The gallery is located at 3939 Cross Creek Road, Gallery c110 in the Malibu Lumber Yard Plaza. http://sorenityrocksmalibu.com

Review: "L.A. NOIR: A City Reimagined" at Couturier Gallery

"L.A. NOIR: A City Reimagined," featuring the photography of Kenneth Locker, opened at Couturier Gallery on August 5, 2017. Offering a magniloquent overview of Hollywood and its environs, the solo exhibition focuses on the architecture of this modern city which often goes unnoticed in today's world. Millennials, glued to their iPhones, are transfixed to social media deities such as the Kardashians, completely unaware of the history around them.
Kenneth Locker, Los Angeles Theater Broadway

Locker relishes the mystery of our everyday cityscape. He pays tribute to another era, celebrating the grandeur of Hollywood with its bombastic designed buildings and attractions. These Los Angeles sites become stars in their own right. While the architecture plays a central role in the exhibition, Locker's photography adds an elusive, yet sensual dimension...offering multiple layers of an ominous and foreboding essence. Locker is a skilled photographer, and his choice to expose the underbelly of a city while spotlighting its unrequited magnificence at the same time, is stirring.

I had the chance to speak with both the gallery director Darrel Couturier and the photographer Ken Locker. This is Locker's first exhibition with the gallery. The photographer commented that Couturier Gallery is a great space to exhibit. "It is intimate, but doesn't feel small or cramped. I love the very high ceilings...it feels like a New York City loft."Aug2017-Review-Couturier-KenLocker-w-work
Kenneth Locker with work at Couturier Gallery; Photo by Kathy Leonardo

Couturier was impressed with the work. "I very much liked what I saw and thought it a fascinating interpretation of L.A. landmarks merged with the idea of film noir," said the gallerist. "I thought it was visually fascinating, emotional, and timeless in the sense that though the photos were taken recently, Ken's editing and printing process placed these images in another time."

Locker added that Couturier is easy to work with. "He respects artists and has great insights in how to present and promote the work." Having a father that loved photography (with an in-house darkroom) inspired the artist to start taking photos at very young age. "I was probably seven or eight when I took my first 'serious' photograph that I developed and printed myself (under my father's supervision, of course)." Locker explained that he always loved architecture. "In college, I was debating whether to pursue architecture or photography. Photography won out." He was also a fan of Noir literature and cited authors such as Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, and Dashiell Hammet. that have made an impact on him.
Photo by Kathy Leonardo;

I asked Couturier what he looks for in the work of an artist. His response was, "Work that has brilliant craft, challenges the mind and eye, and has an aesthetic independent of its conceptual content." He went on to say that Locker's exhibition challenges the mind and evokes thought. "People who see the work always seem to have an emotional reaction as well as many questions as to where and when."

As a viewer, I can say for sure it had an extraordinary effect on me. I highly recommend this exhibition....so be sure to stop in soon to Couturier Gallery. "L.A. NOIR: A City Reimagined" will remain on view through August 19, 2017.  http://www.couturiergallery.com/

On View Now: The G2 Gallery

The G2 Gallery presents "Cheyne Walls: Miles from Los Angeles," and "New Wilderness" by Jennifer MaHarry. "Miles from Los Angeles" features breathtaking panoramic shots of the western United States, from Washington to Colorado to Hawaii, and also showcases photos from Cheyne's recently published homonymous book. The exhibit celebrates nature and beautifully captures the awe-inspiring vistas unique to the west. Over the past five years, Cheyne traveled in all weather conditions, from pounding rain to fresh snowfall, to shoot these destinations in all their splendor.
From Left to Right:  Elysium, Aspen, CO (918 miles from L.A.) and Illumination, Portland, OR (961 miles from L.A.) by Cheyne Walls

Cheyne was recently awarded the International Memorial Maria Luisa Photography Award, one of the most prestigious photography awards. He received first place in the mountain landscape category for "Yosemite Valley," a black-and-white Ansel Adams-esque photograph that will be on view in this exhibit.

