Cartwheel Art Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:55:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Save the Date, April 26: TRACTIONARTS One Year Anniversary Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:44:42 +0000 Cindy Schwarzstein DSC_7051


One year ago, TRACTIONARTS started screening video out their window to the streets of the Los Angeles Arts District. To date the gallery, located at 821 Traction Ave in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District, have screened 22 videos by a broad group of artist from the US and abroad.

This Saturday, April 26, from 8-10pm they will be celebrating their one year anniversary by screening every video from their archive, serving refreshments, and, of course, popcorn.

Screenshot 2014-04-23 10.44.16
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Preview: “Steer Ahead” Group Show at Soze Gallery Opens April 18th Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:52:20 +0000 Cindy Schwarzstein  



10009733_533859163400821_3814723958878471419_nCheck out some of the preview images for the “Steer Ahead” group show happening this Friday, April 18th, at Soze Gallery in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District, benefiting CAMP2, a non-profit art camp for inner city kids in DTLA. The show features hand painted steer skulls by Aaron De La Cruz, Cyrcle, Fidia Falaschetti, Gregory Siff, Kristen Bauer, Retna, Remi Rough, Sarah Sandin and others.




 ”The Hungry Magician” by Devngosha

Artist Fidia’s steer head “I’ve Loved it!”

From artist Cole Sternberg


 New piece from artist Bon Nielson “Death by Moon” Arcylic and ink on Triangular board



The Cyrcle boys new piece “A Glitch in the Domestication of All Things”



 Kristen Baur “After it’s Over”



Image on top: Artist Dave Kinsey

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Save the Dates: Photo Independent April 25 to 27, Raleigh Studios Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:30:58 +0000 Cartwheel Art Andy-Summers-01

Photography comes into focus next weekend with the inaugural debut of Photo Independent at Raleigh Studios April 25 to 27, 2014.

The first and only high-visibility platform for independent photographers, Photo Independent provides a unique opportunity for collectors and the general public to directly connect with some of the most exciting established, emerging and undiscovered photographic talent today.

Along with over 70 photographers from around the world displaying their work, Photo Independent will also showcase special exhibitions from the American Aperture Awards (AX3) Photography Competition; Curatorial Assistance, Art & Exhibition Services; Off The Wall Magazine; and Coagula Curatorial (full disclosure: CartwheelArt editor Lisa Derrick is co-curating the Coagula booth with frequent contributor Eric Minh Swenson in an exhibition entitled EMSex designed to dovetail with Coagula’s 100 Reasons show opening April 26 in Chinatown). Medicines Global presents a rare opportunity to view Robert Heinecken’s 1968 “Venus Mirrored”, and there is a special exhibition by the Los Angeles Art Association.

LAAA is also the beneficiary of of the opening night gala, which honors musician/photographer Andy Summers. Titled “Mysterious Barricades,” Summers’ exhibition will feature a unique series of black and white photographs. Best known as the guitarist for the Police, Summers cultivated his photographic practice on the road. Nights after concerts, he headed out into the hearts of Tokyo, Beijing, Singapore, London, and Rome, exploring the world with his camera in hand, capturing the unusual, the odd, the exotic, and the remarkable moment, and transforming his perception of these moments into his own artistic vision. Remarks Summers:

My life is full of impulse and movement. My guitar and camera are fixed instruments, the only constants in a world of change.

Tickets for the opening night gala are $100. General admission in advance for one day $15, and for the whole weekend $25. General admission tickets are $5 more at the door.

Photo Independent is located in Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90038

Top photo: Andy Summers; bottom, Antoine Rose


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Shepard Fairey, Inc. Jim Daichendt Analyses the Anti-Modern Artist Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:02:46 +0000 Lisa Derrick jim-daichendt-shepard-fairey-cover

Shepard Fairey, Inc.: Artist • Professional • Vandal by G. James (Jim) Daichendt is the first book about the street artists/conglomerate creator that is not an authorized product of Fairey’s studio. That alone makes it a standout in the art book world, and in the world of Shepard Fairey At one point in the smart (at times uber-academic, at times deeply personal) text Daichendt discusses the pros and cons of having to deal with the Obey monolith–the gatekeepers, the lawyers, the chatelaines who are all part of a cephalopodian corporation with tentacles in art, publishing, clothing, and more.

Daichendt explores Fairey’s art, his influence and influences, his history, the controversies surrounding Fairey and his work, and the concepts of (voluntary) comodification and monetization of art. You may love Fairey’s art, you may loathe it (or loathe who you think he  is, or what he represents), but if you care even a whit about art or current culture, you should read this book.

There’s a a lot going on in Shepard Fairey, Inc.: A lot of gorgeous photos of Fairey’s art. A lot of analysis of what Fairey’s art means, what Fairey’s vision has wrought in both art and commerce (and the commerce of art).  And there are a lot of  references to art theory (including Brian Dougherty aka Patrick Ireland and “the white cube”), economics, and pop culture. Reading Shepard Fairey, Inc. is like taking an honors course from a very cool college professor, which makes sense since Daichendt is a professor of art history at Azusa Pacific University, and champion of urban art whose last book Stay Up! Los Angeles Street Art is a rich, full look at L.A.’s evolving murals.

