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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Event Review: Roseanne Cash, the Broad Stage

On March 12, 2016, I attended a performance by singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash at the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage.

ThReview-RoseanneCash-byGeorgeWHarrise Americana singer/songwriter graced the stage with her husband, producer- guitarist John Leventhal. At first glance, one can tell she is a humble and affable performer, willing to allow the audience to see all of her.

Photo courtesy of George W. Harris

Her storytelling and camaraderie with her husband, pulled the audience in even more. Leventhal was impressive. His ability to carry the show with one acoustic guitar (with our without Cash's playing) was quite extraordinary. Cash joked that she experienced a thirty year wait between grammys and played an assortment of hits as well as some oldies too. Her humble attitude towards her music and the music business was quiet refreshing.

One of the best moments of the show was when she revealed the story behind one of the cuts off her latest CD The River & the Thread. It was originally an entirely different song written for Emmy Lou Harris. She overhead her husband John Leventhal and her ex-husband Rodney Crowell writing the song and fell in love with it. She loved it and begged for them to let her sing it...to no avail. As is custom in the music industry the song never did get recorded. It was then that she would ask to put her own words to it. At the time her son was doing a Civil War project for school and the singer decided to search for her family ancestry history online. She found Cash ancestors on both sides of the Civil War. Cash dove deep into the genealogy and found inspiration from her relative Mary Ann Cash...this was the basis for her lyric to accompany the beloved melody which would later become the song When the Master Calls the Roll.

SheSat-Mar12-BroadStage-RosanneCash-8 PhotoCredit ClayPatrickMcBride.jpeg peformed a touching rendition of "Sea Of Heartbreak" and "Etta's Tune," offering a lovely mix of both her earlier and current work. All in all, Roseanne Cash and John Leventhal delivered a wonderful performance. At the finale, the audience jumped to its feet.

Photo by Clay Patric kMcBride

I have only good things to say about the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage. I have attended shows before here and love the venue, which has a wonderful sound system. The location, (1310 11th St. Santa Monica CA 90401) is also easy to get to and the free parking is one more benefit to the venue. http://www.thebroadstage.com

Event Review: "Stand Up for Beyond Baroque"

BeyondBaroqueBeyond Baroque Literary Arts Center put on a rousing evening of comedy on January 21 at the Hotel Erwin in Venice as a fundraiser to help pay for very needed and high priority repair to their building's roof. "Stand Up for Beyond Baroque" was hosted by Eve Brandstein with an impressive line-up of comedians, storytellers, and musicians. Richard Modiano, Director of Beyond Baroque, expressed his appreciation for all the support and welcomed the audience, who, before the show began were interacting with each other in what felt like a family reunion.

First, a bit about Beyond Baroque ----
Beyond Baroque is a non-profit poetry and literary arts center with a national reputation for attracting, showcasing and advocating for poets and writers. It has played a significant role in helping Los Angeles become an international arts capital, and has helped to make Venice and Los Angeles a cultural destination.
Located in the old City Hall building in Venice, Beyond Baroque has been the neighborhood's literary center since 1968, housing more than 40,000 art, literary and poetry books, broadsides, newspapers, and zines and hosting readings, workshops and performances by Venice, Los Angeles, and Southern California writers and artists.. During recent rains, the bookstore's roof suffered leaks that damaged some of its materials. "It's crucial that the work be protected from the elements," says Beyond Baroque Assistant Director Carlye Archibeque, who along with a team of dedicated volunteers, organized and coordinated the event.

AnBeyondBaroque-benefit-Dylan-Brodyd to acknowledge the very talented artists who generously gave of their time to perform --

See image: Courtesy of Beyond Baroque, Dylan Brody

Dylan Brody
One of America's leading humorists and storytellers who enthralls his audience with literate and literary insight. He currently writes and performs regularly for the David Feldman show on KPFK (Pacifica Radio) in Los Angeles With five CDs out on the Stand Up! Records label and a new deal with Rooftop Comedy for the release of his solo show MORE ARTS/LESS MARTIAL.

Eric Schwartz
Award winning singer, songwriter, performer, satirist, mult-instrumentalist and entertainer. Eric's songs go from the political to the profane, sometimes both. His latest release is "The Better Man."

