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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Former Mayor Villaraigosa, Levitated Mass LACMA

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Mayor Garcetti

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Pulitzer Prize Winning Food Critic, Jonathan Gold

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Bernie Taupin

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Actor, Martin Mull

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Herb Alpert

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Graham Nash

Ed Moses

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Billy Al Bengston

Larry Bell

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Nate Berkus

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Shag

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John Van Hamersveld

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Andy Moses

Peter Alexander

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David Trulli

Ellwood T. Risk

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Stuart Kusher

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Brooke Harker

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Sona Mirzaei

Jules Muck

LA ARTSHOW-2012

LA Art Show



On site with LA Art Party's Video team

First Fridays on AK

view on youtube.com

”Magic Circles” at MOCA

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Guarded By Cats

585BoardinghouseA number of poets gathered at 585 Boardriders off Abbot Kinney to celebrate and raise funds to help with the restoration of the Venice Beach Poet’s Monument. The monolith was created in 2000 by Beyond Baroque and the city of LA. The words of Jim Morrison (the Doors) Exene (X) and others were engraved in the concrete walls of the LAPD sub-station and three exterior shower walls.

The restoration will include re-etching some of the lettering and applying an anti-graphite protection and a continuing maintenance program. The party started with a special “Meet the Artist” reception at 6. By 7 pm the doors opened to a larger group of artists, poets and lovers of both. A silent auction had been set up with items from James Beach, Erwin Hotel, Altered Space Gallery and more.

The poets that came up on the stage, poured out original and heart felt works. They sang poems and spoke songs. We learned that Abbott Kinney may have dug the canals, but it was the beat poets of the 50’s like Alan Ginsburg and Jack Kerouac that dug the scene by the beach, exposing Venice as an artist’s hang.

585Boardinghouse BillXenne spoke of her pre "X" days as a poet living above a liquor store on Abbot Kinney. “Before I moved to Hollywood and did the star thing.” She missed her borrowed radio alarm clock and staying up late writing poetry.

LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl addressed the group, speaking about the legacy of poetry in Venice. He gave each of the presenting poets a certificate from the City of Los Angeles.

Benefit for the restoration of the Venice Beach Poet's Monument.
Thursday, May 31 585 Boardriders, Venice CA.
Presented by the Venice Arts Council

Event Review: 2012 Topanga Canyon Studio Tours

TlowresFlyer June910 TopangaStudioTourhere is never a better time to enjoy neighboring Topanga Canyon than in the late spring. And never a better excuse to discover the backroad beauty of Topanga Canyon than on this self-guided two day tour of over 20 artist studios, hosting over 50 participating artists.

We started at the town center circle where my editor (Kathy Leonardo) and I checked in and proceeded to view the the silent auction paintings. Participating artists had been invited to paint or decorate 8" square canvases and put them up for bid starting at $35.

Studio #3, next door was The Topanga Art Imaginarium, a painting studio for kids and adults. The walls and center stands were covered with paintings created by the school's students and owner, Natalia Wabnig. The room had a lovely ambiance and emanated creativity.

Nex120609 Topanga 0633t we got in the car and traveled on back roads to see the ceramic studios of Rebecca Catteral. Rebecca demonstrated her technique of transferring photo images to clay. She has lived in Topanga for the past thirty years and has been a member of the Topanga Canyon Artists since the 90's.

Catterall talked about working with clay, "Some is wheel-thrown, some is hand-built. I do alternative Raku, such as Ferric Chloride and horsehair. Some of my work is sculptural such as my Tromp L'Oeil series."

Also on hand were artists and jewelry designers vending colorful earrings and necklaces against a bucolic background.

120609 Topanga 0642Venturing further up narrow roads, navigating between fellow tour participants, we found the Topanga Inn featuring breathtaking views. Plein air artist Elena Roche's work was on dsiplay. “You paint and paint and learn more on every painting.” the Romanian-Lithuanian born artist told us.

Robin FeeleyWe also visited Robyn Feeley's cozy canyon artist hide-away that she shares with her many pets and pet art. Robin paints water-color portraits of pets from photos for friends and commissions. She then creates ceramic tiles of the images. Many of her animal themed tiles were on display and for sale for as little as $10.