With a forward by Robbie Conal–whose wheat-pasted caricatures  of politicians, pundits, religious figures and global capitalists has earned him the sobriquet of  “America’s most famous street artist”– Shepard Fairey, Inc.: Artist • Professional • Vandal is possibly the most important art book to come out in recent times. And while you might buy it for the pictures, you should read it for an education.

Jim Daichendt and Robbie Conal will be presenting and  signing Shepard Fairey, Inc.: Artist • Professional • Vandal Friday, April 18 at Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, at 7pm.




Fairey at Indian Alley, DTLA

Classic Fairey

Andre the Giant

Andre the Giant

Baller Hardware, Silver Lake


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Brewery Art Walk: Artists’ Life in the Brewery Art Colony Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:05:25 +0000 JP Sotille 1175665_620044258047135_1979103322_n

Industrial. Maze-like. Colorful. Zany. Worn. Comfortable. Uncomfortable. Electric. Magical. Home.

That’s how long-time Brewery Art Colony resident Wini Brewer describes the vibe at The Brewery Art Colony. And she should know a little something about the vibe of what she calls “a village.” The talented painter of abstracts on wood panels that juxtapose figurative elements against black and white graphics has lived at the thriving colony almost since its inception in 1982.

When The Brewery Art Colony once again opens its doors and its studios to the public for the bi-annual Brewery ArtWalk, a reliably large crowd of non-resident artists, art enthusiasts ,and casual onlookers will not just see a lot of great art and eat some good food, they will get a unique peek into what just might be the largest live-work artist colony in the world.

However, for Wini Brewer and the roughly 500 artists who live there, The Brewery is not just a live-work studio space, it is a way of life. Wini and her husband photographer Bill Leigh Brewer have moved three times within sprawling complex since they first arrived in 1984. She described the initial decision to live at The Brewery as transition that meant

a deeper and more public commitment to being artists. Taking it seriously. A life choice. A lifestyle choice.

That sense of openness and a willingness to expose one’s artistic process to a large community is echoed by Kristine Schomaker, a public relations guru for the colony’s artists as well as a new media artist, performance artist and painter. She likens the colony to being in

grad school again just because there is always someone around who can offer advice, help or even critique. You go to Barbara’s (the colony’s own restaurant & bar) and you run into your friends all the time.

“Running into friends” sounds odd until the size and scope of The Brewery are put into perspective.

Since Carlson Industries first purchased the site of the old Eastside and Pabst Blue Ribbon breweries in 1980, the complex has grown and evolved from what originally was planned as a mixture of businesses and live-work spaces into the full 18-acre colony of working artists on the edge of downtown L.A., just off Interstate 5 at the Main Street exit.

The uniqueness of The Brewery may just be its unparalleled size and the extraordinarily wide scope of artists living in the bustling community. As Teale Hatheway—a mixed-media painter of deconstructed paintings of familiar places who was commissioned for a Coachella insallation—puts it:

This property is too big and its residents too diverse to make sweeping generalizations of any of it.

A seven year resident of The Brewery, Teale emphasizes the diversity and community of artists, some of whom

are not artists in the traditional sense.

That may be the key to the long-running success of both the colony at its twice-yearly ArtWalk events, which not only feature a wide array of artists, styles and media, but also highlights what Teale refers to as the magnetic appeal of the

property as a neighborhood environment.

The ArtWalk is as much open house and as it gallery show. Or, more to the point, it is itself a two-day exercise in community performance art that stokes the creativity of both residents and visitors, affords artists a chance to their show art to significantly larger audience than most galleries command, and generates a sense of community linked by the act of experiencing art. And it is a great recruiting tool for future artists in residence.

Kristine Schomaker attended her first ArtWalk in 1998

after my painting instructor told us about it. She lives there and mentioned the ArtWalk. I went…and knew I wanted to be a part of the community. It took me 13 years to finally be able to move to the Brewery and I believe I will live here the rest of my life.

For Teale Hatheway, the ArtWalk gives her an opportunity to

take better control of my art career by building my own audience. My work has been described as ‘fringe,’ which means whatever I can do to not depend on gallery representation and to find my own market, I will do. Brewery ArtWalks have been pivotal in this process. The democratic nature of ArtWalk attendees also provides an unusual opportunity to get diverse feedback about the work you are showing.

Unlike traditional gallery shows, the ArtWalk grants direct access to the creative process, allowing the public to meet artists and engage with their art in the environment where the art was created. The ArtWalk event reflects the ongoing communal process that inspires Kristine Schomaker:

I can walk outside my door and someone is shooting photos or painting or filming.

That free-flowing, highly-interactive environment is what Wini Brewer enjoys most about ArtWalks. She welcomes visitors and loves

their questions and enthusiasm. I particularly enjoy young children because of their sense of wonder. Attempting to see the Brewery through their eyes, I can only imagine that it is a very strange, colorful, magical place. I truly believe that bringing a child to a place like the Brewery can make a lifelong impression on them. Crawling on a paint spattered floor as a small child altered my life forever. As an adult I searched and found my own painted floor at the Brewery. When children visit my studio I wonder if one of them will carry the memory for the rest of their life.