"What stands out about Cheyne's photography is his use of long-exposure," says Curator Monika Basse. "The photos are dynamic and alive, becoming a window into the world Cheyne espied and expertly framed. You can sense his enthusiasm for the outdoors in each image."

"New Wilderness" is the latest photography collection from Jennifer MaHarry. Featuring a bold new take on traditional nature photography, the exhibition showcases eye-catching animal portraits on subtly manipulated backgrounds for a compelling overall effect.

The spirit of the wild is celebrated and illuminated in the photography. Well-known for her clean and unique compositions of wild horses, canids and birds of prey as preferred subjects, MaHarry's new work artfully includes abstracted graphics and textures, alluding to possible dangers that threaten the existence of these animals. The added elements encourage viewers to linger and take a second look, discovering for themselves the hidden message behind each image.
From Left to Right: "LA Night Owl" and "Desert Lobo" by Jennifer MaHarry.

"The G2 Gallery has a long history with Jennifer MaHarry," says Curator Monika Basse. "Having showcased her work since 2010, we are excited for viewers to see subject matter they've come to love presented in a new and dynamic way."

What: Opening reception
Where: The G2 Gallery, 
1503 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291

Phone: 310.452.2842
Website: http://www.theG2gallery.com

On View Now: Skidmore Contemporary Art Hosts Two Art Parties!

Skidmore Contemporary Art celebrates two new exhibitions...with two receptions. "Contemporary Relics: A Tribute to the Makers," a solo exhibition featuring the sculpture of Jaime Guerrero opens on September 9, 20017 with two receptions...the latter happening on September 16, 2017. Guerrero's exhibition is part of the Getty Museum's innitiative - Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Sept9-2017-Skidmore-Guerrero-La Venta jpgJaime Guerrero, La Venta, 2017, Blown glass, dimensions variable, approximately 36" tall x 60" x 60"

The work Idolos ("Idols") is a celebration of the glass medium and of Jaime Guerrero's own sculptural process in the context of resurrecting the work of ancient craftsmen. He approaches this endeavor from an archeological perspective, reinventing Mesoamerican sculptural figurines as a way to pay homage to the craft and the culture of that time. Jaime explores a mythical world in which he becomes hyper-observant to an aesthetical, stylistic, and iconographic worldview. Through the process of reproducing idols in an entirely new medium, Jaime adds a fresh and a modern perspective to Mesoamerican craft. This work interprets the myths, craftsmanship and unique forms of the ancient past. Jaime states, "My artwork is a journey of diverse phases as a form of self-questioning."

Skidmore Contemporary Art will also be celebrating the art of Bradley Hankey with his solo exhibition..."Shadows of Paradise." The artist is a master at painting skies. He has the rare ability to turn pigment into light. His canvases become luminous fields that glow with a vibrant energy. They pulse and move, as if they were alive. Each of the paintings captures a different type of light and was inspired by a specific sky, seen at a unique time and place. In Hankey's hands, they become universal symbols of transcendent tranquility.
Sept9-2017-Skidmore--Hankey-The KeeperBradley Hankey, The Keeper, 2017, Oil on panel, 48" x 48"

Skies are the dominant feature in these paintings, but they are not the only elements. He also includes parts of the surrounding landscape—buildings, street lights, palm trees. His settings remind us that what he paints is quintessential Los Angeles. The blend of open space, with just hints of our urban environment, add charm. They tell us that these are our landscapes, parts of our everyday lives.

On view: September 9 - October 28, 2017

Where: Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station 2525 Michigan Avenue, B-4 Santa Monica, 90404
When: September 9, 2017 & September 16 - 5-7pm; 
Phone: 310-828-5070

Review: "Some Things Never Change" by Delfin Finley, Lora Schlesinger Gallery

I attended the opening of "Some Things Never Change" by Delfin Finley at the Lora Schlesinger Gallery on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
At first look at the work and the crowd, I assumed I was in the wrong gallery. I found myself saying "Is this the Lora Schlesinger Gallery?" The coterie was hip young and from one glance, I could tell they knew each other. A sense of community emanated from these young adults who appeared to be in their early twenties...just like to artist. The work was striking..undeviating portraiture filled with socially charged themes.