120609 Topanga 0645From there we ventured down rustic Old Topanga Canyon Rd to the art displays at the Ribbit Tree and Plant Nursery. Joel Harris had taken over a yoga studio with many of his iconic red roof houses.

With the shadows growing longer we ventured further down Old Topanga Canyon Rd. and parked in a field near Artist Robin Becker. She discusses her process and subject matter, "I use layers of color and imagery from my photographic journeys, sometimes using images of rooms, portals, passageways, landscapes, gardens and vignettes of architectural details."

Also at this stop, we enjoyed the mosaic work of artist Ka120609 Topanga 0654ren Silton. She has been teaching and creating mosaics for many years. She also works in clay and other mediums. She’s had many diverse commissions, which include murals, tables and mirrors. She had a table of her wares for sale at this stop.

By five o'clock that evening, we had seen fewer than half of the studios on the tour. We headed back to the Topanga Gallery where a party was underway celebrating the day's events. A crowd of artists and "gallery tour-ists" was assembling over wine and cheese. There were many bids made on the Silent auction Squares. It was starting to look like a successful event.

Reception and Silent Auction at the Gallery Saturday June 9 5pm-8pm, 2012
Phone: 310 455-7909
Website: www.topangacanyongallery.com

Photos by Gregory Dahl

Event Review: LAAA's Gem Show

Eat CakeThe walls were as tightly packed as the crowd at Gallery 825. On Saturday, April 21st, the  Los Angeles Art Association presented Gem, the kick-off to their Spring 2012 Art Season.

The exhibition showed more than 200 "affordably-priced original artworks for sale." LAAA's mission is to provide opportunities, resources, services and exhibition venues for Los Angeles artists, with an emphasis on emerging talent. Founded in 1925, LAAA has launched the art careers of many celebrated artists and has played a central role in the formation of Los Angeles' arts community.

This one-night-only event at LAAA's Gallery 825 on La Cienega Blvd is widely embraced by the Southern California art community as an important showcase of emerging art trends.

Shrimp Coq TailWhile attending the event, I had the opportunity to talk with some of the artists about their work. Adele Mills presented her deeply ironic work, "Eat Cake," a painting that achieves parallax by layering clear polyester an inch and a half over a canvas painting. Our earth is trivialized by appearing next to a beach ball, with an architectural reference to Versailles, and by extension Marie Antoinette and the utterance that condemns all ruling classes with the phrase: "Let them eat cake."

Joan Wulf had a few of her metal and wood square meditations that through necessity of having so many artists in so little space, were separated by another artist's work. Joan's work cries out for more space for the eye to settle on.

Alisa and LisaElyse Wyman displayed an 8 inch cracked amber torso that spoke of damaged perfection. I was not able to view her other larger torso because it had sold moments before I was able to speak with Elyse. Shoe-horned into a corner between some really nice figurative paintings was a five-foot photogenic photogram entitled "Plenty Endowed," by Richard Slechta. The dramatic colors were achieved through paint and bright light applied to photosensitive paper and mounted on aluminum.

Karrie RossKarrie Ross had her painted bustier sculptures on display - at least for an hour. Karrie told me the woman who purchased the work understood that the works were about stimulating conversation on many levels. The exterior is beautifully decorated, while the inside has text and writing reflecting the owner's inner dialog about beauty and self worth.

Alisa Gabrielle invited me to feel the contours of her Rubenesque sculptures. Alisa says it's about honoring women, our planet and the humanity on it. While Lisa Occhipinti and I were discussing her collage of cut books, photographs and bees wax, one of the gallery attendants informed us that the piece had sold as she removed it from the wall, leaving nothing but the nail it had hung from.

The event was a huge success, as evidenced by the empty nails and din of conversation.

http://www.laaa.org/gem2012_preview/index.html

Special thanks to Marlene Picard for providing images from the show.

Event Review: Blankenship Cabaret Theatre

Thlowres 3.31.12 BlankenshipCabaretTheatre pix1e Blankenship Cabaret Theatre presented a wonderfully entertaining evening of dance and music performances to an enthusiastic sold-out audience at the historic Alexandra Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The event took place in the Blankenship Ballet Ballroom.