For two-time Brewery resident and reputed “ArtWalk Nazi” Mat Gleason, now the owner of the avant-garde gallery, Coagula Curatorial in Chinatown, the key to his time as President of the Board of Directors was to ensure that the focus remained on the art and artists, and that it not devolve into a street fair. In the process he picked up his colorful moniker, but, according to Mat, he

helped make sure it was an art event and not a live music event, or a theater event–there are many venues where all that can happen in LA but only the Brewery had the unique status to provide a visual art experience directly with visual artists.

Despite the emergence of other large art shows, Mat, who describes his art as “stirring the pot” and touts the fact that he

didn’t get killed while doing my art amidst the community there

believes the ArtWalk still retains the

same interesting experience you cannot get anywhere else in Southern California or most anywhere.

Mat—who lived at the colony from 1995-97 and 1999-2007—reflected on what he enjoyed most about ArtWalks:

I liked the fact that the Brewery ArtWalks increased the Brewery’s name recognition so I know I got many internet dates specifically so the chick could say ‘I dated a guy at the Brewery.’ But to be serious, I enjoyed the variety of people whose careers would be transformed by participating in the ArtWalk.

Transformation might be the word that best typifies the Brewery—from its post-Industrial makeover into working community of artists to the creative process each artist experiences as part of their life there to the interactive process that occurs twice a year at the ArtWalk.

Teale Hatheway thrives on the creativity:

The units are flexible and the neighbors are resourceful. I regularly reach out to my neighbors for brain-storming, advice, an extra set of eyes, work barters, job opportunities, geeking out on color theory, dinner and cocktails, etc. There is no part of an artist’s life that is not part of their creative process.

Wini Brewer revels in the community:

There’s an atmosphere—an energy—at the Brewery that bolsters your own creative energy. Artists need artists. Just like it is easier to do Yoga in a class, or meditation in a group, then it is to do them home alone, it’s easier to paint when you are surrounded by other painters!

For Kristine Schomaker, current President of the ArtWalk Association, it is the evolution of the 18-acre lot into a neighborhood:

It always reminds me of the Cedar Street bar in New York or even the cafés in turn of the century Paris where artists would gather and talk about art, life, politics and anything else you can think of.

And for the indefatigable Mat Gleason, the appeal of living at the Brewery was a bit more direct:

It was that or Skid Row.

The Brewery ArtWalk is this April 26 & 27 from 11am to 6pm. Admission and parking for the ArtWalk are both free to the public and the event offers a rare opportunity to explore one of SoCal’s—and perhaps the nation’s—liveliest and largest “artist-in-residence” communities.

 Photo by Foto Matt — with Wini Johnson Brewer at

Wini Brewer


Teale Hatheway

Dave Lefner

Dave Lefner

Mitzella Artist

Mitzella Artist

Jim Payne
Jim Payne

Me and My Art series by Foto Matt

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Emmeric Konrad Paints a New Utility Box on 5th and Spring in Dowtown Los Angeles Sat, 12 Apr 2014 23:01:53 +0000 Iris Towery

For the newest transformation in Jose Huizar’s UTILITY BOX makeover project in Downtown Los Angeles, Emmeric Konrad paints the formerly drab grey electrical behemoth in front of The Last Bookstore a mural of cosmic babies and electrified spirit beings. This is part of what makes downtown such a vibrant place to be an artist, the fact that you can make legal public art that beautifies and adds individuality to the area.


Konrad has a solo show, “Predisposed,” open right now at District Gallery in the Arts District until April 27th.



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The Do LaB Presents Lightning in a Bottle 2014 – “The Adventure Continues” Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:29:38 +0000 Iris Towery long10


Cartwheel Art  loves LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE, the annual festival featuring art, music, and performance taking place this year from May 22-26,2014 with a new location in Bradley, California, located at Lake San Antonio between Los Angeles and San Francisco in Monterey County.  Lightning in a Bottle is where we discovered the mandala work of Scott O’keefe and Robert Moondragon, and enjoyed many other art and music events.

Lightning in a Bottle is an exciting festival of “cultural and environmental consciousness”, with music, installation art, live painting, electronic music, yoga, and spiritual workshops focusing on the importance of sustainability. This will be the 9th annual convergence of creative musical and art types, with an emphasis on the community experiencing joy through expression.



For seven years now, Lightning in a Bottle has exposed participants to live painting in Do LaB’s Lightning in a Paint Can, presented by the Do ArT Foundation, with art that allows viewers to interact with the creators during the painting process, all of which is later sold in a silent auction to benefit public art programs for the Do art Foundation. The Do Art Foundation’s silent auction and Art Walk will take place on Sunday, after festival-goers will have the chance to get up close and have a good look at the art being created in front of them for most of the festival.

In addition to live painting, there will be installations all over the festival including Shrine’s Temple of Consciousnessbuilt out of recycled and found objects. Shrine is a folk-artist artist that Cartwheel Art follows through his work at Coachella and other music festivals as well as his many humanitarian projects including that of  the Let There Be Light – Shrine edition (Cartwheel Art was LTBL’s media partner). The Temple of Consciousness provides a location for scheduled events and programming   which  will include over 300 different experiences in yoga, workshops, speakers and exotic world music.