Rick Overton
As a 40 year comedy veteran, Rick has starred in numerous HBO and Showtime specials and has had countless TV stand up appearances and has appeared in numerous films. He played The Drake on "Seinfeld" and Pam's Dad on "The Office." He currently recurs on Adult Swim's "Children Hospital," ABC's "Last Man Standing," TNT's "Leverage" and recently guest starred on "The League," "The Middle," "The Kroll Show," and "Newsreaders". Rick is currently a semi-regular contributor to the Huffington Post and hosts a popular podcast called "Overview" that is available on iTunes.

Courtesy of Beyond Baroque, Rick Overton and Talia HarariBeyondBaroque-benefit-RickOvertonandTalia Harari

Talia Harari
From Tel Avi to Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, Talia is a comedian and reality and documentary programming producer. https://twitter.com/taliahara

David Zasloff
David is a stand-up comedian/multi-instrumentalist – vocalist and has written two books, "The Complete Book Of Everything, Part I" and his autobiography is called, "The Joy of Suffering."

Suzanne Whang
TV personality television host, actor, stand-up comedian, emcee, keynote speaker, political activist, minister, radio host, published author, and stage 4 breast cancer thriver.

Tamer Kattan
Egyptian-born American was born into a family of Muslims, Christians and Jews, leaving him incredibly comfortable in the uncomfortable. An award winning international comedian with TV and commercial credits in the United States and UK, Tamer has a deep understanding of the human condition. A regular at the Comedy Store, Improv and Laugh Factory in Los Angeles.

Jann Karman
Released two successful comedy albums -- Live at the Blue Loon and Same Guy, Different Shirt and when scheduling permits, performs her critically acclaimed solo play Reclining Nude on La Cienega in Los Angeles theaters. She's also written a book based on Reclining Nude's theme: a contemporary woman's struggle to find peace and authenticity (and maybe a man who knows how properly to use a fork) amid life's chaos.

BeyondBaroque-benefit-Kelly-CarlinKelly Carlin
Her memoir "A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up with George" is available from St. Martin's Press. She currently hosts a monthly SiriusXM radio show The Kelly Carlin Show, which spotlights her conversations with iconic comedians, and a weekly podcast "Waking from the American Dream" at smodcast.com

Eve Brandstein
One of Hollywood's most prodigious workers, Eve has made contributions to nearly every facet of the entertainment industry. In addition to being a poet, Eve Brandstein has been a major studio and network executive, a producer, a film and theater director, writer/creator, and casting director. She is also an artist, psychotherapist, teacher and workshop facilitator, who has led writing and performance groups. She is also the producer of the celebrated reading series – Poetry In Motion, launched in 1988, which is presently a bi-coastal monthly series at Beyond Baroque in Venice and various venues in New York City.

You can offer your support and donations to Beyond Baroque by going to: http://www.beyondbaroque.org/support.html

Event Review: VENICE ARTS 22nd ANNIVERSARY GALA

On Saturday, November 7th, LAArtParty joined Venice Arts as it celebrated its 22nd Anniversary Gala. Twenty-two years ago, Venice Arts started with 10 kids and a big dream.

Its awa2015-VeniceArts-MikeNewhouse-Ruthrd-winning Art Mentoring program now reaches hundreds of low-income youth each year throughout Los Angeles, and the Venice Arts Gallery serves as a destination for media-based arts, featuring free exhibitions, documentary film screenings, and public programs for adults.

This incredible signature event began with a walk on the red-carpet and included hosted wine and cocktails, specialty tastings, heavy hors d'oeuvres,and desserts, live music, a student-run photo booth and caricature stations, and a silent auction featuring collectible photographs by many noted professional photographers and Venice Arts' talented students, as well as items from local artisans and creative businesses.

Also at the Gala, Venice Arts recognized two individuals whose support of Venice Arts and its mission has enabled the nonprofit to flourish and grow. This year -- Ruth Seroussi, Esq. and Michael Newhouse, Esq. who were honored as this year's Community Angels. Both serve on the Board of Venice Arts, and have been involved with the organization for over 8 years. Michael told us "It was really very flattering to be honored this year. It meant a lot to both Ruthie and me because Venice Arts is a model with respect to what can be done to change the lives of many children who most likely would never have had the chance to express themselves as artists, and that's special."