A realistic painter, Finley's work is direct, unfiltered with stylized detail. His subjects are placed in uncompromising situations revealing the reality of everyday life. Some Things Never Change" portrays the continued racism that today's black men and women are forced to deal with.
Finley was commissioned by Fucking Awesome (a popular skate board and clothing brand) to paint Dylan Rieder for a board. Reider a renowned skateboarder who died at the age of 28 of complications from leukemia made a huge impact on the skate board community. Other Fucking Amazing subjects used in Finley's work include Tyler, Earl Sweatshirt, and skater Na-Kel Smith.

I met one of the models at the event named Austin Maddox. She was brimming with pride and had wonderful things to say about the artist. The exhibition features a broad range of today's abstract culture infused emotional elements...allowing the viewer to embrace his work both individually as as one installation.
"Some Things Never Change" is on view now from July 22 - August 26, 2017. The Lora Schlesinger Gallery is located at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave. #B5b, Santa Monica 90404; http://loraschlesinger.com/

On View Now: Arena 1 & SMAS

Santa Monica Art Studios and Arena 1 present "MOIRÉ FRINGE." The group show is curated by Kio Griffith + KJ Baysa. *Top Ten Event for September 2017
Artists include: Julio M Romero, Alida Cervantes, Rizzhel Javier, Ana Andrade, Marsia Alexander-Clarke Peter Sowinski, Robert Huerta, Sunny Samuel, Bennett Lieberman, Jane Mulfinger, Jane Goren, and David S Tanner.

Griffith explained his concept for the show. "This show is about artists who work with light, personal history, and relativity. "MOIRÉ FRINGE" features the Idea of how the after image of information (what one sees daily) is retained into our memory...such as vision, trauma, memory and gathered information."

Also on view, enjoy the work of Eliu Almonte on view in the South Hangar Gallery.

Tonight, in the South and North Hangar Galleries, another artist reception takes place for "Destination: California" a group show powered by LAArtParty.com
Sept15-2017Destination California-photoby-MatthewEhrmann
Photo by Matthew Ehrman

The exhibition features artists Richard Bilow, Irina Chelyapov, Steve DePena, Matthew Erhmann, Ray Ford, Terry Marks-Tarlow, and Christine Sawicky

On view: September 15 - October 7, 2017

Where: Santa Monica Art Studios, 3026 Airport Ave. SM 90405 (along Airport Ave. between Bundy Drive & 23rd St.)
Website: http://www.santamonicaartstudios.com  http://arena1gallery.com/

Review: "Peter Lodato: New Paintings" & "Eric Johns: Select Works" at William Turner Gallery!

William Turner Gallery held an opening reception for artists Peter Lodato and Eric Johnson on July 15th, 2017. It was well attended with a consistent local art crowd.
Peter Lodato

The calculated exhibit featured an alternating color theme regimented in form. Keeping within his signature style, the artst has continued to embrace the relationship that he owns with space around him. Often focusing on subtle themes, his bold retangular statements embrace a gentler reductive voice of its own.

Lodato has been creating work since the 1960s while evolving with each new exhibition. "Peter Lodato: New Paintings" is visually calming yet effectively calls to mind a veracity of purity. Initially begining with drawings, Lodato continues to create a simple yet sometimes brash through his use of light and color.

The art of Peter Lodato is held in many renowned collections both public and private. His work resides in the Brooklyn Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, etc.

Also on view is work by sculptor Eric Johnson. His wood and resin creations were meticulously thought out with an appropriate amount of resolve. While some were rapped in the smooth surface of resin, one stood out on its own. A delicate flower of what appeared to be raw wood reflecting its own bold statement onto its sculptural brothers.
Eric Johns

"Peter Lodato: New Paintings" and "Eric Johns: Select Works" will remain on view through September 9th, 2017 at William Turner Gallery, located at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., in Santa Monica, CA 90404. (310) 453-0909;  http://www.williamturnergallery.com