The music lineup for the 9th annual Lightning in a Bottle Music and Arts Festival has been announced, featuring Moby, Little Dragon, Phantogram, Gramatik, Beats Antique, Amon Tobin, Baauer, Gold Panda, Simian Mobile Disco, Claude VonStroke and more! 

This internationally renowned transformative experience also includes the sounds of The Polish Ambassador, Damian Lazarus, Cashmere Cat, Chet Faker and Lee Burridge. Lucent Dossier Experience will also take the familiar stage to mystify their devout fans with their visually enriched live-performance. 
Confirmed dates for this year’s Lightening in a Bottle are from May 22 to May 26, 2014. Lightning in a Bottle tickets are for sale at the Lightning in a Bottle website, with prices that range from $195-$610.






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Interview: Nathan Cartwright and The Hive Gallery’s 9th Anniversay Show Fri, 11 Apr 2014 03:41:31 +0000 Lauren Over
Saturday, April 5th, 2014 was a magical day, indeed! It saw the 9 Year Anniversary celebration of The Hive Gallery & Studios: a fantastic artist collective that has pioneered the expansion and power of creative energy in Historic Downtown Los Angeles’ Gallery Row. The Hive and its founder/curator/King Bee, Nathan Cartwright,  is a way-paver from the dimensions of imagination into physical reality. It’s an open door to and incubator of artistic souls, both budding and established. Its high ceilinged, multiple-celled space, divided into both gallery and resident artist areas, is a perfect venue to showcase the great diversity of their talents and work.The variety of media found here is as unlimited as the mind’s eye, and at any given Hive event one is guaranteed to have a multi-media experience: painting (often live), sculpture, DJs, performance, and video projection (to name a few!) Often there is a resident Tarot card reader on the premises, and there are always some visitors in costume! Hive participants and patrons tend to have an appreciation for the whimsical and theatrical. For this occasion there was even a butler on hand to serve up the birthday cake– and condoms. One can never be too prepared!

In its characteristically communal spirit, The Hive is joining forces with a new next-door neighbor called The Jungle Gallery. The Jungle is a hip hop/street-art focused, combination retail space and gallery, currently featuring mural pieces by MEAR ONE, Vyal One, Mr. Pose and Tiki Jay One. It makes sense, and is wonderful to see The Hive embracing and supporting artists involved in the production of murals and public art. Outdoor wall works are beginning to define the identity of Downtown Los Angeles, just as they do the Arts District. In The Hive shows’ usual form, over 100 artists are represented– about half of which, like Chet Zar and NC Winters, are long-time Hive contributors. The featured artists are: William Basso, Deanna Adona, Naoko Norimatsu, Angie Carrasco and John Malloy.  Artist Ron King did outdoor live painting, and there was a video installation by Sonik Mercury and Michael Allen. Be sure to check out the show if you go to Downtown Los Angeles’ monthly Art Walk, Thursday, April 10th from 12pm-10pm! in the meantime, Nathan himself was generous enough with Cartwheel Art to answer some questions about his history with and the development of The Hive over the last 9 years.Can you recall the first seed of your idea for The Hive?

Yes I can! When I decided to take on the Hive project I was faced with a big ol’ 2800 square foot space to fill with art. I knew that I wanted to put on an art show every month and didn’t feel it would be possible to do the job well and efficiently with so much space! I had been in live/work situations in the past and and remembered how busy artists can be buzzing around in a community. Thinking of a name for my gallery fell right into place!

Are there any examples you experienced that you modeled it on?

Yes, before the Hive I was part of a space called Hangar 1018. This was a 6000 sq. foot warehouse, art and performance space on the western edge of Boyle Heights back in 2001/2002. Every kind of performance, art, video music event found it’s way through our vast doors and we lived there. I learned a lot about how the artist community dynamic worked.

How has your dream evolved over the past 9 years?

Well- like a child, the Hive has grown organically into something I never could have imagined. There are goods and bads, as a business/child gets older problems get more complex, but the reward is much more enduring and rich. I love seeing my artists grow, evolve and succeed! The gallery is growing in fantastic, unique ways with our Tarot Card Decks, community projects, book ideas, animation projects and more!

Have you learned anything unexpected as a leader in fostering artistic community?

I’ve learned so much…It’s taught me to be flexible and strong. As a business grows, so does the complexity of your relationship to it. I love it like a member of my own family. I’ve learned that as an artist and a people person, I can influence my business in special, magical ways…as opposed to having the angle of ”I want to start a business and be a successful!”. I came into this business as an artist, and always be one…artists make magic, so therefore,my business is filled with it.

Would you talk a little about The Hive’s developing relationship with your neighbor, The Jungle?

We just hung murals next door at The Jungle by some big name graffiti artists- Mear One, Vyal One, DYTCH 66, MR.POSE, TIKI JAY ONE, McEvoy and Rodriguez. These murals were provided by The Hive and painted at a big rock festival in 2010 called Epicenter. Artists painted murals influenced by the music played at the festival (bands such as Kiss, Eminem, Bad Religion, Bush, Suicidal Tendencies, more). The Jungle is a hip hop inspired retail store, but it also has a community center within it’s walls dedicated to working with kids to teach dance, music, poetry and more.>

Is there anything in the works that you’d like to give your followers a hint of?