At the Gala, LAArtparty also talked to Michael Jasorka, one of the professionals who is a volunteer mentor at Venice Arts. He teaches a workshop there called Venice Arts Comics, in which the kids actually design and then self-publish an entire comic book! This year's comic was called "Energy Vampires and Water Goblins."

He hasm-VeniceArts-MichaelJasorka-TatianaQuinoness been teaching at Venice Arts since 2010, and he told us "My favorite thing about teaching at Venice Arts is empowering the students with the know-how of a very complex medium -- mixing the essences of art, concept, character, and of course, story, to make a clear and communicative sequential narrative (comic). The most important thing students can walk away with at Venice Arts is being more conscious about their expression and how far art can take them on their journey of self-discovery."

Michael also introduced us to one of his star students, Tatiana Quinones, 15, who has been in Michael's Comic Book Workshop for two years and who enjoys bringing her stories to life as comics. From humans to household cats, they're all a joy for her to create and make interact in her comic narrative.

Every year this event is one of most fun evenings ever, and we certainly look forward to next year's gala.

Event Review: Sights, Sounds and Innovation at Lightning in a Bottle

Lightning in a Bottle hosted their annual festival over Memorial Day Weekend (May 21 - 25, 2015) which brought over 30,000 participants to the isolated desert grounds on the outskirts of Bradely, California. The sustainable music and arts festival became home to an eclectic mix of progressive millennials, health-conscious advocates and green-thumbed innovators.

Upon arriving, festival-goers LIB2-byANyaBaroffhopped on a school bus to campgrounds and festival which was vaguely reminiscent of the first-day of summer camp. Entering the grounds was reminiscent of Disneyland's Frontierland fused with futuristic post-apocalypse lights and electronic music. This organized chaos was facilitated and fostered by a sense of mutualistic respect, where attendees welcomed others into the weekend-long community.

Throughout the four-day festival, attendees were introduced to forward-thinking initiatives, including world lectures attempting to understand the power of Hip-Hop in the Middle East and the effects of positive affirmations in health. Between day-time lectures, pop-up yoga sessions, and meditation sound-baths, a sense of commrodery and purpose formed within festival grounds which transcended the four days of the eco-friendly event.

Festival stage design innovation was brought by festival host's, The DoLab, which are also responsible for Coachella Music Festival stage design. This artistic expression was represented through music stages including an architectural staple, The Woogie Stage, which joined the man-made lights and sounds with the organic visuals of sand-dunes and mountains surrounding the venue.

Festivities and a musical mix of electronic trap, jazz and experimental classical dominated the night life. Performers including William Close played the Earth Harp during sunset to add to the mystical atmosphere while festival co-founder and members of Lucent Dossier preformed an avant guard art and music experience at dusk.

Other notable bands included funk band, The Vibrometers, who preformed to a day-time audience who listened from tree houses and wooden log benches. Trumpet player, Gabe Steiner captivated the crowd with engaging on-stage dancing and energetic solos. Check out upcoming summer shows at VibrometerMusic.com.

Food served throughout the festival was primarily vegetarian and sustainable whereby a green policy was intact. Not only were trash, recycling and compost options available, a notable option was to leave unfinished dishes in an area to be saved and shared for other hungry attendees. This form of recycling eliminated food waste was overseen by volunteer attendees who monitored this initiative by confirming donators were healthy via an onsite questionnaire.

EventreviewLightninginBottle-Deanna-GravesThroughout the festival, art installations and collaborations were created.

Santa Barbara artist, Deanna Graves expressed her inspiration for being an active participant in the festival through creativity and collaboration. "For me the most inspiring moments at LiB come from an interaction with something that exists without a purpose of making money. Rather, something inspirational created just well...to be inspirational."

Graves' collaborative painting with artist Roy Huerta reflects her participation in Lightning in a Bottle. The painting, which depicts two people, were drawn from models at the festival. The bubbles coming up from their hands hold stories from festival attendees who shared meaningful phrases, pictures, ideas, and quotes in the bubbles. Grave's explains that, "in this sense, the painting became a mosaic of inspirational moments for the festival-goers at LIB."

More of Deanna's work can be seen at: deannagravesart.com/  For more information about LIghtning in a Bottle visit the website at http://lightninginabottle.org/

Event Review: SMMoA Hosts Final "Incognito" at Bergamot Station!!

