PREVIEW WITH ARTIST INTERVIEWS: Art at The Rendon // Hidden Rooms – June 1st through June 3rd

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ART AT THE RENDON: HIDDEN ROOMS is a 3-day multi-sensory event taking place this coming weekend, June 1-3rd, at the former Rendon Hotel on the corner of 7th and Santa Fe. The building, which was recently sold, has been one of the last hold-outs for gentrification in this now-trendy Arts District neighborhood. Luckily, the new owners want to energize the old hotel as a community space for art, music, performance, and cultural programming designed to give back to the neighborhood inhabitants.

In this first activation, Curator Cindy Schwarzstein of Cartwheel Art has selected 80+ local artists and performers to transform and create their singular vision in every room, nook, and corner of the building, including the old bar, once called Lichas. Each of the 44 rooms has been assigned, new murals have been created, and even the parking lot will become a stage for musicians and performers throughout the 3-day event.

Here are the stories behind five of the rooms, each with a distinctly different personality and a tale to tell…Each of these artists has been part of the local art and culture scene for years, and their spin on the project is as varied as their art.

Tanner Goldbeck is a mixed media artist whose work blurs the line between graffiti and fine art. As both a public art muralist and a regular gallery exhibitor, his fine linear work shares space with multiple layers of color via aerosol and bold brush strokes, creating dramatic compositions. His neighborhood is his greatest inspiration.

“I’ve been living and working downtown for over a decade. As crazy as it can be sometimes, downtown has become my home. There is a texture and history here that I have always been attracted to. This place has a charm. Not the kind of coddled charm that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, it’s a raw and energetic, slightly uneasy attraction. Definitely not the kind of place to get lazy, it keeps you sharp and on your toes. To get to know this place takes a little time and effort but I believe it is time well spent. Underneath the bad breath and dirty diapers is a regular town with a lot of unique corners and favorite people you will be glad you met. I want to reflect some of the tension and texture in my work. 

I think one of the best things about Hidden Rooms is the range of artists that are involved. To show a genuine cross section of the artists here is hard to do and doesn’t happen very often. Things are radically changing downtown and I don’t know what part artists are going to play in the new order of things. Events like this are a great way to let people know we are here. “

Stephen Seemayer is a Los Angeles-born painter, filmmaker and performance artist. In a career spanning four decades, he has mounted performances and exhibitions at galleries and museums across the United States. As a local living in this neighborhood since the mid-70’s, he is perhaps best known for his documentaries that chronicle the early days of the Arts District development. His film “Young Turks” is available on Itunes and other digital platforms. His latest release “Tales of the American,” premiered at the Downtown Independent in March 2018, and will be available on DVD and streaming this summer.

“My piece in Room 19 presents a classic struggle between the Apollonian and the Dionysian. The key to living “Between Hell and Heaven” is to strike a balance of opposing forces: freedom and abandon, good and evil, black and white. While the artist retains control of his environment, he must allow his work to be chaotic and spontaneous in order to explore ideas without preconception or restraint.

Teale Hathaway is a resident of the Brewery Art Colony, where she has been creating mixed media fine art with a focus on architectural detail for many years. The fractured elements portray bits and pieces that offer a new way of looking at and connecting to our environment.

“When I began thinking about an installation for Art at the Rendon, there were no apparent solutions and I knew I would have to let the ideas unfold in their own time – although there wasn’t much of that.  What I did know is that I am drawn to ideas of memory, experience and the soulful residues left behind by people as they inhabit, use and pass through physical spaces. Just as my ideas for an installation would have to unfurl over time, the layers of energy have been growing denser in the rooms of the Rendon Hotel with every generation of residents. I am aware of my experience of these energies, even if I cannot identify them. 

I knew I wanted to work with materials that are fluid; not structured or dense. Light weight. Elusive. Layered. Materials that will conceal and reveal. Abstract compositions that will raise more questions than they answer. To me, these materials have attributes like the snippets of experiences I want to convey. More poetry than documentary. More guided than directed. I want to create presence in the space without adding weight to it. I’d like the room to speak for itself.” 

Emmeric Konrad has been making art in the Arts District for decades, creating his brash cartoonish characters in public spaces like the Broome Room at Art Share, the restrooms at the beloved 410 Boyd Street Restaurant and artist hangout, and the patio murals at Zip Sushi. Exhibiting his unique and unmistakable brand of artwork internationally, Emmeric’s room is a reflection of what he feels when he enters it … the history, and the mystery of what may have happened there.

“Some say these rooms have voices, and from the 1st to the 3rd, they will. Rooms have memories. Some are quiet whispers, some are blood curdling screams. All these voices, all these walls, in hidden rooms…”

Man One has been involved in the LA graffiti movement since 1987, leaving his bold colorful mark on the city in multiple locations. The founder of Crewest Gallery, the first full-time dedicated urban and street art gallery in the city, ( 2002-2012) he helped pioneer a movement that grew to include museum shows. His work has appeared in over 50 international gallery exhibits as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, The Getty Research Institute, and the Smithsonian. His new venture, Crewest Studio, helps to advance the medium through community involvement and supporting other artists. For this venture, he decided to offer his assigned room to a homeless street artist, known as “ShowzArt”. This is their story…

“I decided to take advantage of my “privilege” (as an invited artist) to shine the spotlight on someone who could benefit more from all the attention of this artist-entric experience rather than me. It quickly became evident that an artist intervention would be the most honest way for me to express myself at this event.

My humanitarian art performance piece, that I’m simply calling the “NOT REAL ART: An Artist Residency”, is to host an up-and-coming homeless artist to take over the room that I had been granted by the organizers, and see what he could do with sucha space if given the chance.

Thanks to my Skid Row friends and art activists, General Jeff and SkidRobot, I was introduced to the fabulous work of an incredibly gifted “Jedi artist” simply known as “ShowzArt.”His transformation of room #37 gives the viewer a split view of his two worlds. Half
the room is a safe look into his current conditions of living and creating on the streets of Skid Row, while the other half is his bright and optimistic future (and soon to be a self-fulfilling prophecy) of being recognized and taken seriously as the contemporary fine artist that he is. A yin-yang experience, if you will, of artistry and
creativity awaits you inside. Don’t be afraid to open the porta-potty, because it’s only on the inside that “you will see the shit!”.

This immersive experience sold out quickly for the first two nights of private events which offered limited ticket availability. Be sure to get your tickets NOW for Community Day, Sunday, June 3rd, and join us all for an incredible experience of art, music, culture, food and neighborhood camaraderie.

Tickets for each day are $20 each and 100% of the proceeds are being split between ICA-LA and Art Share LA.

Friday and Saturday, June 1st & 2nd
6:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Sunday, June 3rd.
11:00 AM – 8:00 PM

The Rendon
2055 E. 7th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021


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