The Hive is working on an ongoing book project which we would like to publish in the very near future called “A Field Guide to the Denizens of Hiveland.” I created a world about 6 years ago called Hiveland. This is a fantasy world that parallels our world, where artists who show at The Hive Gallery create avatars of their higher selves. The book will profile many of the featured artists we’ve had through the last several years- not as their artist selves, but as their higher selves in a land of bees, monsters and honey. There will be an accompanying interactive element to this book,which will happen at the gallery as”font-

Any more International collaborations??

Yes, we are going to be in Ultra Art Fair in Tokyo in October 2014 and are talking to a gallery in Germany as well for early/mid 2015.

The materialization and evolution of Cartwright’s vision reminds me of a quote by Dr. C.G Jung, the man who coined the terms ‘synchronicity’ and ‘collective consciousness:’

He who looks outside dreams; he who looks within awakens.

The open, energetic and encouraging attitudes of The Hive certainly continue to awaken creative experimentation, artistic play, and life itself in downtown Los Angeles.
See the 9th Anniversay show April 5th through April 26th!


The Hive Gallery and Studios
729 South Spring Street

Los Angeles, CA 90014
Wed-Sat 1pm-6pm
Sun-Tues By Appointment



IMG_3319William Basso


IMG_3355Wilkinson The Butler


Daisuke Okamoto

IMG_3345Naoko Norimatsu








IMG_3314Deanna Adonna

IMG_3348Seraphime Angelis




IMG_3336Artist/Founder/Curator Nathan Cartwright (right)



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Sophia Gasparian “Soft Serve” at Ginger Corner Market Thu, 10 Apr 2014 23:46:49 +0000 Lisa Derrick 267867_10150262176037630_1144813_n

The name is slyly deceptive: “Soft Serve” packs a punch. Sophia Gasparian, the self-described Armo-MILF (and an acclaimed socio-political artist) uses folk art style children to carry her messages of equality–social, gender and political– genocide history, and a hell of a lot more. She’d decided to retire from painting and focus on raising her two children (a feminist decision, think about it), when curator Esteban Lopez from Sector Seven Contemporary Gallery approached her about showing in an unusual location.

Gasparian had worked with Lopez at a gallery in Highland Park and felt he understood her work. He proposed a show at off-beat spot, Ginger Corner Market,neighborhood gourmet corner store/cafe in Pasadena. At first Gasparian was reluctant, since she didn’t want to show in a food-based venue. But after seeing the space, she realized it would give her the opportunity to show her softer works. And after decades of showing in Europe and the States (she was a child prodigy artist who came to the US with her parents when she 15), why not exhibit someplace utterly different and unexpected. Hence “Soft Serve” a gentler messaging of her themes, packaged for the stroller-set (she screened her images on kid sized tees), with smaller images suitable for hanging in kids’ rooms.

“Soft Serve” delivers some subtle messages. A girl stands atop a pile of skulls with the caption “I am still waiting.”  A boy and girl stand next to each other, the girl holding a knife. The caption reads, “The way to my man’s heart.”   A girl with her mouth covered by cloth stands with a little boy in a skull cap. Above is a list of tradition Armenian (and delectable-sounding) foods. The message is that she cannot speak, she can only open her mouth to eat, to be a traditional woman.

And though her work is archived at the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Gasparian explains:

While human rights, ethnic dislocation, social identity and women’s progress form my everyday thinking and influence my art, I do not consider myself an art activist. My intention with each painting is to trigger an emotional reaction and alter the perspective of the viewer through illustration of a personal view point. I simply strive to illustrate subjects that interest me.

“Soft Serve” runs through April 30th at Ginger Corner Market, 217 South Michigan, Pasadena with a closing reception on the 27th from 5pm to 9pm.













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Let There Be Light: Shrine Edition in Haiti Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:28:31 +0000 Lisa Derrick 1912198_10152281514169345_1206762163_nThe Do Art Foundation‘s Let There Be Light project in collaboration with Project HOPE Art went to Haiti to help spread a message of healing and empowerment through arts during Kanavale (carnival season), along with partners Cuddle the World from Lucient Dossier and Burners without Borders. This year, the group also brought noted architectural installation artist Shrine to assemble a sculpture from reclaimed materials  at the RAJEPRE School. The school is home to 100 children who would otherwise not attend school or receive an education in one of the hardest hit and poorest neighborhoods, Cité Soleil. Run by Jeremy Winter Delaplane, this is the only school in Cite Soleil.

Haiti holds a special place for Cartwheel Art: Our founder Cindy Schwarzstein spent time there as a child and it was through her parents’ art gallery in Jacmel, Haiti that she developed her love of art. Others at Cartwheel Art have a link with Haiti through the country’s spiritual practices, so the mixture of Shrine with Haiti intrigued us, and we are proud to have been this event’s media partner.