"Incognito" is one of those Incognito-2015rare memorable events combining mystery, art, speculation and camaraderie. At what other event can one place their "bet" and hit the jackpot? This was the eleventh year of the popular Santa Monica Museum of Art benefit which took place on May 2.

Each of the over 700 10x10 pieces is offered for the same price, $375 regardless of who the artist is. This is where the speculation comes in. You could be purchasing a piece by an unknown artist or a famous artist. You never know until after you make the purchase and are allowed to see the signature on the back of the piece.

Photos courtesey of LA Art Party

The food for the event was provided by Mud Hen Tavern. Susan Feniger and Kajsa Alger have joined forces to delight the tastebuds. "We love staying connected with the art world, both independent galleries and museums," explained Alger, "it keeps us in touch with the creative world and reflects the way food and art have inspired each other for centuries."

When they said cheddar churros, I was hesitant. Wow was I wrong! Crispy, savory and light as a feather. Surprise being the theme of the night, the food was unique and surprising in the use of taste and texture. Simply put, it was delicious.

Incognito-MudHen-TavernThere was something for everyone from tender steak skewers to the best vegan burger I have ever tasted. And during the VIP reception, there was gravlax that melted in your mouth like butter. Heaven! And for all my fellow east coast immigrants, this is the only place I have had a pickle that reminds me of the ones we used to pull out of the pickle barrel. A trip to the Mud Hen Tavern is called for, even if for no reason than the pickles. But trust me, there are plenty of reasons.

There was wine and cocktails flowing freely for the guests, and there were refreshing selections from 'pressed juicers' for a non-alcoholic pick me up.

It was bittersweet because SMMoA will be moving after a 17-year residency. The new location is not yet known, although SMMoA Executive Director has made known that there will be temporary offices in Century City. The museum does not maintain a permanent collection, which makes it unique. Until a new permanent location is decided upon, SMMoA will conduct pop-up exhibits.

Stay tuned for more information. We are all keeping our fingers crossed and looking forward to 12th "Incognito."

Review: "Strangers Drawing Strangers" at Sundance Film Festival...Hosted by Airbnb Haus!

The "Stran2015-Sundance-SelflessPortraits-KayteMethven gers Drawing Strangers" installation by artist Ivan Cash inspires strangers to understand one another through photography, drawing, and collaboration. Cash is a San Francisco based interactive artist who focuses his efforts on human-based projects. Cash has been featured in The New York Times, CNN and TIME and continues to promote humanistic growth through the power of interacting with strangers around the world. Currently, The Selfless Portraits installation has over 47,000 photos submitted from 147 countries.

Following suit, the interactive installation at Sundance Film Festival was hosted by The Airbnb Haus continued and focused on Cash's mission of bonding strangers through self-expression.

The progressive installation came to life throughout the week and was open to all event-goers. Polaroid snap-shots were taken of each participant who entered the exhibit, and subsequently each participant was instructed to draw a recreation of a previous snap-shot of another participant.

Through photographs and original drawings, strangers were able to connect through the power of self-expression. Each participant served as a model, artist and muse. Through the multifaceted creative venue, the dynamic installation came to life as strangers bonded via the power of collective art.

2015-SUNDANCE-IvanCash-photoby-KayteMethvenPhoto (photo featuring artist, Ivan Cash) by: Kayte Methven

To engage and connect strangers throughout the week, the photos and drawings served as wallpaper and Sundance attendees could experience the installation and watch it grow while meeting new friends.

In alignment with the artist's vision, the "Strangers Drawing Strangers" Installation encourages strangers to invoke open communication by inviting new perspectives through hands-on expression. The fusion of art and community provided a venue for collaboration and creativity and is sure to provoke future community-based projects. For more information about Ivan Cash, see his website.

Film Review: Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck at Sundance 2015!

Kurt Cobain: Montage of sundance2Heck
Premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2015
DIRECTOR: Brett Morgen

Film Review by Anya Baroff
Photos: Kayte Methven

See image: Courtney Love; Director, Frances Bean Cobain; Director, Brett Morgen;

Producer, Francis Bean Cobain, fashion designer Jeremy Scott, and director Brett Morgen Showed up to the Sundance Film Festival premiere in Park City on Saturday January 24th.