The grand and elegant feel of the venue, built in 1906, played a role in setting the atmosphere for the Moulin Rouge-inspired theater of sensuous delights that seamlessly blended opera, ballet, world dance and classical and popular music artistry.

In true cabaret fashion, the audience seated, some at small tables, around three-sides of the raised stage, was able to enjoy gourmet cuisine and delicacies by Bravo 'Top Chef' Ilan Hall of "The Gorbals" as well as libations from a full bar.

After an opening Rachmaninoff prelude from pianist Pauline Yang, the show continued for two-hours of eclectic entertainment from over 20 talented world-class performers including: Opera Diva Shana Blake Hill, Vocalist & Dancer Megalyn Echikunwoke, Cuban Ballerina Bertha Suarez Blankenship, Acclaimed Pianist Mark Robson, Afro Cuban Master Ramon Ramos Alayo, Cuban Ballet, Danseur Ramon Moreno, Cuban Ballerina Patricia Perez, Cuban Ballet Danseur Maykel Solas, Ballerina Junna Ige, Cuban Danseur Alejandro Boza, Flamenco Dancer Richard Chavez. Belly Dancer Meliza & 'The Jewels That Raq!', Highland Bagpiper Orion McCabe. Other performing artists included Hip Hop Dancer David Persons, Ballerina Ruth Fentroy, Ballerina Heather Ross, Cuban Ballerina Tatiana Serrano Piche, Ballet Danseur Mario Montenegro, Ballet Danseur Akil Thompson and Ballerina Kim Michener.

Backstage at BlankenshipCabaretBackstage, photo by Greg Dahl.

All-in-all, it was an evening in which the sum of the individual artist's parts contributed to creating a collectively greater and satisfying whole.

Kudos to creative producer Mark Blankenship, and artistic director, Bertha Suarez Blankenship. As well as co-producers, Shana Blake Hill, Joseph Amaral, Jaime Garza, and Abby Blum. http://www.blankenshipcabarettheatre.com/

Event Review: Venice Arts DJ'd Whiskey and Music Party, March 3rd!

3.3VeniceArts JeanetteVasquezVentura030Venice Arts is a local non-profit organization that runs education and mentoring programs in documentary photography, filmmaking and multimedia primarily targeting Los Angeles-area low income youth. They're an astonishing and very successful group that has grown tremendously in the last few years since my very own teenage son took photography classes there 3 or 4 years ago. See student image to right, by Jeannette Vasquez.

Kathy Leonardo and I attended a special evening recently that was a combination party and fundraiser for the Venice Arts Youth Art Internship Program, and advanced component of Venice Arts' free Art Mentoring Program for low-income youth which was established in collaboration with the Venice Media District in 2007.

The program places highly skilled high-school age students in internships at creative production and post-production companies throughout Los Angeles. Two new internships are being launched this spring – one at GRAINEY PICTURES in Marina del Rey and the other at COLD OPEN, a Venice Ad Agency.

3.3 VeniceArts ClaudeVelas009The evening was quite lively, and included music spun by DJ Jacques, lots of delicious food (I can attest to the delicious part) donated by local restaurants like Outback Catering, Venice Beach Wines, and 26 Wines, and best of all, a whiskey-tasting with the Bourbon Baron, something I highly recommend anyone staging a fundraiser in the future look into. Whiskey makes the "fundraiser" component go down much easier.  Student image to left, by Claude Velas.

There were also some amazing photos taken by current Venice Arts students during the fall workshop and "best of" work from their archives which could be bid on.

In addition to helping out one of the best causes around (students), we had a swell time and enjoyed ourselves quite a bit. And probably due to the whiskey tasting, we didn't mind a bit that we didn't win any raffle prizes, which included a night at the Hotel Shangri-La and gift certificates to local Venice restaurants. Oh, well. Maybe next year.

For more info about Venice Arts, see their website at http://www.venicearts.org/.