Haiti is still recovering from the devastating January 2010 earthquake, and since the earthquake, builders, innovators and organizers assembled at the Haiti Communitere eco-base to fan out their ingenuity (Haiti Communitere was also a LTBL parter). These visionaries create new solutions (and celebrations) in poor Haitian neighborhoods. Haiti touches everyone who goes there. Moon, aka Feather Chyld one of the volunteers  emailed, writing:

The love and enthusiasm of the people of Haiti, it’s almost impossible to sum it up in words. I feel fortunate for the time shared with the beautiful kids here and the smiles are worth every single minute. Learning and understanding the depth of this place faced with complex community issues, has been fascinating. It’s been a game changer for me.

Shrine also found  LTBL to be positive experience:

Spending a short time in Haiti has been good for keeping things in perspective. Learning from people while having a shared experience. Keeping it light and friendly.

Along with working on Shrine’s installation, the group, which woke to the sound of  Haitian  choir singing  in the morning,s were housed in Haiti Communitere with volunteers from around the world, including medics, builders and other aid workers  LTBL painted the faces of hundreds of kids and painted the RAJAPRE School in Cite Soliel, as well as visiting the Atis Rezistans, a Hatian arts collective creating, in the words of volunteer Jade,

magical voodoo recycled art.

For Melissa Schilling from Project HOPE Art, Let There Be Light manifests the goals of all involved:

 To transform something is one thing. To put the tools for transformation into the hands of others, to encourage others and support others in their ideas for positive transformation is quite another thing. Art really is the universal language.








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Preview: “Hearsay: Artists Reveal Urban Legends” at Begovich Gallery Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:18:48 +0000 Lisa Derrick Keep Your Hands Inside the Car_lr

When I was five, my mom told me about a friend of hers whose mother-in-law died on road trip through Arizona. They wrapped her body in a sleeping bag and put her on the roof of the car to transport back home for a decent funeral. The family stopped at cafe, and the car was stolen. An urban legend.  Weirdly, decades, later my (dead) mom’s ashes were stolen from the backseat of my car by a valet–a full circle, as a version of the legend became reality.

Urban legends like  “He likes it, hey Mikey” dying after guzzled Coca-Cola and Pop Rocks, alligators in the sewers of New York, the Hook, and microwaved pets present cautionary tales that reflect ongoing cultural taboos and fears–gluttony, jealousy, ghosts, murders, death, maiming, sexual adventures gone wrong–that serve to remind us of the uncertainty of existence.

“Hearsay: Artists Reveal Urban Legends” takes the viewer into our modern collective collective unconsciousness with thought provoking wit and a pop-culture double whammy.  Featuring 35 artists like Robert Williams, Llyn Foulkes, Marnie Weber, Jim Shaw, Jeffrey Vallance, Laurie Lipton (whose beautiful drawing reveals the truth of one Los Angeles’ most enduring and horrifying creatures, about which many urban legends swirl), and Nicola Verlato.  The artists don’t simply illustrate urban legends, these modern day myth are analyzed in conjunction with each artist’s own subjective viewpoint resulting in a shared experience between artist and audience.

“Hearsay,” at Cal State Fullerton’s Begovich Gallery, with an opening reception April 12th, is curated by Lauren Haisch and Cartwheel Art contributor Wendy Sherman. The opening is from 5pm to 8pm, with a curators’s tour at 4pm.

Wendy took time out from installing the show to email with us about “Hearsay,” the challenges and excitement of curating  such a major show, and the MFA program in exhibition design and museum studies at CSUF.

Tell us about what’s in the show and what we can expect…

I don’t want to give away too much! As far as medium, it’s pretty much figurative work, but the exhibition includes painting and drawing, photography, sculpture, and video. If you are familiar with urban legends, you will recognize a lot of the stories. We will be including didactic text with the artwork and the artist’s writing about the work. There will also be some regional legends and a few that are probably not very well known. We had each artist choose their own legend because we wanted the story to have a personal meaning to them, so we got a wide range of interesting stories from all over the place. Lots of ghost stories – actually about half of the gallery is ghost stories. Which is weird because urban legends are supposed to be “real world” occurrences. But I guess they fall into the category of ghost stories that take place in an urban environment.

About half the exhibition is made up of commissioned artwork that was created especially for the show. The rest of the art already existed and fit the topic. As you can imagine, it was pretty hard to find artists working with this subject matter, but there are a few – Robert Williams, Jeffrey Vallance, Burt Payne 3, Clayton Bailey, Jim Shaw… but it was really hard to find women artists. Naida Osline is perfect–Laurie Hasshold was totally into the concept, even though if you look at her work, you wouldn’t necessarily think of her as an “urban legends” artist. It relates to the cryptozoology theme that runs through her work. Laurie Hasshold has created two pieces especially for this exhibition.  I can’t wait–it’s going to be like Christmas seeing all the final art coming in! I guess that will be another high point!

Why this theme? What drew you to it?

Well, it was a compromise! Sort of. I had a billion ideas and I had tried to talk fellow exhibition design student and co-curator, Lauren Haisch  into an idea that I don’t think she really wanted to do. So she suggested we do a show on the theme of myth. We started doing research and I found that it was really a huge subject that had been covered many times. There have been tons of exhibitions on the topic of myth. I mean, I liked the idea, but I felt like it had been done before – and done better than I could ever do it! I found a current exhibition (at the time) that was so good – it even included some of the artists we were thinking of showing!