The introspective HBO rock doc documents the psychological journey through Cobain's life from childhood to his early death.

The documentary gives a firsthand perspective of Cobain's difficulties transitioning from a life in a broken home to his youthful fits of destructive rebellion. The montage sets up a holistic story from the Nirvana front-man's own words, original art, songs and journal writings.

In the first fully-authorized documentary, animations and recorded interviews showcase the psychological paradoxes of Cobain's personality and his struggles to reconcile the dichotomy of his own emotional isolation and his implicit need for compassionate.

The fragility of Cobain's life is detailed through the highs and lows of both his musical journey and family life. Through the onscreen interplay of varying media, the film unequivocally shines a new light on Cobain's inner-struggle and progressive insights.

sundanceThe 120-minute montage documents Cobain's enduring sensitivity to criticism sharpened by media attention as well as his personal defeats via family turmoil, drug use, and defamation in the press.

See image: Nirvana co-founder and bassist, Krist Novoselic

Interviews with wife Courtney Love, mother Wendy O'Connor and Nirvana bassist, Krist Novoselic shine a new light on Cobain's external passions and emotional spirals which give personal perspectives into the mind of Kurt Cobain.

Event Review: Photo LA Celebrates 24 Years!

photola-logoThe international photographic art exposition photo la returned for its 24th year at The REEF (newly dubbed) located in the *(previously named) historic LA Mart building in downtown Los Angeles, January 15 thru 18, 2015.

LA Art Party attended the opening gala of photo la on Thursday, Januray 15. There were galleries, dealers, museums, and nonprofit organizations from the US and the international community. In addition to showcasing 19th century works to contemporary photographic art, photo la's acclaimed programming included lectures, roundtable discussions, special installations, and docent tours with distinguished members of the photographic/arts community.

Sesm-photola-CohenGallerye image: Siri Kaur, This Kind of Face

Stephen Cohen of the Stephen Cohen Gallery started photo la twenty four years ago when he needed to find more clients in LA. His work on the fair allowed him to open a small gallery.

This year's event featured over 3,500 guests at the opening Night Gala, and 14,000 visitors over the whole weekend! The weekend long  event incuded talks, tours, panels, and book signings. Weston Naef (Curator Emeritus, Department of Photographs, J. Paul Getty Museum) led a docent tour as part of this year's programming. Another docent tour was led by Keith F. Davis (Senior Curator of Photography, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri). A popular panel from photo la  was moderated by Robert Berman: Gallerist & Owner, Robert Berman Gallery & Santa Monica Auctions. The panel featured how to create a lasting art collection. The panelists included: Hannah Sloan (Director of Rosegallery), Michael Hawley (Collector), Rachel Peart (Consignments Director, Heritage Auctions), Carol Lee Brosseau (Art Advisor, Photography Specialist, Appraiser).

Documentary photographer Catherine Opie was honored this year at photo la's exclusive VIP opening gala and celebrated her lifelong contributions to the arts. Additionally, all proceeds from the opening gala will go towards photo la 2015 beneficiaries The United Way of Greater Los Angeles and The Painted Brain.
photola-HelenGarber-box-with-prints12
Some of the highlights I enjoyed were Helen Garber:

See image: Helen Garber, Venice: Yesterday/Today or still crazy after all these years

"I am thrilled to have been given the honor of a solo exhibit at this prestigious international art show. We used the opportunity to present my latest project, my first folio of the series: Venice: Yesterday/Today or still crazy after all these years.

The 16 image, 16 x 20" folio in custom box is in an edition of 15 with two artists proofs. Garber said she was interested in finding collectors to purchase and donate one to LACMA and one to the LA Public Library Photo Collection. Helen K Garber Studio is located at 801 Ocean Front Walk, St 9 in Venice Beach. www.helenkgarber.com

Sphotolaee image: Unknown performance artist

At the gala, we enjoyed tacos from Escuela Taqueria (with locations in both Beverly Hills and Pasadena) as well as Vodka from Tito's Vodka, beer from Angel City Brewery and others. 

There was a woman wearing a costume that was covered in QR codes who interacted with the crowd - a kind of fashion meets performance art - very ambitious. Unfortunately my iPhone did not read the QR codes so I wasn't able to link to her website.

To find out more about photo la, visit the website http://www.photola.com