Event Review: Skidmore Contemporary Art Gallery's Opening Reception for Jennifer Bain!

lowresSKIDMORE JenniferBainOn Saturday, February 25th, Skidmore Contemporary Art (D-2) held an opening reception for artist, Jennifer Bain. A wonderful show, where the art leaped off the canvas and onto the walls of the gallery.

An eclectic group of people gathered to celebrate the artist, who was there greeting her fans. Since Skidmore is located at Bergamot Station, there were many visitors perusing the galleries that night. Wine and refreshments added to the art party vibe, along with laughter, stories, meeting new friends and seeing old ones.

You can also read more about the opening as well as other events at Bergamot Station in my column "Talk of the Town" from the Santa Monica Mirrot. http://www.smmirror.com/#mode=single&;view=34146

Jennifer Bain's art uses contrasts and dualities within a botanical theme. Her larger works are rendered on Kaolin clay (fresco-like) covered panels whose soft ivory background is strongly reminiscent of parchment and vellum of the past. Intended as anod of reverence to botanical artists such as Maria Sibylla Merian of the 17th century.

Bicon-jennifer-bain-2ain talks about her creative process, "The genesis of each painting differs. I might begin with an idea, specific image, or even simply a color or form (usually from an older work of mine). With this simple beginning I develop the content, paying close attention to shifts in meaning and emotion created by the inclusion and juxtaposition of image and shape. I keep rich sources of imagery to draw from around me, including botanical illustrations, photographs, drawings, graphics, textiles, hand printed papers, and of course my own past works. Also important to this blend are botanical forms I draw and cut out of Mylar (rigid polyester)."

She explains her passion for the art, "The magnetism of painting for me is the mystery of creating ideas, mood or context from images. Since I'm fascinated by many different kinds of visual information, my work is a fusion of all that I see."

Skidmore Contemporary Art opened in Malibu in 1998. In 2009, the gallery relocated to Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. Owner and curator, Lia Skidmore has been an art dealer and advisor to art collectors for over twenty-five years. 310-828-5070;  http://skidmorecontemporaryart.com/

Event Review: Katherine Cone Gallery's Hot Opening with Sean Cheetham's "Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams"

What a fantastic art party! As2.11.12 KatherineCone SCheetham0212a my Pick of the Week, I chose a solo exhibition offered by Katherine Cone Gallery. Sean Cheetham's latest exhibition entitled "Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams" opening reception was off the hook!

See image to right, "Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams," 2011 oil on Arches paper, 10 x 8."

Fabulous night....packed gallery, nice bar....something I always enjoy and the art....outstanding! There was also a wonderful mix of people, creating a nice open vibe.

What I like about this exhibition, is unlike so many abstract/contemporary artists today, you can see that Cheetham actually has some training as an artist.

2.11.12 KatherineCrone Pablo bySeanCheetham0212cSo many artists have had no formal training, yet will splash some paint on a canvas and call it art. They have no idea of how to draw or paint. Not the case with Sean Cheetham.

Cheethan is a skilled draftsman. His classic portrayal of his subjects allows the viewer to step into the scene. Almost as if they, the viewer are part of that reality.

Hi2.11.12 KatherineCone AllenSCheetham0212ds portraits, usually of women, capture a moment in time, often revealing the sadness of the characters, intertwined with the richness of the art form. You can feel the emotion seeping from the canvas.

2.11.12 KatherineCone WhiteRabbit SCheetham0212b"Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams," a wonderful show...make sure to stop in. It will remain open until March 10th, 2012.

Katherine Cone Gallery is located at 2673 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10-6pm; (310) 287-1558; www.katherineconegallery.com.

Event Review: SHAG's Art Party at Corey Helford Gallery

RhondaShagThe Corey Helford Gallery held an opening reception for artist, SHAG on Saturday, February 11th, 2012; Event review By Rhonda Davis (image to right); Photos by Greg Dahl;

On a crisp FSHAGwFanebruary LA night last weekend, Josh Agle aka Shag, returned to Corey Helford Gallery.  It's been three years since this Mid-Century Modernism, martini-loving artist unveiled his newest solo show entitled, Animal Kingdom.  

Read more: Event Review: SHAG's Art Party at Corey Helford Gallery