As I plugged away, trying to find an aspect of myth that I thought I could work with, I found an article that started talking about “urban myths” and “urban legends” and I thought, that’s it!! I have always been a huge fan of urban legends. Although we found out early on that “urban myths” and “urban legends” are NOT the same thing. An urban legend is rooted in folklore – it’s a story that is passed on from person to person (a friend of a friend or f.o.a.f.), with the person telling it believing it to be true, but the story is almost always not true. They are primarily non-supernatural, secular narratives that take place in the present day real world. While an urban myth is a well known story which was made up in the past to explain natural events or to justify religious beliefs or social customs and usually involves the existence and activities of a supernatural being, such as a god, a demigod, a goddess, or several such entities.

I had discovered the books of author and urban legends expert Jan Harold Brunvand in the early 1980s after I was fooled by an urban legend that I saw in the newspaper. After all, if you read about it in the newspaper, it must be true, right? I became a huge fan of Brunvand’s books and read most of them – he’s published about ten books on the subject and pretty much coined the term “urban legend.”

I love the idea of these stories that sound “too good to be true.” Actually a few of them end up being true, or the legend is just an exaggerated version of the truth. I love that many of them have been passed on from ancient folklore and just keep coming around and morphing as modern life continues to advance. A good example of this is the legend “The Microwaved Pet” (represented in the exhibition), which became popular in the 1970s as people started buying microwave ovens, and there was fear surrounding this new technology. But this tale has been around since the 1940s, if not earlier, when people were worried about their pets crawling into their old gas or wood stoves to keep warm! (editor’s note: Unfortunately, because people are unspeakable jerks, microwaved pets do occur]

And, of course, urban legends have exploded since the expansion of the internet, and now that everyone has a computer and a smart phone. Not only in text form, but in photographic form – there are Photoshopped images popping up everywhere illustrating new urban legends every minute of every day. Good thing we have web sites like to tell us which stories are real & which ones are fake!

How did you come to curate a show at Begovich Gallery?

I’m a grad student in the MFA program in exhibition design and museum studies at Cal State University, Fullerton. As part of the MFA degree, each student must produce a thesis exhibition. If you are getting a degree in painting and drawing you must produce an exhibition of your own work. Exhibition design students are usually required to pair up and co-curate exhibitions for the larger Begovich gallery. (There are also three smaller galleries for painting and drawing, sculpture, and photography students to show their work.)

What is involved in the master’s program you are completing?

Some of the required courses are: museum education, curatorship, conservation, four semesters of exhibition design, and art history classes. I took as many art history classes as I could–history of photography, history of illustration, contemporary art history, etc. I was a grad assistant for the graphic design history class because of my background in graphic design. (I did my BA in Graphic Design at CalArts a long time ago!). Right now I am taking an art theory class, where we read a bunch of essays on art theory and sit around and discuss them in class for two and a half hours trying to figure out what they are talking about! So far we’ve read Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Amelia Jones, and Lucy Lippard–who I really like. Art Theory is not my favorite, but I figure it will look good on my resume!

Why did you choose this discipline?

After a 20+ year career as a graphic designer I was involved in an art exhibition at the Robert Berman Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. I worked very closely with the curator and got to see what goes on behind the scenes at an established art gallery. I had an epiphany–I guess–or a light bulb went off. I thought, “This is what I want to do!” I became really interested in curating– basically deciding what artists to show and which pieces by each artist to show–it’s more than that, of course. The experience gave me many ideas. I felt like everything I had been working on up to that point in my life had prepared me to be a curator. It might sound weird, but I remember when I was in my first semester at CSUF in museum education class it hit home to me. I pretty much grew up at LACMA. I took art classes there when I was 6 years old. I always felt really comfortable at art museums. And as a graphic designer I worked on a lot of album cover projects, and that was like curating in a sense. You would put artists together–a photographer, an illustrator, a logo designer… It was kind of like curating. Plus, I had met a lot of museum quality artists and photographers over the years, being in the graphic design field.

What is involved in curating a show? (oh tell us some of the minutae!)

Okay, that’s huge…First you have to come up with an idea – or an artist (or artists) you want to show. It’s a lot easier if it’s just one or two artists. Then you just go on a studio visit and choose the art you want to show. I mean, it’s not THAT easy. You need to establish a relationship with the artist(s) and the gallery or museum, if you don’t own the gallery/museum or already work there.

Working with artists is tricky too. (A lot like working with rock stars – I’m finding out – after all those years of designing album covers! Good training!) I have been fortunate that I have had really good mentors… I guess I should mention that as well – find a good mentor! Networking and connections in this business are essential! (Also same as the music biz – both are very similar!) I will not mention who my mentors are – you need to find your own! [However, I will recommend Karen Atkinson's GYST workshops ( for artists and they are helpful for curators as well. Karen is great, she is my go-to person if I ever have any art world questions. She knows everything. But you have to take her workshop if you want access to her never ending fount of knowledge!]

With a concept/group show, the idea is important. (I will talk more about that below.) But once you figure out a good idea – it can come from anywhere – you can start with the artists you want to show and build the idea around their work, or start with the idea and find artists that fit – that’s what we did.

Then it’s studio visits and choosing art, or commissioning art for the show. Very tricky – dealing with artists! Can’t really help you with that, just have to learn by doing it. One thing to think about with a group show is that all the work goes together. I actually didn’t think about that too much because I had such a strong theme. It depends on what your theme is, where you are showing, and how many artists are in the show. If it’s a small sales gallery show with just 2-4 artists, you want all the art to look nice together so it will sell. If it’s a big, high-concept museum show (like mine!) it doesn’t really matter – the concept is the important thing. But the art has to be striking – it has to live up to the concept.

In the exhibition design program we are responsible for every tiny aspect of the exhibition, from cleaning the floor in the gallery to finding a food & drink sponsor for the reception. There is all kinds of boring stuff you have to do like writing a proposal, creating a budget, making a time line, assembling a layout for the show, building a model, developing a check list, sending out loan agreements, printing postcards, publicity & promotion, arranging pick ups for the work, painting the gallery, etc. You do not want to hear about all that stuff do you? I am in loan agreement/art pick up hell right now!!

Is that minutiae enough for you???

How long have you been working on the show?

My fellow exhibition design student and co-curator, Lauren Haisch and I have been working on this show for about three years now! That is not unusual, especially for a museum show.

What challenges have you faced?

Ummm, a lot! Actually the biggest one is–boring!–shipping costs! Well, money in general. There were a couple problems getting artwork that we wanted in the beginning. One of the reasons was the cost of shipping from NY to CA, and the other was due to the collections the art was coming from.

I really wanted this piece by Laurie Lipton titled “Watching,”  which was based on the story of Kitty Genovese – an urban legend based on a true story. This one was an exaggeration of the true story. Look it up here on Snopes.

I thought the piece was owned by a collector in LA, but I found out it was sold to someone who lives in NY. It ended up being too costly to ship to the Begovich for the show, so we ended up choosing another piece by Laurie (you’ll have to come to the show to see it!).

We did commission an amazing piece by NY based artist Mike Cockrill, and I asked him to work small to try to avoid the shipping issue. But “small” for Mike ended up being 29″ x 40″–so I was tearing out my hair for a couple weeks trying to figure out how I was going to get his piece from NY to CA. We ended up working it out in the end. The problem isn’t so much the transportation cost as the insurance. You have to go with an art shipper in order to have the art insured. That’s what becomes costly.

The other problems had to do with acquiring the original paintings for two pieces where we ended up substituting prints. I absolutely HATED having to do that, but we had no choice. One of the pieces is by artist Llyn Foulkes, and as everyone in LA knows – all his work is on tour in Germany right now, so we have a print of one of his “Bloody Heads.” The other print is by Robert Williams, and it would have been too costly to ship – similar situation to the Lipton piece. But we had to have the Williams piece because it was such a great representation of the legend. And fortunately there was a print available. But as a rule you NEVER want to show prints in a museum show if the original work is a painting. It’s always best to get the original.

What have been some of the high points so far?

No. 1 absolute best thing has been working with Jan Harold Brunvand. As soon as Lauren and I agreed on the topic I got in touch with him. Since part of the exhibition from the beginning was to include a companion catalog, I knew I wanted to ask Brunvand if he would write an introduction. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when he accepted. He was also a huge help with vetting some of the legends that the artists would come up with to make sure they were actual urban legends and not myths or just weird stories. I had to send one artist back to the drawing board and I actually had to turn down another artist completely. But I felt that if we had Brunvand involved, we had to try to keep as true to the theme as possible. We did sneak a couple questionable gray-area topics in there like UFOs and cryptozoology, but I think Brunvand will approve of the exhibition overall.

I would say the No. 2 high point has been working with the artists. It has been great and also a pain in the ass at the same time! But mostly working with all the artists has been very rewarding. Oh, and the other writers who wrote essays for the catalog–amazing! So great of them to participate also.

I imagine the opening is going to be a blast. That’s where all your hard work pays off – but it always goes by so fast! And I’m looking forward to finishing up the catalog. I guess I should add that to the challenges list. I had really hoped to have the catalog ready for the opening reception, but it unfortunately wasn’t meant to be.
Hearsay: Artists Reveal Urban Legends
Through May 8th, opening reception April 12, 5pm to 8pm
Begovich Gallery, Cal State Fullerton
800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831-3599
For the curator walk through at 4pm on Saturday, please RSVP to


Nicola Verlato, Haunting of the Haunted Painting

16_Nixon Spirit House_sm

 Jeffrey Valance, Nixon Spirit House


Sarina Brewer, Purple Squirrel


Marnie Weber, The Procession

bailey_bigfootdroppingClayton Bailey, Bigfoot Poop


 Church of Typography, Sasquatch


Chris Farling, Sewer Gator


Hellen Jo, The Red Mask


Llyn Foulkes, Bloody Head


Burt Payne 3 and Stephen Hillenburg, Frozen Walt Doll (Green Tie Edition)


Lew Delport, The Goatman


Laurie Hassold, what the tree remembers

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